Super Nintendo World First Impressions and Photos

Super Nintendo World is almost open and got the chance to join a tour ahead of the big day. During the walking tour we got to see more Mario Bros. moments that you could shake a stick at. Walking through the large green Warp Pipe that serves as the entrance to the park was a trek. In the same breath, the first lobby is actually Peach’s Castle from Super Mario 64 and looking up at the sky in the middle of the room was also surreal. But that’s just the first taste of everything to come in the park on February 17.

Universal Creative Vice President Jon Corfino showed us around and the whole Universal Studios Hollywood area is pretty amazing. You really feel like you are in a video game. (And that’s before you enter Bowser’s Castle to ride the Mario Kart Challenge…) While you can still enjoy Super Nintendo World without a Power-Up Band to keep track of your rides, adding that wristband makes the whole thing into one big video game. Read more of our impressions below!

(Photo: Hamilton Pytluk/Universal Studios Hollywood)

Check out’s Super Nintendo World section for more information about the park. Are you coming to visit? Let us know in the comments below!

Real magic walking around


It’s absolutely true and fair, it’s also the real magic of Super Nintendo World to fuse all these elements together in a satisfying way. There’s more than enough for younger fans and those who have been waiting decades for a moment like this. It’s all real. Only time will tell how the Universal Studios Hollywood section will rise in the future. But Nintendo and Universal managed to take the top of the flagpole with what we saw in our preview.

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How do the Mario Kart sights work?


“Universal designed the whole experience. What you’re watching is completely next level. It’s a real moving ride, you go through a series of environments where there’s video mapping. There’s LED screens, there’s physical animation and there’s a special effect,” explains Corfino. “How do you manage to get all that together seamlessly and make it feel like one thing? That’s really the art of the whole thing. You will see Super Mario with a green light over your right shoulder. Jumping into space, he goes into the LED screen and the light follows him all the way through.”

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Mario Kart hype


Mario Kart fans have a lot to look forward to at Bowser’s Challenge at the castle. Corfino made it clear that King Koopa doesn’t like to lose to Mario and his friends. The path to the ride itself is full of nods and easter eggs for all the plumber’s adventures across Nintendo platforms. Super Mario Galaxy, Sunshine, and a host of others get shout-outs that we’ve identified. But the big dance is the ride itself. It’s a mix of a traditional ride, AR, LED screens and hands-on effects that will become an instant park favorite.

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Little surprises everywhere

(Photo: Hamilton Pytluk/Universal Studios Hollywood)

If you are a big fan of the Mario brand, there are so many hidden details or subtle inclusions that will put a smile on your face. In line for a Bowser Jr. attraction in Super Nintendo World, the soft tones of Yoshi’s Island’s Flower Garden wafted down the hall. And it wasn’t just the in-game version, there was a new composition that sounded like it had been re-recorded for the park with an orchestra. (It sounded similar to the Super Smash Bros. Brawl arrangement, only more plaintive.)

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The Quest for the Golden Mushroom

(Photo: Hamilton Pytluk/Universal Studios Hollywood)

There are challenges you can play to help Princess Peach get back her Golden Mushroom stolen by Bowser Jr. All those little moments in the section align with your Power-Up Band. The digital element enhances the experience in so many different ways. There are little secrets that appear when you wave your hand near points in the park. Surprises await when you encounter a POW Block or Mystery Block in the connection areas between attractions.


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