New Nintendo theme park coming to Orlando reveals rides, lands and more

ORLANDO, Fla. — Gamers of all ages are getting a first look at the rides and settings inside Super Nintendo World, a new themed area coming to Universal Orlando Resort next year that will let guests play along with Mario, Yoshi and Donkey Kong.

It is the most anticipated attraction coming to Epic Universe, the new theme park now under construction in Orlando and slated to open next year. Universal already has Nintendo-themed lands at its theme parks in California and Japan and has credited the fan base with big boosts in attendance at those parks.


Super Nintendo World is one of five lands coming to Universal Epic Universe. Other lands in the park will be devoted to Harry Potter, the “How to Train Your Dragon” films and classic monsters.

Each of those lands will be accessed through its own portal. In a cinematic flourish, park designers created elaborate tunnels at the land entrances that visitors will go through and come out on the other side to the themed world. For Super Nintendo World, the tunnel looks like the green pipe that Mario and Luigi have used to move across game challenges since the early 1980s.

“As guests emerge from the pipe, vibrant scenery and exciting kinetic energy surround them as they are greeted by the familiar sights and sounds that they’ve experienced on their Nintendo game consoles — from the towering Mt. Beanpole and majestic Peach’s Castle to swaying Piranha Plants, pacing Goombas, spinning coins and more,” according to Universal’s announcement Thursday.

Visitors will be made to feel like they have been dropped in front of their childhood game screens with towering multi-level walls teeming with familiar characters from the games in the Super Mario and Mario Kart game series.

It will feature two sections, Super Mario Land and Donkey Kong Country. Super Mario Land will feature two rides.

—Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is a real-life Mario Kart game with a mix of physical sets, projection mapping and augmented reality. Riders wear special visors that project video game characters into your line of sight no matter where you happen to turn your head. As you scoot along, the real-world sets interact with the animated computer characters in your goggles, as if you’re moving inside a video game.

—Yoshi’s Adventure, which is making its U.S. debut in Orlando, will give guests a view of Super Mario Land while riding atop Yoshi the dinosaur in search of glowing eggs. They will travel through Mushroom Kingdom and encounter familiar characters along the way.

Donkey Kong Country will be located at the edge of Super Mario Land and include the Mine-Cart Madness ride to view the area that is immersed in the game’s tropical landscape, from waterfalls to landmarks like the Golden Temple while jumping over seemingly broken sections of the track.

“Utilizing a unique coaster design, Mine-Cart Madness will send riders on a thrilling adventure where they will experience the jaw-dropping maneuvers that they’ve seen Donkey Kong and the mine carts perform in the video games,” according to Universal.

Donkey Kong Country will also have food and merchandise offerings. Elsewhere in the land, there will be themed foods at Toadstool Cafe, with a punny menu of Mario and Luigi-themed burgers, “Super Mushroom Soup” and “Piranha Plant Caprese.”

There will also be souvenir shops and meet-and-greet opportunities with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad.

And like its Hollywood, California, counterpart, this park will sell a Power-Up Band, a special add-on souvenir that enhances your day with games, sets off sounds and chimes when you tap your wrist on a power box. It also lets you accrue points. You will see your progress on public screens set up across the land to compare your points with other visitors.

The bands sell for $42 in Hollywood and there have been lines and reservations needed at times to give players a chance to play games like Goomba Crazy Crank, where you tap your band and spin the crank as fast as you can to knock off the Goomba.

Anyone can ride Bowser’s Challenge without spending extra, but only people with the wristband will be able to save their progress and add to it over multiple visits using the Universal theme park app, which will open up more experiences as they accumulate points.

“Super Nintendo World’s extra charges might technically be optional, but if you don’t pay them, you’ll have a diminished experience,” said Jason Cochran, editor-in-chief of the travel site

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