Real life Mario Kart – it’s-a really happening at Super Nintendo World!
There’s no feeling in life quite like the potent mix of frustration, fear, and joy that is tackling Rainbow Road on Mario Kart. At least, not in the UK there isn’t. However, when three new Super Nintendo World theme parks start throwing open their doors around the world, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the world of Mario and pals – complete with a life-size Mario Kart ride! This month, the first of the three parks opened in Osaka, Japan, and it’s only confirmed our belief that London needs one, like now. [Featured image: Noki Maeda / Yomiuri / The Yomiuri Shimbun via AFP]
When and where is Super Nintendo World opening?
Super Nintendo World will be appearing at Universal Studios’ parks around the world, and so far three locations have been announced:
🇯🇵 Osaka, Japan, where the park has officially opened
🇺🇸 Los Angeles, California, probably in 2021 or 2022
🇺🇸 Orlando, Florida, in 2023
You’ll notice that list (sadly) doesn’t include the UK or even Europe, but it does give you one more reason to jet off in search of a Yoshi-led adventure.
What is the Mario Kart ride at Super Nintendo World like?
Now, the bit you’ve all been waiting for! The Mario Kart ride sees four-person karts ‘race’ around a course based on levels from the game, and featuring famous Nintendo characters. Augmented reality headsets are expected to bring the indoor ride to life, and there’s even a prize if you’re able to beat Bowser and his team. The route will take riders through a series of classic Mario Kart worlds, from Wario’s Castle to Jungle Parkway.
Other rides include a gentler Yoshi ride that takes you all around the park (this is expected to follow at the remaining parks), a Mushroom Kingdom, and both Peach’s Castle and Bowser’s Castle.
What about the games and challenges at Super Nintendo World?
It’s not just about the rides here, because there’s plenty else to get stuck into! The Super Nintendo Worlds are intended as a fully immersive journey through some of the world’s most beloved video games, which will boast shops, restaurants, and interactive gameplay in addition to the rides.
That last part is arguably the most exciting, for the use of hi-tech ‘Power Up Bands’ will invite you to become part of the game. Visitors are invited to explore the park whilst collecting digital coins, participate in challenges, and even go head-to-head with rival gamers through smartphone apps and Nintendo Switches. You’ll even be unable to unlock ‘boss battles’, where perhaps you’ll be able to kick Waluigi in the balls.
And yes, you CAN punch blocks!
Mushrooms that make you twice the size are not currently planned, but you never know. In the meantime, all that’s left to do is start saving for plane tickets, and maybe sharpening your Mario Kart skills on your console of choice…
In other theme park news, here’s what the Disneyland-style park just outside London will look like!
Also published on Medium.