The Super Nintendo World theme park has finally opened in Japan.
Super Nintendo World has finally opened at Universal Studios in Osaka. The park was originally meant to open last summer ahead of Tokyo’s summer Olympics, but the pandemic disrupted this timeline. It then set an opening date of February, but this also got postponed after Osaka declared a state of emergency because of high rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
In the days since opening, visitors have been immersing themselves in the park’s many attractions while wearing red Mario hats and other Nintendo-themed outfits, CNN reported. The pent-up excitement of visitors was the latest sign of people itching to get back to normality and enjoy fun days out as mass vaccine rollouts continue worldwide.
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Visits will not be a totally carefree experience, though, as there are many safety protocols in place at the park. These include mandatory masks, temperature checks, social distancing measures, signs requesting riders to refrain from shrieking, and readily available hand sanitizer.
Explore Super Nintendo World in the best way
Super Nintendo World is the world’s first Nintendo-themed land, and it’s inside Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Japan. Officially opening on March 18, 2021, this brand-new land is a Nintendo fan’s dream come true.
With two attractions, a restaurant, snack stand, character greetings, shops, and tons of interactive elements, this area packs a lot into a seemingly small space.
Since Super Nintendo World is expected to be immensely popular, it’s necessary to get a free timed-entry ticket or paid Express Pass to enter the land. With an Express Pass, you’re guaranteed entry into the land, and the wait time at the attractions is significantly reduced.
The easiest way to get into Super Nintendo World is by purchasing one of ten Express Passes available for the land. With an Express Pass, you are guaranteed entry into Super Nintendo World on the day of your visit.
And depending on which Pass you get, you can significantly reduce the waiting time on Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and/or Yoshi’s Adventure.
Super Nintendo World Rides
Without a doubt, you’re wanting to experience some rides while you’re in Super Nintendo World. Inside there are two rides to choose from: Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure.
Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge
The flagship attraction is Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge, which you’ll find in the back of Super Nintendo World inside Koopa’s Castle. Bowser is known as Koopa in Japan, hence the name.
This is a ride that’s suitable for families with children. While it’s not the ride that everyone was expecting (it doesn’t move as fast as you’d want it to), it still hits the essence of Mario Kart and you’ll still leave with a smile on your face.
Pro tip: At the entrance to Mario Kart is a seat to try to make sure you’re able to fit securely into the ride vehicle. If you’re concerned about height or body-shape, then give this a try before getting into the inevitably long queue.
Bowser Jr. Challenge
Bowser Jr. Challenge is an attraction that requires you to collect 3 different keys with your Power-Up Band by playing 3 of the 5 mini-games. While the games aren’t tough, you have to queue for them, and those lines could get rather lengthy.
Once you collect 3 coins (they’re kept track in the Universal Studios Japan app), you’re able to go into the Bowser Jr. Challenge.
Once you’ve made your journey through the green pipe and the iconic Princess Peach Castle, you’ll see Princess Peach herself under a gazebo waiting for you.
Princess Peach even speaks in English! While it’s only set phrases, it’s still a surprise and puts a huge smile on your face.
Mario & Luigi
Down on the first floor in the middle of Super Nintendo World at the two Mario Bros. Themselves: Mario & Luigi. You’ll meet these two icons together each time, and just like Princess Peach, they speak in English too!
Don’t forget to hit the coin blocks when you’re done, these blocks are part of the stamp to collect where you have to hit all the blocks in the land.
My personal favorite character, the one and only, Toad. He’s so adorable that I want to take him home. He’s on the first floor where Mario & Luigi are found. He moves around a bit, so keep an eye out for him.
The photographers can take your photo with their professional cameras, and you’re able to buy the photo afterward. It also comes with a digital download version that’s both a photo and a video.
Super Nintendo World Food
Super Nintendo World outdid themselves with the sheer amount of food that’s available. From a full restaurant to snack stand to popcorn. There’s no shortage of food to choose from.
The main restaurant is Kinopio’s Cafe inside the gigantic mushroom on the first floor. You can’t miss it. Toad is known as “Kinopio,” hence the name of the restaurant. If you’ve played Super Mario World 3D, then you’ll recognize the theming instantly.
You dine inside Toad’s House, which is straight out of the game, and even when you head inside you’re given a virtual gift by tapping your Power-Up Band! Choose between the tiny or large gift to see what you get.
Yoshi’s Snack Island
Yoshi’s Snack Stand in the back of the area
In the back of Super Nintendo World, near the suspicious looking Donkey Kong-esque circular door, is Yoshi’s Snack Island. Here you’re able to get a Green Shell Calzone filled with yaki soba noodles (fried noodles) with cheese or a small variety of drinks.
Popcorn Stand & Buckets
If you’re a bit peckish and want a quick snack, the popcorn stands in front of Mario Kart is where you’re able to find two popcorn flavors and two Nintendo-themed popcorn buckets.
Super Nintendo World Merchandise
A visit to a theme park isn’t complete without a vast selection of merchandise for you to max your credit card out on (don’t actually do that but you get the point). Super Nintendo World merchandise is in abundance and you won’t have trouble finding something you’ll love.
The 1UP Factory is the main shop in Super Nintendo World. There’s so much merchandise, you’ll spend at least 30 to 45 minutes browsing. Inside there is everything from Super Nintendo World branded items to character accessories so you’re able to dress like one of your favorite characters.
Mario Motors is the gift shop that’s attached to Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge. Naturally, you’ll exit through the gift shop. Here’s where all the exclusive Mario Kart merchandise is found and you won’t find these items anywhere else so buy it while you can.
Outside Super Nintendo World
Never fear, if you didn’t get a timed entry into Super Nintendo World or forgot to buy something, there are a few other stores you’re able to find items.
Over near the Universal Studios Japan entrance are two stores: Universal Studios Store and the other in California Confectionery.
Above all, what do you think about this theme park? Are you planning to explore it? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @9to5game to talk about all things gaming.