8-bit to theme park: Super Mario warps into Universal Studios Hollywood
LOS ANGELES – Universal Studios Hollywoodvisitors can leap over to the new Super Nintendo World and see Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s Mushroom Kingdom come to life with vibrant colored coin blocks, warp pipes, Piranha plants and beloved characters like Mario and Luigi.
“There’s nothing better than being inside the land,” said Jon Corfino, vice president of Universal Creative. “You’ll see kids, five years old, grown men, 50 years old, just screaming because they’re coming to a place where they’ve only known it on their game and now, they get to actually go here.”
The theme park in Los Angeles features “Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge,” which allows players to battle Team Bowser in the racing game, Mario Kart.
Visitors can also eat at Toadstool Café and get Nintendo swag at “1-UP Factory store.”
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Guests can level-up by wearing an interactive “Power-Up Band,” a colorful slap bracelet that stores digital, coins and keys that unlock access to challenges, like a battle against game antagonist Bowser Jr.
The theme park world is meant to ignite interest from both new and seasoned fans of the Mario games through an immersive experience. It follows in the footsteps of its predecessor in Universal Studios Japan, also owned by the Comcast Corp CMCSA.O unit.
Super Nintendo World will also be added to Universal Studios Florida in 2025.
Mr. Corfino told Reuters that attendees of all ages can explore and adventure anywhere in the park while learning something new every time they go on the Mario Kart ride.
“All of us here have worked very hard over the last six years to bring this to life,” Mr. Corfino said.
The opening of the park will be followed by the “Super Mario Bros” movie, which arrives in theaters on April 7 and stars “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Chris Pratt, who voices Mario. — Reuters