Recently, My partner and I had the pleasure to go to Universal Studios Hollywood for Super Nintendo World. From stepping into a giant size pipe entrance, hearing the pipe teleportation sound effect, we were transported into a whole new world. As we exited the pipe, we were amazed with the interior of Princess Peaches castle and once we got passed the Super Mario 64 paintings that move, once we step outside of her doors, we were amazed of how real this was and how amazing it looks.

From our recent trip, here’s everything that you need to know to maximize your excitement and enjoyment at Super Nintendo World.

Early Access

To start off, Universal Studios Hollywood offer early park access to Super Nintendo World. With this perk, you get to enjoy the park an hour earlier before the park opens up as well enjoying the land with short wait times. With this perk, you need to already have an existing park entry for the day. The add on can range from $20-$30 depending on the day.

As for the regular park goers, Super Nintendo World is open for the public at 10AM. There shouldn’t be a reason to join a “Virtual Queue” but if there is, be sure to download the Universal Studio’s Hollywood App just to check if you need to be in a queue.

Toadstools Cafe

As we were running from the entrance in Upper lot to Lower lot, there was one thing we had in mind that we needed to do. We needed to get our Toadstool’s Cafe reservation ASAP.

From our experience to eat at Toadstool’s cafe, here’s what you need to know:

Before entering the pipes to Super Nintendo World, next to the amazing photo-op right next to the entrance, there (should) be a sign with a QR code to the famous Toadstool’s Cafe. Scan that. From there, you should be able to click for the day you’re going, how many guests, what time and contact information.

Once your reservation has been made, go during the time period you reserved for and enjoy your meal. To those who are going during public park hours, time slots WILL fill up. Do it quick or you can miss out.

When my partner and I went, we reserved for 10:45 AM, around 11AM they were all out of slots.

Overall, the food was amazing. Ranging from the Mario burger to Bowser’s meatball challenge, each food there was a delight to eat.

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Power-Up Bands

One unique thing that Super Nintendo World offers are interactive games and activities. But in order for you to be fully immersed into this land, be sure to grab those Power-Up bands!

They’re character bands and you can slap them on your wrist. The characters that they currently offer are:

  • Mario
  • Luigi
  • Peach
  • Daisy
  • Yoshi
  • Toad

In the queue for Bowser’s Challenge, a park goer next to us had a different Power-Up band and I was really curious about it as asked him where he got this one. His response was that it was a Golden Mario Power-Up band and he got it when he was in Japan’s Super Nintendo World.

If you haven’t already, download the Universal Studios Hollywood app and click the Super Nintendo World tab, from there you can connect your brand new Power-Up band there.

There is a short story to this land. Bowser Jr. Has stolen the golden mushroom from Peach’s castle. From here you need to retrieve it by collecting three different types of keys throughout the park to face Bowser Jr. Again to get it back to Princess Peach.

You also get to see where you as the player/park goer see where you rank, how many coins you collect, where you team ranks (depends on what character Power-Up band you get) and all time. You also collect stamps as you go and play games too. Be sure to collect those stamps too.

You can get these from any of the Nintendo themed stores in the parks, Universal City walk or kisoks in the land. They retail for $39.99. I’d say there definitely worth it.

Once connected, you’re free to hit any brick blocks, question mark blocks and more.

When you’re done with the parks, you may think, what use do I have for these Power-up bands? Well not only they can interact with the park, but you can use them as Amiibo’s too!

Bowser’s Castle

Once you created your reservation for Toadstool’s cafe and grabbed your Power-Up band, lets say its about 9:30 AM (if you did early access, if not, times can vary). You should hit up Mario Kart: Bowsers Challenge.

The story for the ride is that Bowser and his Koopalings are challenging the Mario team to win the Universal Studio’s trophy cup. You and Kart team must get to 100 coins to achieve this win, if not, you lose. This ride is the first of its kind at Universal Studios. You are instructed to put on these Mario visor hat attached to your head and once seated in the kart, you use the magnetic attachment to be part of this mixed reality ride. On your own goggles, you see different koopalings and other characters. You need to hit them with items from question blocks and avoid hitting mario’s team.

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Throughout the line, you are really inside Bowser’s castle. The queue for this is really amazing. The wait times can range from 10 minutes to 90 minutes (or more) depending on the park day. We were really astonished on how the inside of his castle looks and had to take pictures everywhere in there.

Before or after the ride, you can connect the Power-Up bands so you can gain all the coins you get from the game synced to your profile.

Collecting Keys

In order to collect those key’s to stop Bowser Jr, you need to three key coin collecting activities. However, there are four games. So as long as you play those three of the four, you’re good. But be sure to play them all.

  • First game; Goomba Crazy Crank – Spin the wheel as fast as you can to goomba out.
  • Second game; Koopa Troopa POWer Punch – Time your punch perfectly agasint the POW block to get the koopa shell to hit the three way pipe to the key.
  • Third game; Puranha Plant Nap Mishap; Hit the timer blocks to prevent the Piranha Plant to wake up.
  • Fourth game; Thwomp Panel Panic; Change the blue/yellow switches to one color to receive the key.

Once the challenge is finished, you will either hear the level complete, here you will tap your Power-Up band to collect the key on your app or the game over sound where you need to try again.

After collecting three keys, head to Bowser Jr’s battle, a team member will ask you to scan your Power-Up band to see if you collected the keys. If yes, they will let you through, if not, keep playing until you get it.

After collecting these keys, we really enjoyed these mini games. The one that I thought was a little painful was Goomba Crazy Crank. It was pretty much burned my had because of the friction from spinning the handle so hard. But go through it. The most challenging one for us is the Koopa POWer punch. Timing the hit of the POW blocks to get the key was hard.

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After entering, you get to challenge Bowser Jr. And to defeat him. After that, you completed the story for Super Nintendo World. Here’s what else you can do in this land.

Photo-ops With Characters

Throughout the land, you can do a meet and greet with Mario & Luigi, Peach and Toad. The characters will come out the same time for about 30 minutes and return an hour later if you missed them or the queue is long. Mario and Luigi come out together while Peach and Toad come out separately.

Shop for Merch

At Super Nintendo World, you can spend so much money without realizing it. But they offer amazing merch ranging from little key chains, apparel, plushies, character heads, headbands, reusable drink and popcorn buckets.

I personally bought a few memorabilia for this occasion.

Easter Eggs

Throughout the land you can see different characters throughout the land. You can see scattered Pikmin throughout the land. I was really surprised and happy that Pikmin got some love in this land. One other thing to look for are hidden M blocks on the wall. Tap them with your Power-Up and you can get 8-bit sprites of Mario Characters! We were looking for them and took us a while to find!

Overall Thoughts?

This land is fun and amazing. My partner and I have been in this land for over 6 hours our first time as we were able to enjoy and interact with every single activity that they offered. Overall the fun and excitement was well worth it. I definitely would add the early access perk to get the most out of it. However, the land is small. Having a large crowd there feel a bit overwhelming.

After Universal Studios Hollywood opened the land, Universal Studios Orlando announced that it would open at their park sometime in 2025. I hope that the land is bigger and offers more.

To keep up with Super Nintendo World, keep up with Strangely Awesome Game for more information.

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