How to Access Super Nintendo at Universal Hollywood – TOP Tips For Reservation System, Early Access, Visiting Land

Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood was the first Super Nintendo World to debut in the United States. Guests are transported into the Nintendo World of Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach inside the Mushroom Kingdom, and they even get to participate in a Mario Kart race!

Keep reading for all the details, including the groundbreaking ride, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, details about the new Toadstool Cafe, and crucial information on accessing the land.

Super Nintendo World Universal Studios Hollywood

Super Nintendo World debuted first at Universal Studios Japan and is now coming to both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando. The Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood is now open! Though the land is much smaller than the original land they built in Universal Studios Japan, the scale is still impressive.

Bowser’s Castle is the queue building for the AR MarioKart attraction. See details below in our guide!

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Universal Orlando’s Nintendo World will be one of four lands in their new theme park Epic Universe which is currently expected to open sometime in 2025. No official news regarding this Super Nintendo World quite yet but my speculation is that it will be much larger than the one opening at Universal Studios Hollywood and may mirror the size of the currently open Super Nintendo World in Japan. The Super Nintendo World in Japan features three attractions including Donkey Kong and Yoshi themed attractions.

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Guests are given the opportunity to enter the worlds of their favorite films as they experience themed attractions, spectacular live entertainment, and tours showcasing actual movie sets. A stop at Universal Studios Hollywood can make a great addition to your Disneyland or Southern California vacation

How Do I Get In Super Nintendo World?SuperNintendoWorld

Super Nintendo Land has four different options for entry depending on crowd levels at Universal Studios Hollywood:

  • Early Access Ticket– you have the option of purchasing access to Super Nintendo World that begins one hour before the park opens.
  • Virtual Line– all guests with a ticket can access the virtual queue and enter Super Nintendo World for no additional cost but this queue has been filling up every day so there’s a chance you might not get a reservation.
  • Universal Express Pass– purchase of Express Pass includes entry into Super Nintendo World. You either get one-time access or unlimited access, depending on the Express Pass option you pick.
  • Walk In- if the reservation system isn’t in place, you can just simply walk in!

If there is no virtual queue in place, then you can simply walk right into Super Nintendo World. Just check the Universal Studios Hollywood app or the signs around the park to see if Universal is using the queue.

Early Access Ticket

This might be one of the best ways to access Super Nintendo World right now. Super Nintendo World Early Access Ticket is an add-on option to your existing Universal Hollywood ticket. The ticket includes early access to Super Nintendo for one hour prior to the scheduled park opening time. So if Universal Studios Hollywood opens at 8AM, your early access ticket for Super Nintendo World will be from 7AM-8AM.

The ticket also includes one-time express line access to the Studio Tour until 11AM. The price for a ticket is around $20-30 per person.

Nearly everyone is running right to Super Nintendo World when it opens right now making the Early Access Ticket a good move at the moment. Once the park officially opens for the day, Super Nintendo World remains crowded throughout the day. Being able to enjoy limited capacity in the land an hour before park opening is definitely worth it. Especially if you want to play any of the interactive games which tend to draw long lines.

Super Nintendo World Virtual Line

On extremely crowded days, Super Nintendo World will use a Virtual Queue on the Universal Studios Hollywood app. Here is how that process will work when it is utilized:

  1. Super Nintendo World will be available at park opening for all guests to access freely until the land reaches capacity.
  2. Once Universal declares capacity is reached, then guests will be required to use the reservation system on the Universal Studios Hollywood app or via the timed ticket kiosks in the Lower Lot to reserve a time to enter.
  3. Reservations will be limited in number and based on available space throughout the day.
    1. This is something you should be actively checking to make sure you get one if you don’t get inside right away!

Currently, Super Nintendo World has already seen days that didn’t require the reservation system to be in place but it is good to be prepared in case Universal Studios Hollywood decides to utilize it.

Super Nintendo World

Universal Express Pass

Guests who purchase Express Pass will have reservation-free entry into Super Nintendo World once per day (after 3PM for Platinum Pass members) when reservations are required. So if you purchase Express Pass for your visit, you know you will have guaranteed entry along with that front-of-the-line access to the other attractions in the park.

Since you know you can return guaranteed throughout the day, I would recommend spending your morning in other areas of the park and doing Super Nintendo World later in the day.

Do I need a special ticket to get into Super Nintendo World? 

Guests do NOT need a special ticket to access Super Nintendo World. Your regular park ticket is all you need along with a reservation IF the land reaches capacity.

How will I get a reservation once it hits capacity?

By reserving a time using the Universal Studios Hollywood app or by going to one of the timed ticket kiosks inside the park. The app will be MUCH quicker- I recommend this option!

Will Super Nintendo World hit capacity everyday?

We visited on a busy day at Universal Studios Hollywood in the summer and the land did not use the Virtual Queue. We might see it used more often as the busier Halloween and Christmas season approaches.

Is buying Express Pass to get into the land worth it?

Express Pass will get you front of the line at all the major attractions along with access to Super Nintendo World. Depending on how long you plan on spending at Universal Studios Hollywood, it can be worth it! Express Pass can also get pretty pricey especially if you have a larger family so this can really be a personal decision. You can read more about Express Pass in our larger Universal Studios Hollywood guide. 

Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios HollywoodSuper Nintendo World

The theme of Super Nintendo World is based on the iconic Mario games based in the Mushroom Kingdom. Guests can be immersed in the world of Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach by traveling via the Warp Pipe to enter the land.

This is where they will find the groundbreaking ride “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge” inside Bowser’s Castle, which is one of the most complex rides ever built within the entertainment industry!

The immersive land also includes interactive areas with themed shopping and dining. Character meet and greets so far have included Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad. You’ll find Peach in the pink gazebo area and Mario and Luigi near the center of the land. If the characters aren’t out yet, you’ll see the times they will next appear listed on a sign, and you can start to line up 20 minutes in advance.

Super Nintendo Land is meant to be geared for guests of all ages, regardless of gaming experience level, so all guests can feel like they are playing inside their favorite games. But if you have experience playing any of the Mario games, especially the classic Nintendo and Super Nintendo Games, this land will be a nostalgic hit for you!

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge

This innovative ride propels guests into a “multi-dimensional experience that recreates iconic environments from the Mario Kart games and where no two races are alike.” Since each race can be different, guests can enjoy this ride multiple times and have a different experience each time, which is a great concept.

One of the key aspects that sets apart Mario Kart: Bowser’s attraction from other theme park attractions is the use of head mounted augmented reality (AR) goggles to create a multi-sensory experience of color, sound and movement. Guests will enter Bowser’s Castle to ride the attraction and board from within the depths of the dungeon! After boarding stadium-style, four-seat Mario Kart vehicles inspired by the video game, guests will put on their AR goggles and begin to race after receiving the signal from Lakitu.

This interactive experience is for guests of all ages as they steer through courses underwater and in the clouds to compete for the Golden Cup while collecting coins to defeat Team Bowser.

How to Ride Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is NOT included with Express Pass so there is only one way to experience this attraction: through the regular standby line.

This ride is hands down the most popular attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood right now with wait times reaching 180 minutes during the middle of the day! So what is the best strategy to get on this attraction with a low wait? We have two recommendations:

  1. Purchase an Early Access Ticket ($20-30 per person) to access Super Nintendo World early and go straight to the attraction. You may still have a wait (as this is what everyone else will be doing) but it will be far less than it will be at other times of the day.
  2. Wait until the evening to ride! I noticed that wait times dropped considerably after 4PM and the crowds within the land died down making it easier to access all the interactive areas of the land too. You may still have a 60-minute wait but it’s far better than attempting to wait 180 minutes! And the line will move fast so you may wait for less than that. My advice is to keep an eye on the Universal Studios Hollywood app starting around 4PM and watch the wait times. Not all guests spend the entire day at Universal Studios Hollywood hence why wait times will start to dwindle in the evening.

Now for the next question: is the long wait for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge worth it? Read our review below to see what I think…

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ReviewSuperNintendoUniversal

So is Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge worth waiting in line for? Absolutely, YES! This ride can easily claim the title as one of the most technologically advanced theme park rides ever built. The augmented reality goggles (AR) are not the same thing as 3D glasses which many theme park guests are used to. This is an entirely different interactive experience and a far superior one. AR is defined as “the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real-time.” Basically, this mean’s the AR Mario visor hats you wear for Mario Kart, project images on the lens of the visors you are viewing the ride through. The visor is then sensitive to the movements of your head allowing you to participate in the attraction by simply moving your head in certain directions.

How does this work for the attraction? Once you put the visor on, you will see this alternate reality that mimics popular scenes from Mario Kart like…. the Rainbow Road! But this is a ride you actively play a game in and you will be able to track your score through the lens while also gaining coins and turtle shells to throw at other racers. You simply move your head in the direction of the turtle shoes to throw them or to collect more coins. This is far easier than it sounds and requires no prior video game experience. If you purchased a Super Nintendo World Power Up Band (more on this below) you can scan into the ride when you get into the cart and it will also track your ride scores in the app.

As someone that grew up in the 90’s and played Super Nintendo (including Mario Kart!) nonstop, this ride was a home run for me. I nearly screamed when the track turned into Rainbow Road which is an iconic image in video games. The combination of going through the physical set and animatronics of Bowser’s Castle along with the impressive AR enhancements. Since you can improve your score each time you ride, this is an attraction that is fun to ride more than once especially if you’re tracking your score in the app.

Even if you do not have a strong connection to Mario, this attraction is pure fun for everyone. This is not just some run-of-the-mill 3D glasses-wearing attraction but a full-blown technical marvel. You cannot miss this one!

Super Nintendo World Universal Studios Hollywood Land GuideSuper Nintendo World

Here is the full list of the Super Nintendo World locations you can explore:

  • Mount Beanpole: This large landmark sits at the heart of the land and also is the entry queue for “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.”
  • Bowser’s Castle: This is the main feature of the land adorned with a breathtaking sculpture of Bowser that serves as a key centerpiece to the land and signature ride, “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.” Guests will enter Bowser’s Castle and learn more about Bowser’s plans to defeat Team Mario for the Golden Cup as the travel down winding corridors and pass through the hall of medallions and trophies towards the “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge” ride.
  • Toadstool Cafe:  The land’s signature restaurant Toadstool Cafe will serve a menu created by Chef Toad where he will greet guests upon entry. Menu items include Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots, Super Mushroom Soup, Piranha Plant Caprese, Mario Bacon Cheeseburger, Luigi Pesto Chicken Burger, ? Block Tiramisu and Princess Peach Cupcake.
  • 1-UP Factory: The 1-UP Factory is the main merchandise location featuring collectable memorabilia and an extensive selection of merchandise from Mario and Luigi themed apparel to character hats and Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Bowser plush characters.

Additional merchandise includes an extensive selection of themed attire, headwear and candy along with a selection of iconic character plush and toys, including Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Peach and Bowser.

ToadStool CafeSuperNintendoUniversal

Toadstool Cafe is the land’s signature restaurant ran by the infamous Chef Toad. The exterior of the restaurant features a giant red-capped mushroom and the inside is filled with large mushroom decor, green pipes, and visuals of Chef Toad.

This location has been very popular since the land has opened so Universal Studios Hollywood has been requiring guests to join a wak up list at the restaurant. You simply walk up, scan the QR code by the entrance, and pick your time to return. These times sell out very quickly so do this as soon as you enter the land!

To join the waitlist, look for signs at the main entrance of the land and in front of Toadstool Cafe. Note: joining the waitlist does not guarantee that you’ll be admitted.

Toadstool Cafe Menu

Starters and Salads:

  • Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots
  • Super Mushroom Soup
  • Tomato Soup in Super Mushroom Bowl
  • Piranha Plant Caprese
  • Yoshi’s Favorite Fruit & Veggie Salad
  • Super Star Chicken Salad

Main Course entrees:

  • Mario Burger (Bacon, Mushroom & Cheese)
  • Luigi Burger (Pesto Grilled Chicken)
  • Fire Flower Spaghetti & Meatballs
  • Chef Toad Short Rib Special
  • Bowser’s FireBall Challenge (meatball with cheese and puff pastry)

For kids, ages 9 and under, a special Kids Meal menu includes:

  • Mario Mini Burger Adventure Set
  • Power-Up Spaghetti Marinara


  • ? Block Tiramisu
  • Mt. Beanpole Cake
  • Princess Peach Cupcake

Beverages include the Super Star Lemon Squash signature drink, in addition to juice, hot tea, fountain soda, premium bottled water, milk and freshly brewed coffee. You can also find a variety of collectible drink sippers to purchase.

Super Nintendo Land Power-Up BandSuper Nintendo World Power Up Band

Universal Studios Hollywood’s Super Nintendo Land also features interactive experiences which allows guests to essentially play mini levels of Mario games in the land! Along with these levels, there are also yellow question mark blocks around the land that guests can also bump for points. To participate in all these interactive features, you will need a Power-Up Band. 

These wearable wristbands sync with Universal Studios Hollywood’s app to allow guests to interact with different elements in the land, including keeping individual and team scores, collecting digital coins, and obtaining keys after winning challenges throughout the land. This is also the band you can scan when riding Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge to track your score on the ride.

Power-Up Bands are available for $40 each in designs featuring Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, and Yoshi. The bands are a slap bracelet design and can be purchased inside the retail store inside the land and at locations all around Universal Studios Hollywood.

You do need the Power-Up Bands to interact with any of the objects in the land otherwise the block makes the same noise as when you miss points in the game. This is a bit of a financial investment, especially if you have a large family with kids, so be prepared if your kids want to interact with any of the games. But I purchased a Power-Up Band for both myself and my son and we had a blast interacting with the land. We actually spent more time in this land than we did anywhere else. If anything, I might compare this a bit to the interactive wands in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and these are actually cheaper!

Super Nintendo World Interactive Gameplay

Guests can experience real-life gameplay in the land, including Punching Blocks to collect digital coins. There are interactive binoculars featuring augmented reality technology positioned within the land to experience allowing you to step into the world of Mario.

Four Key Challenges

There are main four Key Challenges in the land which allow you to collect keys from Goomba, Koopa Troopa, Piranha Plant, and Thwomp interactive activities to ultimately allow access to the culminating boss battle with Bowser Jr.

Goomba Key ChallengeSuper Nintendo World

The Goomba Key Challenge is fairly straight forward! There is a wheel you spin at the base of this game and you want to spin it as fast as you can so you knock the Goomba off the spinning grass. If you knock him down, you collect your key using your Power-Up Band.

This challenge is located near the left of the entrance.

Piranha Plant Key Challenge

The goal of this challenge is to defeat the iconic piranha plant by making sure it stays asleep. When the game begins, you will need to slam alarm clocks off when they ring to keep the plant sleeping. You can tell which are sleeping because the flashing light of the clock will turn red when the alarm goes off and white when it is silent.

This challenge is located to the right of the first game and is multiplayer so you can have up to four members of your group join you for this one.

Koopa Troop Key ChallengeSuper Nintendo World

Koopa Troop Key Challenge requires a bit of strategic timing making it trickier than the others! The goal of this game is get the turtle shell to pop out of the tube at the correct time to hit POW and knock out the Koopa Troop (the yellow turtle!) Wait about one second until the shell enters the green tube before hitting the POW.

You do have three chances to try which helps you adjust your timing to set off the POWS to knock the Koopa Troop out.

Thwomp Key ChallengeSuper Nintendo World

The Thwomp Key Challenge is an interactive screen game of turning tiles from yellow to blue. There’s a time limit but it’s a fairly simple process. You can have up to three players in your group with this game.

Bob-omb Kaboom Room Key

This is one of the trickier challenges, a giant Bob-omb destroyed one of the keys and you need to gather the pieces to put it back together. This puzzle game can have up to four players.

Bowser Jr. Shadow Showdown

Once you’ve collected at least three keys from the prior games, then you can take down the “boss” of the interactive games. Bowser Jr. is the boss to defeat and has a miniature castle housing this final game. You scan your Power-Up Band to enter this small dungeon and then learn the store of how he stole Princess Peach’s golden mushroom. The goal? You need to win it back! The queue for this interactive game includes poison mushrooms, clown cars, and boomerangs… plus graffiti all over the walls.

My son and I loved the interactive experiences in Super Nintendo World and it made the purchase of the Power-Up Bands worth it. However, the downside is that the lines for each of these experiences can get long with some reaching up to 60 minutes within the first three hours of the park opening. We decided to come back in the evening and then we waited just barely 15 minutes for most of the experiences.

Aside from the Key Challenges, you can also just explore the land and find plenty of Blocks to hit with your band and gain extra points plus hidden details like digital characters that appear on walls. So even if there is a line for the main games, you can still run around the land finding plenty to interact with.

The design choice with Super Nintendo World clearly wants to immerse guests in the land of Nintendo, just not as a character like some theme park experiences (see the Harry Potter Universal experience or Star Wars land at Disney) but as a player! The land succeeds at this! We had a blast playing all the interactive games and exploring the land to find other hidden gems to interact with. This experience is great since it allows you to become a player in the game just like the traditional Nintendo experience. And who doesn’t have some connection to Mario? This is the first time a theme park has even pulled me in enough to check anything interactive on an app but I found myself checking my scores throughout our day there and tracking how we did.

Super Nintendo World MerchandiseSuper Nintendo World

There are multiple shopping locations at Universal Studios Hollywood for guests to take advantage of to purchase Super Nintendo World merchandise. The main location for shopping inside Super Nintendo World is called the 1UP Factory right near the entrance to the land. Once you finish riding Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, you will exit the attraction into the store.

This store sells all the Power-Up Bands, plushes of all the characters, clothing, magnets, and anything else you may want to sport your Mario fandom.

You can also find merchandise inside the Feature Presentation retail store when you first enter Universal Studios Hollywood. This location is well stocked with new merchandise featuring Mario and Luigi apparel and iconic character hats and plush characters such as Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Bowser.

Super Nintendo World Universal Hollywood

Super Nintendo World Store on City Walk is accessible to guests outside the theme park, Nintendo fans can stock up on all merchandise for Super Nintendo World. This fully-themed store includes a huge variety of merchandise. If you are visiting CityWalk before your trip to Super Nintendo World, this is a good place to buy your Power-Up Bands and get set up before you enter the parks.

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About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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1 comment add your comment

  1. Can you stack entry into Super Nintendo World? If I get an early access pass and an Express Passticket would I be able to enter in the morning, then again later in the day with the Express pass?

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