Just two months ahead of Illumination’s animated movie, Universal Studios Hollywood will open the pipes to its newest themed land. Super Mario World will open into a newly expanded area of the park on Friday, Feb 17, 2023. (Japan has had its own version for a while now.) The land’s primary attraction? A Mario Kart ride that combines a track-based system with augmented virtual reality. But that’s not all.
Using the new power bands available for purchase, guests will be able to interact with various elements inside the park. Activate lights, sounds, and motion to collect virtual keys and enter a boss battle. Character meet and greets will include Mario, Luigi, Peach, and of course Toad, who appears daily at the Toadstool Cafe. Menu items there include Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots, Super Mushroom Soup, Piranha Plant Caprese, Mario Bacon Cheeseburger, Luigi Pesto Chicken Burger, ? Block Tiramisu and Princess Peach Cupcake.
Here’s the official description of the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride:
“This all-new, technologically-advanced ride, inspired by the popular Mario Kart™ video game series, will seamlessly fuse cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) with projection mapping technology and actual set pieces along a moving ride track. Set against a multi-sensory backdrop of color, sound and movement, guests will be seated in stadium-style, four-seat vehicles as they navigate familiar courses through the creative use and integration of head mounted AR goggles. This unique feature is a key point of differentiation that distinguishes this ride from other theme park attractions.”
“The premise of ‘Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is’ simple but equally inspiring and challenging, appealing to guests of all ages regardless of gaming experience. As part of Team Mario, guests will steer through underwater courses and courses in the clouds to compete for the Golden Cup while collecting coins to defeat Team Bowser and win. ‘Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge’ raises the stakes for guests as an intriguing and repeatable ride with a variety of outcomes.”
Naturally, lots of new and exclusive merchandise goes up for grabs at the new 1-UP Factory. What the land does not have that Japan’s does is the Yoshi omnimover ride, aimed at younger kids, which mostly just offers an overhead view of the land with a small handful of interior scenes.
Check out the video below for a quick glimpse of what’s in store:
Now, let us know what you think in comments!
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