Epic Universe — a high tech theme park scheduled to open in Orlando in 2025 — is the most anticipated thing in the theme park world right now. Universal has kept much about the new park under wraps, with rumors spreading among theme park fans and journalists regarding lands themed to the Wizarding World, How to Train Your Dragon, and Universal Monsters.
However, arguably the most anticipated element is also its only officially announced one: Super Nintendo World.
Universal and Nintendo first announced a working agreement in 2015, and many immediately began speculating on what kind of attractions the two entertainment titans could develop for theme parks. After six years of waiting — exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic — that speculation was answered with the 2021 opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan. A somewhat incomplete (we’ll get to that) version of the land opened at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2023.
While the Japan and Hollywood installations of Super Nintendo World were being planned and constructed, speculation ran rampant on when and where the property would be integrated into Universal Orlando. Initially, many theorized where a version of the land could fit into Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure. However that speculation fell by the wayside with the 2019 announcement of Epic Universe — with many assuming Nintendo would be the new park’s major draw.
While nothing was officially announced for several years, there was little doubt that Nintendo was coming to Epic Universe, to the point where even a few Comcast executives openly spoke about the land in the ensuing years. Finally in February of 2023, Universal Destinations & Experiences CEO Mark Woodbury officially confirmed the land’s presence in the park, referring to it as the “worst-kept secret in history.”
While no details have been officially released, we pretty much know exactly what Epic Universe’s Super Nintendo World will be like thanks to comparing the Universal Studios Japan and Hollywood versions to the available construction photos of the Orlando installation.
The land will feature the same self-contained, dual-level footprint, featuring architecture straight out of the Super Mario games and interactive elements that allow guests to collect coins, unlock special areas, and compete in various other mini-games featuring Nintendo and Mario characters including Koopa Troopa, a Piranha Plant, a Goomba, Thwomp, Bob-Omb, and Bowser Jr. All of this is accessible with the use of a Power-Band accessory.
According to most sources, the land will feature three main attractions:
Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge
This AR dark ride currently headlines both the Japanese and Hollywood versions of Super Nintendo World. The attraction uses practical sets and augmented reality images shown using specialty glasses to bring guests directly into the world of the popular spin-off video game series.
This slow-moving family omnimover ride brings guests around the land’s second level in ride vehicles shaped like the iconic character Yoshi. This attraction is not present at the Hollywood Super Nintendo World.
Donkey Kong Mine Cart Coaster
This currently unnamed attraction is currently under construction in Japan with a scheduled 2024 opening, as well as at Epic Universe. This revolutionary “boom coaster” style ride will allegedly feature the illusion of jumping over sections of missing and broken track. Like Yoshi’s Adventure, this attraction is also absent from the Universal Studios Hollywood version of the land, though rumors have suggested it could be added at some point.
In addition to the three headlining rides, the land will likely also feature meet and greets with Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach, the 1Up Factory Store, and the Toadstool Cafe restaurant. The Toadstool Cafe has proven particularly popular in both Japan and Hollywood thanks to its inventive Mario-themed dishes and presentation.
Which elements of Super Nintendo World at Epic Universe are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.