We’re still months out — with “early 2023” as an approximate opening date — from the debut of Universal Studios Hollywood’s new Super Nintendo Worldthe theme park company‘s first attempt to import Universal Studios Japan’s well-received Mario-themed attraction area to the States. (Similar additions are being built at the company’s other US parks, with later debut dates.) Today, though, the theme park owner revealed the plans for its first major ride to entice park goers to head down the Warp Pipe and check Super Nintendo World out in LA next year: Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.
As far as Mario brands being translated into rides go, Mario Kart—What with the cars and the chaos, etc. — is a pretty natural fit. (It’s certainly better than our initial pitch, the Twisting Turning Turbulent Toadcoaster.) (Although just try to tell us a Luigi’s Mansion-themed haunted house would not be amazing.) Bowser’s Challenge is, in fact, an adaptation of an existing and tested ride from Universal Studios Japan, which combines carts on rails with augmented reality goggles in order to create the illusion that riders are actually on the track with Mario, Peach, and, presumably, the dreaded Waluigi.
Now, this is as cool as, say, just letting people drive some go-karts on a brightly colored Mario Kart course? Not remotely. But it probably involves a lot less legal liability for the park, and at least kids will apparently be able to turn the wheel a little to control the angle of their karts. (We’ll admit to being somewhat skeptical of the “indoor car”) with video screens / AR ”trend in recent theme park ride design — give us a real coaster any day of the week — but Universal Studios is promising that this particular version of the tech is at least some of the most complex it’s ever tried to run .)
Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is slated to open alongside Super Nintendo World in early 2023.