If you are a die-hard Mario fan like me, you have probably spent countless hours exploring the Mushroom Kingdom on your gaming console. But what if I told you that you could step into a real-life version of Mario's world? Yes, you heard that right! Join me on an exciting journey to Super Nintendo World in Osaka, Japan, where the beloved video game comes to life in the most delightful and unexpected ways. Curious? Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more adventures!
Super Nintendo World is what it sounds like - a real-life theme park attraction based on the iconic video game franchise created by Nintendo, particularly the Super Mario series. The moment I stepped inside, it felt like I had entered the Mushroom Kingdom. The colourful surroundings, interactive activities, and iconic music made it an immersive experience. Highlights included the Mario Kart ride, which was an absolute blast, and the Power-Up Band which allowed me to collect virtual coins and power-ups throughout the park.
Super Nintendo World is designed to look and feel like a real-life Mushroom Kingdom from the Super Mario games. As you walk through the park, you'll see familiar landscapes, such as Princess Peach's Castle, Bowser's Castle, and various Mario-themed environments. The flagship attraction of Super Nintendo World is the Mario Kart ride called "Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge." Visitors can hop into a physical kart and wear augmented reality (AR) headsets that provide an immersive racing experience. You'll race against other park-goers while encountering classic Mario Kart elements like power-ups and obstacles.
This is a whole immersive world at Universal Studios, and was an absolute gamer's dream come true. The way that Super Nintendo World is built within Universal Studios is super impressive - because once you are inside this theme park, you will feel like you have been absorbed into a land that is completely separate from Universal Studios. In fact, for a moment, you won’t even remember that you are in Japan! Just a world within a video game.
Now, one key tip that I would recommend to anyone going is getting the Power-Up bands. I know tickets for the actual park is already pricey, but remember - Japan is a super packed place and a theme park like this is always overpacked (yes even for those of you who are going super early in the morning and arriving there before the gates are open. Everyone has the same thing in mind). Having that said, even though the tickets are pricey, what’s it to your budget if you throw in a few more yen to buy an add on? Visitors can purchase Power-Up Bands, which are wearable wristbands that sync with a mobile app. These bands allow you to interact with the environment, collect digital coins, and engage in various activities throughout the park. They are a key part of the park's interactive experience and wholly worth it to really make the most of your time here.
Another must-experience when you are here is that Super Nintendo World also offers themed dining experiences with menus inspired by the Super Mario games. You can enjoy dishes like Super Mushroom Pizza which is super yummy. There is also a dessert served in question block-shaped containers, and dining at Super Nintendo World was a delightful experience for me that brought the games to life on my plate. But the restaurant runs on a ticketing system - which gives you a time slot. So my recommendation is the first thing you do when you get into the park, go straight for the restaurant to get a time slot for your meal and then go off to the games. Because by the time you are hungry, you have a time slot guaranteed for this very popular restaurant!
I also absolutely love that throughout the park, you can meet and take photos with beloved Mario characters like Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad. I snapped photos, collected autographs, and shared laughter with these beloved figures. It feels like Disneyland, except for Nintendo! And of course, there are numerous shops within the park where you can purchase exclusive Super Mario-themed merchandise, including clothing, toys, and collectables.
Keep in mind, a cool thing about Super Nintendo World is that it is designed with hidden secrets and interactive elements, encouraging visitors to explore and discover surprises. So make sure in between waiting in line for the character meet-and-greet, the games, and the restaurant that you also tap along the walls, look behind doors, and make time for getting curious throughout this land.
As I reluctantly bid farewell to Super Nintendo World, I couldn't help but wonder about the future. This enchanting world was expanding to other Universal theme parks around the globe, promising more opportunities for fans to experience the magic of the Mushroom Kingdom. Super Nintendo World was more than just a theme park; it was a journey into the heart of gaming. It brought the vivid landscapes, cherished characters, and thrilling races of the Super Mario series to life in ways that exceeded my wildest expectations. Whether you are a dedicated gamer or simply seeking a unique and enchanting adventure in Japan, Super Nintendo World is a place where dreams come true. Sayonara, Super Nintendo World - until we meet again!
Super Nintendo World, Osaka2-chōme-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana Ward, Osaka, 554-0031, Japan
We recommend to book your stays in Osaka in advance as it can get booked up quickly during certain periods. If you use this link, you pay the same price and we get a small commission - thanks for your support!
Want to plan a trip here? Build your own hotel+flight package with Live The World, or reach out for personalized advice from one of our travel experts.
Plan a trip with Maya - your AI travel assistant