Here’s our first look at Universal Studios’ upcoming Mario Kart ride


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Photo: Universal Studios

We still have months to go—with “early 2023” as approximate opening date—since start universal studios The new from Hollywood Super Nintendo Worldthe theme park companythe first attempt to import Universal Studios Japan’s well-received Mario-themed amusement area to the United States. (Similar additions are under construction at the company’s other U.S. parks, with later start dates.) Today, however, the theme park owner revealed plans for its first big ride to entice park-goers to ride down the Warp Pipe and check it out Super Nintendo World in Los Angeles Next year: Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.

As for the Mario brands translated into rides, Mario Kart– with cars and chaos, etc. – is a pretty natural fit. (It’s definitely better than our initial pitch, the Twisting Turning Turbulent Toadcoaster.) (Although just trying to tell us a Luigi’s mansion-the haunted house themed wouldn’t surprising.) Bowser’s Challenge is, in fact, an adaptation of an existing and tested game ride from Universal Studios Japan, which combines carriages on rails with augmented reality glasses to create the illusion that riders are actually on the track with Mario, Peach and, presumably, the fearsome Waluigi.

Now is that as cool as, say, just letting people drive karts on brightly colored terrain Mario Kart Classes? Not remotely. But that probably means a lot less legal liability for the park, and at least the kids will apparently be able to twist the steering wheel a bit to control the angle of their karts. (We will admit to being somewhat skeptical of the “indoor car with video/AR screens” all the rage in recent theme park ride design – give us a real coaster any day of the week – but Universal Studios promises this particular version of the tech is at least one of the most complex she has ever attempted to perform.)

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is set to open alongside Super Nintendo World in early 2023.


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