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Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge
Photograph: Courtesy Universal Studios Hollywood

There’s a Mario Kart ride coming to Universal Studios Hollywood

“Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge” will be the signature attraction at Super Nintendo World.

Michael Juliano
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Michael Juliano
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Get ready to bombard Bowser and his Koopalings with a bunch of shells, because a real-life Mario Kart ride is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood.

“Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge” will be the centerpiece attraction at the upcoming Super Nintendo World, which is now due to open in early 2023 (the last update from the theme park had targeted a broader 2023 window).

Like the version of the ride that debuted in Japan last year, the video game-inspired attraction will combine colorful Mario environments with digital screens and a bit of augmented reality magic. Each four-person, stadium-seat-style kart will come equipped with augmented reality goggles: It’s through those that you’ll see the shell-filled mayhem portion of the ride play out. As you careen and spin through the constructed scenes, you’ll grip a steering wheel and buttons that won’t control the physical vehicle but will allow you to steer and fire shells from your AR racer. You and the three other passengers in your kart—you’ll all be repping Team Mario—will be working together to gather enough coins to defeat Team Bowser.

If you can’t quite picture all of that, the teaser video below from Universal Studios Hollywood gives a much better sense of how it all comes together.

“Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge” will be the only ride in the currently under construction themed land; the Osaka originator also features a Yoshi-themed traditional dark ride that won’t be making the jump into the Universal City theme park.

You will, however, find plenty of interactive areas, themed dining and shopping when the land’s warp pipe opens in 2023. Oh, and we mean that literally: You’ll enter via a green pipe in the park’s lower lot, tucked into an area behind the Transformers and Jurassic World attractions.

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