It’s a-Mario time? Maybe it is, but maybe it isn't.
Recently, it was announced that a real-life Mario Kart is coming to NYC. The event is clearly a nod to the beloved, Japan-born go-karting experience called MariCar, during which revelers don the outfit of their favorite game character and zoom through the inner-city streets of Shibuya and Shinjuku among others.
Exploiting our weakness for nostalgia and reliving the glory of our Nintendo-playing days (okay, some of us never stopped), a company called Mushroom Rally offers “the ultimate costume go-karting experience” for folks located in 16 major cities across the U.S. including Miami, LA, Denver, Chicago and Dallas. (It's held on a race track instead of a street.)
After months of teasing, tickets for NYC’s race (set for October 2019 and located at a “secret location”) are officially for sale, and the company is charging $65 for a one-hour joy (?) ride. But if you’re thinking about fastening your denim overalls and revving up that engine, you may want to steer away from this Rainbow Road.
We dug into it, and according to various news reports, Mushroom Rally (which according to its older Instagram posts, formerly went by the name Mushroom Racing) hosted a similar event held in Melbourne which, as Australian site Hit.com says, “failed tremendously.” Another Aussie news organization, News.com, reported that “Mario Kart fans who forked out $100 for the rally of a lifetime were expecting a mushroom, but instead got a banana.” In the high-pitched voice of Princess Peach: “Ouch!”
The Fyre Festival of go-karting happened during summer of 2018 and included food, an after party and a few other perks. While some reviews were positive, other attendees had a very Bowser attitude about the experience.
According to a reviewer: “What we and hundreds of others got was just a few laps around a karting track in the middle of nowhere and a lot of time sitting in a 90s old fashioned entertainment room where they hope to make even more money on bad food and drinks.” We reckon they’re talking about this, uh, mushroom burger that's giving us a SpongeBob’s Pretty Patty vibe.
It's possible that after receiving so many complaints, the company reevaluated its business model and are now charging offering way less perks. Oh, and apparently changed its name?
To that point, the News.com article mentions that a spokesman for Mushroom Racing said, “We will continue to make improvements based on feedback and I thank you for your concerns. We will certainly be sending a feedback form to customers so that any improvements can be made going forward.”
Mushroom Rally also says that all racers for this year's round of events are competing to win a trip to Las Vegas for the national championship to win even more prizes later this year. We truly hope the experience is fun and worth your money, and not an oil slick.
If you dare to try it, get your tickets here.