It’s coming to America soon! Depending on when you read this, it may already be there! But, at the time of writing, it’s only available at Universal Studios Japan. So, how does it stack up? Is it worth the hype? What exactly can you experience here? Will all your Mario dreams come true?
There are two main attractions: Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure.
If you need a bit more visual language to help you understand, we have a handy video going over all of the details!
Mario Kart: Koopa’s Adventure takes you through an augmented reality game attraction where you get into a Mario go-kart, put on a set of AR glasses, and use your head to aim as you fire turtle shells at enemies that zip by in what feels like a frenzy of organized chaos. This is definitely the must-do attraction here! It has a single rider line, so if you don’t mind splitting up, you can get through very quickly! It’s good fun, but if glasses and moving your head around doesn’t sound appealing, you might be prone to motion sickness, be careful with this one.
Yoshi’s Adventure is a low-key slow-moving attraction where you enjoy some sights and views. There is a small game where you do push a colored button to match Yoshi’s you see on your adventure, but it’s really just a chill time. Seeing the animatronics and taking a minute or two to sit down and relax is a welcomed break in the day.
The food offered here is Mario-themed and pretty tasty! You can get your standard popcorn and soda, but the real treats start at the snack shack by Yoshi’s Adventure. Here, you can get different lassi as well as steamed buns. They also have fun power mushroom drinking cups, which are a delight to see. I tried the Koopa Shell steamed bun with cheese and yakisoba. It was very tasty and very filling (which isn’t much of a surprise considering its carbs in carbs).
You may be asking: This is the Mushroom Kingdom. Can you get mushroom dishes? Is that considered cannibalism by the Toads? The answers are yes and apparently not! They also have Mario twists on Japanese foreign favorites like curry, burgers, and tiramisu. I opted for the Luigi Burger with green curry as a topping and a question mark block tiramisu. Everything seemed reasonably priced and was pretty tasty. The flavors and selection won’t blow you away by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s still a very delightful offering that should leave you feeling satisfied.
One fun part of your trip will include meeting Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach.
I didn’t go up and meet any of them personally, which is a fantastic bonus: They are just out and about and you can enjoy their presence without needing to interact with them. Plus, it’s a lot more fun to watch children meet these characters, say hello, and do goofy things with them! I really enjoyed Toad quite a bit: Something about oversized, slightly stumpy characters who have difficulty moving really appeals to me.
Despite the “Nintendo” name, for now, it’s all Mario, baby! I wore my Tom Nook aloha shirt (from New Horizons), but there was nary an Animal Crossing good to be seen. It’s better to go to the official Nintendo Store in Shibuya if you’re looking for non-Mario merchandise. I did have one employee comment to me on my shirt, which I enjoyed. That man at Kinopio’s Cafe is the true superstar of my trip!
What do you all think? Is your interest piqued? Or will you wait for more to be added before you go? Let us know in the comments below!