Super Nintendo World inside Universal Studios Hollywood is toadally awesome. For such a small space, it packs an incredible punch and is sure to make your jaw drop when you emerge from the green warp pipe.
To make your experience the best, we’ve put together this Super Nintendo Hollywood guide to help you avoid Koopa shells that come your way, to have a really good idea of what to expect before you go, and to give you tangible 1-Up tips that you won’t find anywhere else.
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How to save money on your trip
- Accommodations: Booking.com is our go-to platform especially if you have Genius tier where you can find an additional 10-20% off places to stay.
- Car Rentals: If you haven’t tried using car rental coupon codes, you’re missing out!
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- Activities: Undercover Tourist and Klook are great for Universal Studios Hollywood but for other parts of Los Angeles and California, check Viator as well.
Here's what we're covering:
- Ultimate Super Nintendo World Hollywood Guide
- Super Nintendo World Concept
- Getting into Super Nintendo World
- Super Nintendo World Power-Up Band
- Super Nintendo World in Universal CA App
- Key Challenges
- Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge
- Toadstool Café
- How is Super Nintendo World for kids?
- Snack and drink options
- Best places for photos in Super Nintendo World Hollywood
- 15 Super Nintendo World Hollywood Tips
- Super Nintendo World Universal Is Pretty Awesome
- Frequently Asked Questions
Ultimate Super Nintendo World Hollywood Guide
So we’ve covered all of the must-know Universal Studios Hollywood tips but there’s considerably more about Super Nintendo World that you should be primed on before you go.
This new section of Universal Studios Hollywood, while not particularly large, manages to pack a ton that needs to be explored, and some things that are a bit more hidden. Luck for you, we uncover all that you need to know.
We’ll break things down by some of the big topics and delve into the details and common questions.
About Super Nintendo World
This all started when in May of 2015, a partnership was announced between Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts as a way to boost the declining gaming revenue and console market share.
The very first Super Nintendo World was built in Universal Studios Japan in Osaka and soft-opened on December 26, 2020 and officially opened February 4, 2021.
Parallel to its construction in Osaka, construction broke ground at Universal Studios Hollywood in early 2019 and eventually opened on February 17, 2023 which was perfect timing for the release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie a month and a half later.
Work has already begun on building a Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Singapore and the upcoming Universal Epic Universe at Universal Orlando Resort which would mean a total of 4 in the world.
Super Nintendo World Concept
Centered primarily on the Mario franchise, Super Nintendo World is very much a living video game, making it incredibly immersive and interactive.
At the entrance, you walk through a tunnel that has spiral lights that make it feel like you’re being transported into a new world. You emerge from Princess Peach’s castle and in front of you is a sensory overload with the intimidating Bowser’s castle, mushrooms sliding back and forth, enticing coins spinning, chomping Piranha Plant, and more.
While the footprint of Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Hollywood isn’t necessarily large, every inch is packed with Mario and Nintendo easter eggs.
Then combine it with the real-life Mario Kart ride, character meet and greets, the mini games, and how the Power-Up Band unlocks so many secrets, it’s a world that packs a POW.
Getting into Super Nintendo World
Super Nintendo World is inside Universal Studios Hollywood and to access it, there are several ways to get in.
- General Admission – This is the basic park ticket gives you access to the theme park including Super Nintendo World.
- VIP Experience – A premium admission ticket that grants you immediate access at any time and allows you to join a special queue for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge (unlimited use).
- VIP Theme Park Experience – This is a secret tour that is only available as an upgrade at the VIP entrance. You can only upgrade on the day of. It’s similar to the VIP Experience except it doesn’t include the studio backlot tour. It also gets you immediate access anytime and Unlimited Express access including Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge (unlimited use).
- Super Nintendo World Early Access Ticket – Allows you to exclusively enter Super Nintendo World an hour before the park opens. This is an add on to the General Admission ticket.
- Virtual Line – When Super Nintendo World is at capacity, they start a virtual queue. You can access this through the Universal CA app.
Does Express Pass work at Super Nintendo World?
The Express Pass has limited use in Super Nintendo World as the ride, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge does not have an Express Pass line.
The only advantage you get with the Express Pass is that you can bypass the Virtual Line if it’s up to enter Super Nintendo World. You’ll be able to do this once a day.
Where to buy your tickets?
We recommend Undercover Tourist for your Universal Studios Hollywood tickets because they offer savings from the listed price. They offer the full range of tickets and is accessible to everyone.
Super Nintendo World Power-Up Band
The most important part about Super Nintendo World is the technological wizardry that allows you to truly interact with the land.
Naturally though, if this is your first time, you’re probably asking yourself, “do I need one?”, “what does it do?”, “how does it work?” and “can I get away without buying it?”.
Here’s the full lowdown of the Power-Up Band.
Where can you buy the Power-Up Band?
You’ll be able to buy the Power-Up Band at any of the Super Nintendo World themed stores. At Universal Studios Hollywood, you’ll find them here:
- 1-UP Factory Store in Super Nintendo World – This is the main and only store in this world.
- Power-Up Band Vending Machines – Next to Piranha Plant Nap Mishap is a line for to use 1 of 5 vending machines where you can buy your Power-Up Band.
- Lower Lot Super Nintendo World Store – This is across from Revenge of the Mummy.
- Universal Store – In the Upper Lot, there’s the main store on your left side as you enter into the park.
- Feature Presentation Store – Opposite to the Universal store is the Super Nintendo World Pop-Up Store on your right side.
- Super Nintendo World Store in CityWalk – This is the only store outside of the park. Keep in mind that CityWalk’s hours are different from Universal Studios so make sure to check the calendar.
Currently, the price of the Power-Up Band is $40 + tax and the following characters are available:
- Princess Peach
- Princess Daisy
How to activate the Power-Up Band?
When you buy the band from one of the Universal Studios Hollywood stores, the band is immediately activated and ready to use.
However, in order to see your score on the Universal CA app, you need to create an account for the Super Nintendo World game section by scanning the QR code at the back of the Power-Up Band. More on that further below.
Do you need to buy the Power-Up Band?
Can you experience Super Nintendo World without the $40 Power-Up Band? Yes, it’s fully optional, like the wands from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter but at the same time, you won’t be able to have the full experience.
Admittedly, Super Nintendo World doesn’t really do a good job at explaining any of this when you get there. It’s only through asking the staff how the bands work that you’ll realize that you kind of need it if you want to do everything here.
The Power-Up Band essentially uses RFID (radio-frequency identification), allowing you to tap in and out of games and interactive components. This is all intelligently tracked and helps you keep score, participate in team-wide competition, and collect digital stamps.
Without a Power-Up Band, you can do the main ride (Bowser’s Challenge) and play all 4 mini games. You can also still punch the blocks but without the band, it won’t make any sound effects.
The one thing that you absolutely need the Power-Up Band for is access to the boss challenge – Bowser Jr.’s Shadow Showdown.
Ultimately, you won’t be able to fully experience the world as the designers intended without the Power-Up Band.
What can you do with the Power-Up Band?
Aside from being a pretty cool band to wear while you’re at Universal Studios Hollywood and goes well with any costume, you might be wondering what you can do with the Power-Up Band.
Here’s a full list of what the Power-Up Band unlocks:
- When you punch the Question Blocks, Brick Blocks, and POW Blocks, you’ll hear the coin audio queue to let you know they’ve gone into your account.
- Collect keys when completing Key Challenges.
- Tap to receive credit for seeing Peach, Mario, or Luigi.
- Tap hidden areas to reveal cool 8-bit art.
- Tap into Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge to get credit for your score and how well you play.
- Access to the final boss challenge called Bowser Jr.’s Shadow Showdown.
- As you discover new secrets of Super Nintendo World and complete games, tap hidden areas, and achieve high scores, you’ll receive digital stamps on your account (through the Universal CA app).
- Outside of Super Nintendo World, you can actually use your character as an amiibo with the Nintendo Switch.
What do you miss without the Power-Up Band?
Ultimately, the big thing you will miss by not having a Power-Up Band is collecting the 3 keys to play the secret Bowser Jr.’s Shadow Showdown game.
Without the band, you also won’t hear the coin sounds from the blocks and you can’t interact with areas of the world that are designed for it, such as the reveal of 8-bit wall art.
Which character Power-Up Band should you pick?
There’s no wrong answer here. Pick whatever character speaks out to you the most but know that the one you pick will be the “team” you belong to.
The team you’re on doesn’t matter too much except for team rankings that occur every 60 minutes. If you’ve been active in the world and your team earns the most “team average of coins”, you’ll get a Crown and that unlocks a sticker and you’ll receive bonus coins as a reward.
For the completionists out there, there’s a stamp called “Royalty” which can be achieved if you “Earn more than 1 crown in a day in the hourly Team Competition”.
Is the Power-Up Band comfortable to wear?
If you grew up in the 90s, you’ll remember the slap bracelets. The Power-Up bands have a similar design except in the middle is a big circular block that indicates your character and houses the RFID mechanism.
With the RFID block in the middle, you can’t actually slap it on your wrist and have it fully wrap around. If you try, it only partially wraps and requires you to manually do the rest.
The band itself is made of a grippy rubber material and on the backside of the band are the QR code, serial number, and a few other labels. These are printed on and seem to withstand quite a bit of abuse and sweating. It’s quite durable and well-designed.
Comfort wise, you won’t find the band irritating to the skin and can be adjusted to fit all wrist sizes including small children.
The one fault we could find with the band is that since there’s no locking mechanism for the Power-Up Band, you’ll find that when you hit those blocks, the band will become loose. It also isn’t possible to have it secured super tight on your wrist so sometimes do feel like it might come loose.
Ironically, upon further inspection of the rules, you’re not supposed to hit the blocks with the Power-Up Band itself. Instead, you’re supposed to punch it with your first. Of course, there are no instructions anywhere in the park with this it’s natural to think that this is what you’re supposed to do.
TIP: You might be tempted to take the band off and put it in your pocket but the sensors might not pick up your character so make sure to put it back on your wrist if you’ve temporarily put it elsewhere.
Do you need to charge the Power-Up Band?
Thanks to RFID technology, which happens to be the same that’s used in the wands in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, they are completely passive in that they don’t use batteries and therefore don’t need to be charged.
Is the Power-Up Band worth it?
The Super Nintendo World Power-Up Band truly does unlock the full WOW-factor of Super Nintendo World. With it, you’ll be able to play in the world as it was intended to.
The other added benefit of having one is that you’ll be able to use it for future visits to Super Nintendo World including the one in Tokyo and the future ones in Orlando and Singapore.
And if all of that doesn’t matter, it makes a pretty cool (albeit expensive) souvenir.
Super Nintendo World in Universal CA App
The Power-Up Band is what’ll unlock all of the fun available in Super Nintendo World Hollywood but if you want a way to see the scoring elements of the game, you’ll need the Universal CA app. Within the app is the Super Nintendo World game.
By opening the Super Nintendo World game, you’ll be able to access your score, see how you’re doing, and check all of the stamps you’ve collected.
While it’s true that you can jump right into using your Power-Up Band after purchasing it, we recommend that you set this up once you have it so you can have the complete experience of seeing your progress as you play.
Pairing the Power-Up Band in the game
Once you download the Universal CA app, navigate to the Super Nintendo World section and from there, you’ll see the “Play” button. This launches the Super Nintendo World game.
The first step is to pair your Power-Up Band. Flipping the band over, the app will ask to scan its QR code. You’ll then be able to create a name for your character, pick from a selection of poses, and also pick your character’s primary colour from a list.
Super Nintendo World game features
The good news is that the Super Nintendo World game in the app isn’t meant to be something you need to be glued to. It’s simply a way to see the progress you’ve made.
Here are the specific things that you can check:
- Check how many coins you’ve accumulated.
- Check how many keys you’ve collected
- Check your stamp collection which is broken into 3 pages. If you have new stamps, it’ll be indicated with a “!”.
- Browse the map of Super Nintendo World Hollywood, allowing you to filter between locations for blocks, hidden interactions, Key Challenges, main attractions, and meet & greets.
- Check your rank (team, daily, all time, Mario Kart, and Bowser Jr.).
- Follow friends – You’ll find this feature by going to Options and selecting “Follow Players”.
What do the coins you collect do?
Like in the TV show, Whose Line Is It Anyways?, the points don’t matter. It’s purely a gamification of the world and so are the stamps you collect.
You also can’t convert them to physical objects like the tickets you get at Chuck-e-Cheese. They’re for fun and a bit of competition amongst your friends.
Still, it’s one of those things that you can’t help yourself wanting to get more of! Trust me.
How do the stamps work?
One of the (evil) geniuses of Super Nintendo World is that as you complete certain tasks, you can collect stamps to your account. These are digital stamps and really have no value but for the completionists out there, you’ll want to try to get as many as you can.
The thing is, there’s no way you can get them all with one visit. Currently, there are 128 stamps and they are sure to add more.
A few examples of tasks are:
- Punch any Brick Block
- Use the Binoculars to zoom in on Rosalina
- Ride Mario Kart 5 times
- Collect a 1-Up Mushroom power-up
- Find 8-Bit Bowser
- Defeat Bowser Jr.
Each stamp earns you coins and many of them are repeatable.
These stamps stay with your account and in subsequent visits, you’ll continue to build up your collection by playing more.
If you want to see all of the challenges in one place, see this stamp guide.
What happens if you don’t use the Universal CA app?
If for some reason you decide you don’t want the Universal CA app or don’t have time to set it up, will you run into any issues? The answer is no.
Super Nintendo World also has you covered with their Checkpoint Flag, on the right side which has a collection of giant touch screens that effectively replicate the Super Nintendo World game. Simply tap your band and it’ll load up your profile.
TIP: Checkpoint Flag is one of the stamps so simply tap in to get credit for it!
There are 4 Key Challenges in Super Nintendo World that are mini-games that lead up to the boss fight with Bowser Jr. All you need to do is beat 3 of the 4 challenges.
Here are each 4 and what you need to know about them:
- Thwomp Power Panel Panic – This is the lone indoor game. As a team, you’ll be tapping on a huge panel of screens with the goal of flipping all the cards to the same color before Thwomp strikes down. This is easy to moderate and requires some coordination with your team.
- Koopa Troopa POWer Punch – As an individual, you get to punch the POW Block and you have to time it just right so that this pops the sliding spinning shell pops out of the top. The timing is quite specific and was the one we saw a lot of people fail. It gives you 3 attempts before the game ends. Study the timing as you’re in line. There is no cover for this game so be prepared to be in the sun.
- Piranha Plant Nap Mishap – This is a group game where your team will run around the floor to turn off alarm clocks, preventing the Piranha Plant from waking up. The key is to have as many people as possible so each person can focus on a few alarm clocks. You also don’t have to smash the top of the alarm clock – instead, push down with force. This is a easy to moderate game. This is usually one of the slowest lines because the game takes so long to play. It is also exposed to the sun.
- Goomba Crazy Crank – This is perhaps the easiest game where the idea is that you turn a crank to try to knock the running Goomba off of the spinning wheel. You don’t even need to spin that much. As long as it’s a continuous spin with decent speed, you’ll finish it. This is also fully in the sun.
You’ll find that the Super Nintendo World staff are really good about explaining how to play, provide tips for how to win, and assist you if you’re having trouble.
TIP: For all of these games, remember to tap your Power-Up Band to claim your key.
The Bowser Jr.’s Shadow Showdown is an unlisted game on the Universal Studios Hollywood site because it’s meant to be a bit of a secret. In order to enter Bowser Jr.’s castle, tap your Power-Up Band at the keyhole and it’ll glow green and play a sound if you’ve collected all 3 keys. There is also a sign outside with an estimated wait time.
As a group, you’ll take on Bowser Jr. by dodging Bullet Bill and flames, deflecting Bob-ombs that fall, and jumping to hit Question Blocks to get power ups. All this is magically done through motion capture. It’s quite the ingenious ride and you’ll absolutely love how your shadow is replicated on screen – especially when you jump! The game is totally chaotic and a frenzy of wild flailing but so fun at the same time.
You can do all of the Key Challenges without a Power-Up Band but there’s almost no point because you won’t be able to do the Shadow Showdown.
Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge
This is the lone ride you’ll find in Universal Studios Hollywood’s Super Nintendo World and it is easily the best ride in all of the park (with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey a close second).
The idea of the ride is that you’re entering Bowser’s Castle to fight against Team Bowser. As Team Mario, you’ll steer your Mario Kart through a course, collecting coins and throwing shells to try to win the Golden Cup.
- Minimum height – 40″ (102cm)
- Supervising companion required for under 458″ (122cm)
Types of lines
There are 3 types of lines for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge:
- Standard line – This is the regular standby queue
- Single Rider line – If you are solo or willing to split up with your group, this is a significantly shorter line. This line closes earlier in the evening.
- VIP line – If you have a VIP Experience or VIP Theme Park Experience ticket, there’s an expedited line that is similar to the Express Pass line.
How the ride works
Before you even get into your kart, you’ll be touring through the castle, incredibly detailed artifacts including plans to defeat Team Mario, trophies, medallions, and even a factory where they he makes Bob-omb and Mecha-Koopa.
TIP: When you get to the second floor of Bowser’s Castle in the queue, you’ll see this water fountain station, the only other one in Super Nintendo World.
As an augmented reality game, you’ll first receive your Mario visors that resemble a hat in the first pre-show room. These are easily adjustable with the knob in the back.
You’ll receive more instructions in the second pre-show room where you’ll learn about the objective of the ride, how to steer, who to shoot, how to look around with your glasses, how to aim, and who not to shoot.
You’ll finally arrive at the karts themselves which are 4-person vehicles that move on a track. Once you’re seated, you’ll attach the lenses to your visor. In the vehicle, you’ll have plenty of space to put your backpack by your feet. In front of you is also a steering wheel with buttons on both sides that can be used to shoot shells when you acquire them.
TIP: When you sit down, remember to tap your Power-Up Band on the steering wheel to make sure you get credit for the ride. It’s easy to forget in the midst of your excitement and there isn’t a prompt either.
As your kart drives through the multi-environment course, projected to your lens are the other characters in the race and enemies. Along the way, you’ll be required to collaborate with your teammates to steer the kart in the right direction and along the way, shoot Team Bowser karts and enemies that appear.
You won’t have an unlimited stock of Koopa Shell ammo so use it wisely. You’ll also have to get used to turning your head side to side to aim at the enemies that you want to shoot.
If your kart of 4 cumulatively gets 100 points, Team Mario wins the race. If you don’t, Team Bowser wins. As you come back to the starting point, you’ll see on screens your scores.
The average wait time for this ride is 2 hours so be prepared. This is why the Super Nintendo World Early Access Ticket is worth it.
Toadstool Café is the only restaurant in Super Nintendo World. It’s a playful eatery that brings you into the Mushroom Kingdom and is colorfully decorated with all things Toad.
Run by Chef Toad, this a mushroom-forward restaurant and has an Italian-themed menu. Expect all food items to be on-brand with a menu that features question blocks, Mario jumping towards the flag, and a bunch of collectables.
Securing Toadstool Café reservations
As we cover in Tip #5 of our Universal Studios Hollywood Tips, getting a reservation to Toadstool Café is highly competitive and requires early planning.
Officially, you’re supposed to show up to Toadstool Café, realize that they’re waitlist only, scan the QR code, and make reservations on the spot. The issue with this is that those in the know will have already snatched all the slots before you even get down to Super Nintendo World.
Through this Toadstool Café reservation link, you can actually make reservations on the day of. Slots are said to become available when the park opens but from our personal experience, it showed up 15 minutes prior.
Once they appear, pick your desired time. We recommend going outside of prime dining hours for lunch and dinner but the reality is that you should just pick something that works best for your group.
For all tips on making your reservation, check our guide with our best Universal Studios Hollywood tips.
TIP: If you happen to go during the low season or it doesn’t look busy, it doesn’t hurt to drop by and ask if you can just walk in.
TIP 2: You might notice “Sorry! Fully Booked For Today” sign up in the morning but later on in the day, they’ll switch it to “Join the Wait-List” so make sure to check throughout the day if you don’t have any luck getting a spot initially.
For guests that are hoping to walk in because it’s a “quick service” restaurant will be sorely disappointed. As it stands right now, they’re truly a victim of their own success.
Originally intended to be a quick eatery, they’ve simply been mobbed by popularity and as a result, they are forced to use a reservation system to manage the capacity and the kitchen can barely keep up.
In many ways, Toadstool Café feels like another ride that you need to line up for including multiple stages. Here’s what you can expect when you step inside.
- After entering Toadstool Café, you’ll get into a snaking queue. At the end of the queue, a staff member will directed to one of the columns that lead to a cashier.
- When you make it to the cashier, you’ll be able to place your. Drinks are served to you right there. You can pay by cash or credit card and you’ll receive two receipts.
- Join another line that leads to the host that assigns groups to tables.
- The host will ask for your group size and take one of the receipts. It’s at this point that the food order actually gets pushed through to the kitchen and is assigned your table number.
- You’ll be guided to your table where you will then wait.
We’re not exaggerating when we say that on a busy day, during prime eating hours, the food can easily take 30 minutes or more to get to your table after you finally get seated.
If you add all of it up, we recommend you plan for 1.5 -2 hours at Toadstool Café.
Toadstool Café menu items
Everything on the Toadstool Café item is on-brand and brilliantly incorporates characters from the world of Mario in creative ways.
Starters & Salads:
- Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots – garlic bread in the shape of mushrooms
- Piranha Plant Caprese (GF) – Super cute salad where the tomatoes dotted with cheese circles make the Piranha Plant.
- Yoshi’s Favorite Fruit & Veggie Salad (Veg) – This comes with special Yoshi egg-shaped croutons.
- Super Mushroom Soup (Veg)- Creamy soup topped with Super Mushroom crackers and is served in a souvenir mushroom bowl.
- Tomato Soup (Veg, GF) – Basic tomato soup that also comes in the same souvenir mushroom bowl as the above.
- Super Star Chicken Salad – Romaine and cabbage salad with Super Star parmesan, and giant star crouton.
- Chef Toad’s Short Rib Special – A braised short rib over mashed potato and gravy that has Chef Toad cracker on top.
- Bowser’s Fireball Challenge (Spicy)- Giant meatball topped with mozerella cheese over a marinara sauce that has a bit of a kick. It comes with a black Bowser flag and the bowl itself is a souvenir you can take home.
- Mario Burger – Bacon and mushroom cheeseburger with a side of fries. On top of the bun is Mario’s hat (which you can keep) and moustache (blackened onto the brioche bun).
- Luigi Burger – Pesto grilled chicken burger with a side of fries. On top of the bun is Luigi’s hat (which you can keep) and moustache (blackened onto the brioche bun).
- Fire Flower Spaghetti and Meatballs – Classic dish where a trio of meatballs sit on spaghetti and is topped with Parmesan crisp that has Fire Flower printed on it.
- ? Block Tiramisu – Square-shaped biscuits give it the cube shape and inside is the tiramisu cake.
- Mt. Beanpole Cake – A chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry layered cake and is topped with a matcha mouse and has a red Mario flag (which you can keep) and white chocolate medallion with a Star printed on it.
- Princess Peach Cupcake – Raspberry-filled Funfetti cupcake and has a Princess Peach chocolate crown on top.
- Mario Mini Burger Adventure Set – Combo that includes a cheeseburger, fries, corn on the cob, brocolli, and a ? box that has a chocolate covered biscuit in the shape of a coin. You’ll also get a jumping Mario figure and red Mario flag that you’ll be able to take home.
- Power-Up Spaghetti Marinara (Veg) – Spaghetti that has 3 different Parmesan crisps with Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Star.
- Super Star Lemon Squash – A mix of honey lemon soda with mango stars and tropical boba.
- Collectible Drink Bottles – These are the super cute Super Mushroom (red) or 1-Up Mushroom (green) bottles that come with a lanyard. These cost $20 and comes with one drink. Subsequent refills cost $1.50 for the day of purchase (they will check your receipt).
- Fountain Soda
- Premium Water
- Milk (regular or chocolate)
- Juice (apple or orange)
- Hot Tea or Coffee
- Hot Chocolate
TIP: You can ask for tap water. They’ll fill up small plastic cups when they fulfil your order. Don’t be afraid to ask for multiple cups if you want more water.
- At the cashier, you can purchase a plate ware set for $20.
TIP: On the menu, look for the red shopping bag icon to identify which items come with a collectible souvenir that you can take home.
TIP 2: Make sure you order everything on your initial visit to the cashier because otherwise, you’ll have to get back into one of the cashier columns.
Fun features of Toadstool Café
Throughout the interior of the restaurant are screens that show Chef Toad’s sous chefs and line cooks prepare your food.
At least once or twice during your meal, you’ll notice the lights in the restaurant dim, dramatic music takes over, and the screens show that Team Bowser makes an impromptu visit to Toadstool Café.
TIP: It’s easy to miss but just inside Toadstool Café is a tap-point for your Power-Up Band on the left side.
Verdict on the food
We didn’t get to eat every single item on the menu but we definitely got a good sense of the quality of the food.
Overall, I’d say that the food is on the saltier and overpowering side of things when it comes to sauces. For the short rib, burger patties, chicken, and meatballs, we found it to be overcooked and dry.
On the other hand, the ambiance, decor, and presentation make up for the lacklustre food quality. The surroundings, the table, and every plate of food blew us away with how well they integrated the Mario theme. It is also a very nice touch that several items come with little souvenirs for you take home.
We consider these items as must-orders:
- Super Mushroom Soup – the souvenir Mushroom bowl is one of the best souvenirs you can get at Super Nintendo World.
- Mario Mini Burger Adventure Set – This is what I ended up ordering and while the burger was really basic, it’s one of the more affordable items on the menu, comes with a bunch of toys you can take home, and includes veggies which I appreciated.
- Mario/Luigi Burger – I think that mini hats are really cool.
- ? Block Tiramisu – The tiramisu itself isn’t going to blow you away but it’s a decent desert that looks great in photos.
TIP: For the souvenir plate that comes with Bowser’s Fireball Challenge, you can ask your server to bring you a brand new one which is boxed and bagged.
Want to better plan your full day at Universal Studios Hollywood?
Are you spending a full day and want to make sure you put together a kick-ass trip that covers Super Nintendo World and the rest of the park?
How is Super Nintendo World for kids?
This is a question that I’ve received from numerous people and the answer is that it works incredibly well with young kids. There were in fact more children here than in most other parts of Universal Studios Hollywood.
The reason is because aside from the one ride in the world, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, which has a height limit of 40″ (102cm), the Key Challenges (mini games) do not. The Key Challenges themselves are designed to be easy as well so there’s a chance for kids to win (perhaps with the help of staff or parent).
Super kid friendly are the character encounters they have at Super Nintendo World where you can meet Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad throughout the day.
Another kid-friendly design are the various Question, Brick, and POW Blocks that are scattered throughout the land. Most of these blocks are set up waist-high for adults which makes it perfect for kids to walk underneath and easily punch the blocks above them over and over again.
If you have a stroller, the official policy is that no strollers are allowed inside and this is done to reduce the amount of space and traffic they might create inside. You are supposed to park them to the right of the Transformers ride.
Overall, you’ll find that the world is enclosed and self-contained so it’s relatively easy to keep a close watch on your kids, there’s a decent amount of seating if you need a break, and there’s just so much to do in this one area to keep your kids occupied for a long time.
Snack and drink options
Outside of Toadstool Café, there are a few other options to choose from.
In Super Nintendo World, there’s a drink stand that serves an assortment of sodas:
- Princess Peach’s Peach Soda
- Mario’s Strawberry Soda
- Luigi’s Green Apple Soda
Outside of Super Nintendo World, there’s a store in the Lower Lot that also sells Mario Kart and Super Star popcorn buckets that you can wear around your neck if you really want to go all out!
Best places for photos in Super Nintendo World Hollywood
Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Hollywood is incredibly photogenic. In addition to zooming in on all the fun details, if you’re looking for spots that are great for group photos, here are our favorites.
- Entrance Green Warp Pipes – Before you enter into Super Nintendo World Hollywood, you’ll see 3 green pipes and the main sign above it. This is the classic group photo location.
- Underneath the Long Question Block – Tucked away to the right of Bowser Jr.’s Shadow Showdown entrance is block that makes for a great jumping photo.
- Character Meet & Greet – The two main places to meet characters are in the centre for Mario and Luigi and in the gazebo by Princess Peach’s castle.
- Right When You Emerge – Every angle from the grounds works but we love the wide angle shot of Super Nintendo World right when you walk in.
- Mario & Luigi’s Meet and Greet Spot – Take advantage of the area in the middle when Mario and Luigi aren’t there. There’s the perfect blend of Question Block, Piranha Plant, large green pipe, and Goomba.
There is one restroom facility inside Super Nintendo World Hollywood. It’s located on the far back right corner of the land and to the right of Toadstool Café.
Towards the right side of the restrooms is a water fountain station including a way to refill your water bottles as well.
15 Super Nintendo World Hollywood Tips
Your time at Super Nintendo World will be truly magical but what’ll make it even better is if you know about these handful of tips so you don’t make the same mistakes that many first-timers make.
You’ll find many of these in our Universal Studios Hollywood Tips article but this list is focused on Super Nintendo World specifically.
- The Super Nintendo World Early Access ticket is totally worth it if you want to get ahead of the masses. With it, you’ll get entry one hour before park operating hours. This sells out fast so make sure to buy it as soon as possible. The cost starts at $20 and goes up to $30 per person.
- The Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge line doesn’t dwindle until the very end of the night so your strategy should be to head to Super Nintendo World first thing in the morning and get into line for the ride right away.
- Make sure to download the Universal CA app ahead of time. This way, you’ll have it ready to go when you load up the Super Nintendo World portion of the app and register your Power-Up Band to your account.
- Think ahead of time what character you’d like to get for your Power-Up Band so you can be decisive when it’s time to buy it.
- If you can, buy the Power-Up Band ahead of your visit or first thing in the morning. That way, you’ll be able to track your activity in the world right from the start.
- The lines for the Key Challenges can get quite long in the middle of the day. You’re better off doing them in the evening when the line dwindles.
- There’s are two somewhat hidden stairs up to the second floor which has more blocks to punch, binoculars, and 8-bit art so make sure to seek them out.
- The Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge single rider line closes at 7PM (might vary throughout the year so check with staff) so don’t expect to use this into the evening.
- If you’re super serious about collecting as many stickers as you can, make sure to tap all of the stickers to know what you need to do to achieve them. Many of them you won’t be able to do unless you come back to the park multiple times.
- After you create you’ve added your Power-Up Band in the Universal CA app, there’s a feature to “Follow Players”. This allows you to add friends so you can see their score.
- If you don’t have time to add the Power-Up Band to the app, that’s okay. You can do it later and you can always use one of the public access terminals (called Checkpoint Flag) to check.
- There’s a water fountain including water bottle filling station in the bathroom at the back.
- The main character meet & greets are with Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach. They show up in specific areas of Super Nintendo World and they have times posted. They don’t list their full day’s schedule so you’ll need to look at those signs. Keep track of those and line up early. Toad and Yoshi do come out as well but they don’t have fixed meet & greet locations.
- Wear sunscreen! There are some shaded areas beneath the mushroom chairs but in the middle of the afternoon, it’s pretty hard to avoid the sun, especially if you’re in line for a meet & greet or one of the mini games.
- If you’re looking for unlimited express access to Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, look into getting the VIP Experience or secret VIP Theme Park Experience (upgrade at the VIP gate on the day of). It’s a pricey package to get but gives you true unlimited access to Super Nintendo World (minus Key Challenges).
Super Nintendo World Universal Is Pretty Awesome
It’s hard not to be impressed when you arrive in Super Nintendo World. The details are impeccable and it’s pretty much everything you’d want to see in a real-life rendition of the Mario franchise.
Whether you’re an adult or kid, you’ll find yourself wanting to explore every corner of the world and punch blocks for coins that don’t really do anything.
With this Super Nintendo World Hollywood guide, hopefully you’ll now be more prepared to defeat Team Bowser and come out victorious.
Wahooooo now it’s your time to go!
Frequently Asked Questions
The best time is first thing in the morning through the Super Nintendo World Early Access Ticket when wait times are under 1 hour. Depending on the day, it can sometimes drop down to less than 60 minutes after 8PM.
In theory you can give the band to someone else to use or share it but note that the data tracked on it cannot be reset. Your coins, stamps, and other progress are saved to that band and will continue to accumulate.
No, all waitlist is managed by the page that you can access by scanning the QR code that’ll be up at the restaurant’s entrance.
Intuitively, you might want to call it Super Mario World but the correct name is Super Nintendo World.
The cheapest tickets can be found on Undercover Tourist where they offer a discount from regular prices.
Yes, you can buy the Super Nintendo World Early Access Ticket separate to your ticket for Universal Studios Hollywood. That said, you can only buy it directly from Universal Studios Hollywood.
No, even if you upgrade to Universal Express Unlimited, it still does not include Express access to Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. If you are looking for a type of express access, look at getting the VIP Experience or upgrade to the VIP Theme Park Experience ticket.
What you should read next
Travel Resources For Your Next Trip
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