Super Nintendo World is the first Nintendo-themed land inside Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Japan. Officially opened on March 18, 2021, this brand-new land is a Nintendo fan’s dream.
This area packs into a seemingly small space with two attractions: a restaurant, snack stand, character greetings, shops, and many interactive elements.
In our guide to Super Nintendo World, we’ll explain how to get into the land, what to expect for the rides, how the Power-Up Bands work, what food to eat, and practical tips to help you make the most out of your day. We share everything we learned during our hands-on experience.
Level up your travel plans to Universal Studios Japan with our digital guidebook!
Table of contents
- How to get into Super Nintendo World
- Get into Super Nintendo World without a Timed Entry or Express Pass
- I have an Express Pass for Super Nintendo World already. Can I get another timed entry?
- Super Nintendo World Itinerary
- Super Nintendo World Rides
- Character Greetings
- Super Nintendo World Food
- Super Nintendo World Merchandise
- Power-Up Bands
- Donkey Kong Country Expansion
- Super Nintendo World Tips
- More on Super Nintendo World
- Do you have questions about Super Nintendo World?
How to get into Super Nintendo World
Super Nintendo World is immensely popular, and getting a free timed-entry ticket or paid Express Pass is necessary to enter the land. With an Express Pass, you’re guaranteed entry into the land and reduce your wait time at the attractions! Here’s how you can enter Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan.
You’ll need a day ticket (or annual pass) to enter Universal Studios Japan and a timed entry ticket for Super Nintendo World.
Timed-Entry Tickets into Super Nintendo World
You’ll need a free-timed entry ticket to enter Super Nintendo World without paying for an Express Pass. There are two types of tickets- Area Timed Entry and Standby Entry. Let’s take a quick look at them.
Protip: If you have an Expres Pass with a timed entry for a later time, you can get an additional Timed Entry through the app or kiosk.
A signboard near Super Nintendo World’s entrance has up-to-date information on which tickets are available. Timed entry tickets sell out quickly, so plan on visiting the park as early as possible.
Area Timed Entry Ticket
There are two ways to get a ticket when you visit the park: on the Universal Studios Japan app or at a ticket machine in Central Park (near the JAWS attraction).
When applying for the ticket, you must specify the desired entry time. Please note that you can only apply for an Area Timed Entry Ticket once daily.
When applying for the ticket for entry with a group, you must scan every member’s park ticket. If you win an Area Timed Entry Ticket, you can enter the Super Nintendo World within the specified time on the ticket. However, you aren’t permitted to re-enter once you leave the area.
Area Standby Entry Ticket
If you don’t win an Area Timed Entry ticket, or if the tickets are distributed, you can enter a separate lottery for an Area Standby Entry Ticket. If someone cancels their Area Timed Entry Ticket, you can fill their spot with an Area Standby Entry Ticket.
You can apply for this ticket on the Universal Studios Japan app or at the ticket machines at Central Park (near the JAWS attraction). Like the Area Timed Entry Ticket, you must scan every group member’s park ticket and choose the desired entry time. You can only apply for this ticket once a day.
Lottery results are announced an hour before your desired entry time. Depending on the crowds, you may be able to enter the area without a timed ticket.
Read more about the Timed Entry Ticket on the official Universal Studios Japan website.
Super Nintendo World + Express Pass
The easiest way to get into Super Nintendo World is by purchasing one of ten Express Passes available for the land. With an Express Pass, you are guaranteed entry into Super Nintendo World on the day of your visit.
Depending on which Pass you get, you can significantly reduce the waiting time on Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure!
These are the starting prices of the different types of Express Passes (note these also include other attractions):
- Mario Kart or Yoshi’s Adventure: Express Pass 4 for ¥7,800 (about US$71)
- Both Mario Kart & Yoshi’s Adventure: Express Pass 7 for ¥10,800 (about US$99)
- All Attractions: Express Pass Premium for ¥18,700 (about US$171)
You can buy an Express Pass and a Timed Area Entry ticket if you want to go in earlier than your Express Pass time.
Read more about Express Pass at Universal Studios Japan.
Get into Super Nintendo World without a Timed Entry or Express Pass
Universal Studios Japan usually opens the park before the official time. For example, if the park is supposed to open at 9:00 AM, the gates may open at 8:00 or 8:30. The time is different almost every day.
Why is this significant? If you enter the park before the official opening time, you can walk right into Super Nintendo World without a timed entry or using your Express Pass. Remember that once you leave and timed entry is required, you’ll have to get one or use your Express Pass.
On slower days, you won’t need a Timed Entry to enter the area. This isn’t known beforehand, so I wouldn’t rely on that.
I have an Express Pass for Super Nintendo World already. Can I get another timed entry?
Yes, you can get a timed entry for Super Nintendo World alongside the timed entry with your Express Pass. The Express Pass isn’t linked to your ticket. It’s common for Express Pass bought through Klook to give you an entry time later in the day, which you may want to go in earlier.
If you arrive early, as mentioned above, you can get a timed entry and go into Super Nintendo World before your Express Pass time. Once you leave, you can use your timed entry from your Express Pass to come back in.
Super Nintendo World Itinerary
Here’s a simplified version of our plan of attack for when you get into Super Nintendo World. There’s so much to do here that it may be tough to do in a single visit. This also assumes you aren’t doing the Express Pass for the attractions.
- Buy your Power-Up Bands and link to the Universal Studios Japan app
- Use the single rider line for Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge
- Grab a meal at Kinopio’s Cafe
- Meet Princess Peach, Mario & Luigi, and Toad
- Collect three keys from mini-games to do the Bowser Jr. Challenge
- Ride Yoshi’s Adventure
- Play with all the interactive coin blocks and mini-games throughout the area (blocks, music blocks, binoculars, etc.)
- Snack from Yoshi’s Snack Island or the Popcorn Stop
- Shop for merchandise
Once inside the land, expect to spend at least 4-5 hours here (depending on crowds). I’d recommend at least two full days at Universal Studios Japan to experience the park fully.
Super Nintendo World Rides
Without a doubt, you want to experience some rides while in Super Nintendo World. Here’s what you need to know and how to ride them! There are two rides to choose from: Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure.
Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge
The flagship attraction is Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge, which you’ll find in the back of Super Nintendo World inside Koopa’s Castle. Bowser is known as Koopa in Japan, hence the name.
The best way to describe Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge is an AR (augmented reality) dark-ride video game. This attraction mixes classic dark-ride elements (animatronics and moving along a track, to name a few things) with AR through goggles attached to a headset to superimpose characters and other video game elements within your view. Then, with the added video gaming aspect of collecting coins, throwing shells at enemies, and trying to get the highest score.
Mario Kart is a ride that’s suitable for families with children. While it’s not the ride that everyone was expecting (it doesn’t move as fast as you’d want it to), it still hits the essence of Mario Kart, and you’ll still leave with a smile. At least, I did.
Pro tip: At the entrance to Mario Kart is a seat to ensure you can fit securely into the ride vehicle. If you’re concerned about height or body shape, try this before entering the long queue.
Yoshi’s Adventure is a family-friendly omnimover attraction where you hop on the back of a Yoshi and take a colourful tour of Super Nintendo World. You’ll meet familiar characters like Baby Peach, Mario, and Captain Toad!
While on Yoshi’s Adventure, it’s one of the best spots in the area to get high-up photos and videos. The queue itself is full of familiar music and aesthetics from the Yoshi games throughout the years. So it’s worth riding.
You’ll collect different stamps if your Power-Up Band is linked with your Universal Studios Japan app! With your Power-Up Band, hit the coloured eggs on your lap bar when they light up. These coloured eggs correspond with the same coloured eggs during your ride.
Unlike Mario Kart, we collected all the stamps in one ride-through, where you’ll need multiple ride-throughs.
Bowser Jr. Challenge
Bowser Jr. Challenge is an attraction that requires you to collect three different keys with your Power-Up Band by playing three of the five mini-games. While the games aren’t challenging, you queue for them, and those lines could get rather lengthy.
Once you collect three coins (tracked in the Universal Studios Japan app), you can join the Bowser Jr. Challenge.
Aside from the rides, one of my favourite things about Super Nintendo World is meeting characters from my childhood: Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach. Yes, you can meet all of them and have your photo taken!
Ensure you have your Power-Up Band setup (see our guide below) before getting your photos. There are stamps to collect when you visit each of these characters! The team member scans your band, and you’ll collect the stamp in the Universal Studios Japan App.
Once you’ve journeyed through the green pipe and the iconic Princess Peach Castle, you’ll see Princess Peach herself under a gazebo waiting for you.
Princess Peach even speaks in English! While it’s only set phrases, it’s still a surprise and puts a massive smile on your face.
Mario & Luigi
On the first floor, in the middle of Super Nintendo World at the two Mario Bros. Themselves: Mario & Luigi. You’ll meet these two icons each time, and just like Princess Peach, they speak in English too!
Don’t forget to hit the coin blocks; these blocks are part of stamps to collect, where you have to hit all the blocks in the land.
My favourite character, Toad, is on the first floor with Mario & Luigi. He moves around a bit, so keep an eye out for him. He’s so adorable that I want to take him home.
The photographers can take your photo with their professional cameras, and you can buy the photo afterward. It also comes with a digital download version, a photo and a video.
Super Nintendo World Food
Super Nintendo World outdid themselves with the sheer amount of available food. From a whole restaurant to a snack stand to popcorn. There’s no shortage of food.
The main restaurant is Kinopio’s Cafe, inside the gigantic mushroom on the first floor. You can’t miss it. Toad is known as “Kinopio,” hence the restaurant’s name. You’ll instantly recognize the theming if you’ve played Super Mario World 3D.
You dine inside Toad’s House, which is straight out of the game, and even when you head inside, you’re given a virtual gift by tapping your Power-Up Band! Choose between small or large gifts to see what you get.
The menu inside Kinopio’s Cafe is massive for a single restaurant, ranging from themed burgers, pasta, salads, pizza, and even Peach’s Cake.
While the prices are a bit on the steep side, the portions are pretty large, and you’d be able to share dishes if you don’t want to blow your budget.
Must-try Dishes at Kinopio’s Cafe
Not sure what to get? Here’s a quick list of what you should try:
- Mario’s Bacon Cheeseburger
- Yoshi’s Spinach Carbonara
- Fire Flower Spaghetti
- Pizza Bowl
- Piranha Plant Capreses
- Peach’s Cake
- Goal Pole Cake
- ? Block Tiramisu
We have a complete guide to all the food at Super Nintendo World with more photos. Also, watch our video above showcasing some delicious food you can try.
Yoshi’s Snack Island
Yoshi’s Snack Island is near the Donkey Kong-esque circular door in the back of Super Nintendo World. Here, you can get a Green Shell Calzone filled with yakisoba noodles (fried noodles) with cheese or a small variety of drinks.
Popcorn Stand & Buckets
If you’re hungry and want a quick snack, the popcorn stands before Mario Kart, where you can find two popcorn flavours and two Nintendo-themed popcorn buckets.
There are a lot of mushroom-flavoured food items here, aren’t there? My favourite is the Caramel Peach, which oddly works. The two popcorn flavours are Caramel Peach and Cream Mushroom.
Then there are the two popcorn buckets: Super Star and Mario Kart. You can’t go wrong with either of these; popcorn buckets light up! The Super Star bucket is my top choice because it has two light-up modes and is much easier to carry!
Are there vegetarian or vegan options at Super Nintendo World?
There were no food items advertised as vegetarian inside Super Nintendo World. However, there were a few items that didn’t contain any meat. We cannot guarantee these are 100% vegetarian, so please double-check during your visit.
- Piranha Plant Caprese
- Yoshi’s Favorite Fruit & Veggie Salad
- Mushroom Soup
We couldn’t find any items that were vegan-friendly inside Super Nintendo World. See our food guide for more on Super Nintendo World food.
Super Nintendo World Merchandise
A visit to a theme park isn’t complete without a vast selection of merchandise to max your credit card out on (don’t do that, but you get the point). Super Nintendo World merchandise is abundant, and you won’t have trouble finding something you’ll love.
There’s so much merchandise. The 1UP Factory is the leading shop in Super Nintendo World. You’ll spend at least 30 to 45 minutes browsing. Everything is inside, from Super Nintendo World branded items to character accessories so you can dress like one of your favourite characters.
Check out our massive blog post with photos, or watch our 45-minute merchandise video above to see what’s available.
Mario Motors is the gift shop attached to Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge. Naturally, you’ll exit through the gift shop. Here’s where all the exclusive Mario Kart merchandise is, and you won’t find these items anywhere else, so buy it while you can.
Outside Super Nintendo World
Never fear; if you didn’t get a timed entry into Super Nintendo World or forgot to buy something, there are a few other stores where you can find items!
Near the entrance to Universal Studios Japan are two stores: one Universal Studios Store and the other in California Confectionery. These stores offer a selection of items inside Super Nintendo World, but not all exclusive 8-bit merchandise is found inside Universal Studios Store. Are you confused yet? A store attached to the Mario Cafe with exclusive “Who’s Cap” merchandise.
See what items are available by checking out our blog post.
That’s not all for things to buy from Super Nintendo World! The one item that’s a must is the Power-Up Band, which we’ll dive into next.
Power-Up Bands are slap-on bracelets that interact with various elements within Super Nintendo World. However, these aren’t free and come at the cost of ¥3,200 or US$30 each. While not everyone in your group needs to have one, if you want to make the most out of Super Nintendo World, then this is a must.
In my opinion, without a Power-Up Band, you’re only getting half the experience. Once you buy the Power-Up Band, you link it to your Universal Studios Japan app, and it’ll automatically begin tracking your progress within Super Nintendo World.
These Power-Up Bands add a real-life video game element to Super Nintendo World, which feeds into the kinetic energy you feel throughout the area. I love it so much.
Ok, enough gushing; here’s what the Power-Up Band tracks:
- Coins you collect from coin blocks and mini-games
- Stamps (aka achievements) from completing various tasks and events
- Your rankings on the online leaderboards for Mario Kart, Bowser Jr, Team Ranking, and Daily Rankings
Think of it as an accessory to a real-life video game! The Power-Up Bands do not hold any payment or ticket information.
Power-Up Band Tips
Here are a few practical tips for the Power-Up Bands:
- Punch the underside of the blocks with your fist and not your band (it’s soft, so you don’t hurt yourself, and it’s sanitized frequently with hand sanitizers nearby, too).
- These double as Amiibo for various Nintendo Switch games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World.
- For other elements that aren’t blocks (like the “M” on walls), you tap your band to interact with it (don’t punch it cause it’s solid, and it’ll hurt, trust me, cause I’ve done this by mistake).
Donkey Kong Country Expansion
The Donkey Kong Country expansion opens in spring 2024 and includes a brand-new rollercoaster, food, merchandise, and a new land to explore!
Super Nintendo World Tips
Here’s how to maximize your time inside Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan!
- To guarantee you’ll experience Super Nintendo World, buy an ExpressPass with a timed entry.
- Use the Single Rider line for Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge.
- Download the Universal Studios Japan app ahead of time. This way, you’re not frantically downloading it when trying to do your Area Entry Ticket or set up your Power-Up Band.
- Buy your Power-Up Band along the walkway when entering or inside the land (avoid the one by the pipe entrance).
- Set up your Power-Up Band before going in to start collecting coins immediately.
- If you have an Express Pass for Super Nintendo World attractions with a timed entry, you can get an additional Timed Entry through the app or kiosk (if they’re available)
More on Super Nintendo World
There are tons more on Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Japan. Here’s a list of all our other content to enjoy and plan your trip!
- Universal Studios Japan Information
- Universal Studios Japan Travel Guide
- Super Nintendo World Podcast Episode 1
- Super Nintendo World Podcast Episode 2
- 100+ Photos of Super Nintendo World
- Super Nintendo World Merchandise
- Super Nintendo World Food
- Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge
- Princess Peach, Mario & Luigi, and Toad Character Greetings
- Official Super Nintendo World Website
Do you have questions about Super Nintendo World?
There’s much to know about this area at Universal Studios Japan. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments! We’ll update this guide with the best and most up-to-date information.
The guide was created with the help of Explorer Parker.
More on Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan Guidebook
Are you planning a trip to Universal Studios Japan? If so, you need our digital guidebook! Our guidebook is the most comprehensive resource available, covering everything you need to know about the park, including Super Nintendo World, Express Pass, hotels, restaurants, attractions, shows, seasonal events, and more! With our guidebook, you’ll be an expert on Universal Studios Japan before you even set foot in the park. You’ll know what to expect, where to go, and what to do. You’ll also be able to avoid the crowds and make the most of your time at the park.
Book Your Flight
I use Google Flights & Momodo to find affordable flights. Another great way is to sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights to get notifications of cheap fares, which happens often in Japan. You’ll sometimes stumble on cheap flights to Kansai International Airport.
Buy Your Shinkansen Tickets (Bullet Train)
Getting around Japan by the world-renowned bullet train, known as the Shinkansen, is incredibly fast, reliable, and affordable for visitors. You can travel from Tokyo to Osaka in just over 2 hours. Get the JR Rail Pass to save a ton of money on the bullet train for your trip.
Book Your Hotel
Universal Studios Japan has affordable accommodations that are steps away from the park and have easy access to Osaka. I recommend checking prices through Booking.com followed by the hotels directly. Sometimes you’re able to score some incredible deals. Here’s a short list of hotels at Universal Studios Japan I recommend.
- The Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios Japan – You’re directly in front of the Park gates and have instant access to Universal CityWalk Osaka. The rooms are gorgeous, with restaurants and even a Lawson (Japanese convenience store).
- The Singulari HOTEL & SKYSPA – Attached to the train station is a fantastic hotel for those who want a comfortable, clean, and stylish place to sleep. After a long day at Universal Studios Japan, the rooftop sento (public bath) is excellent for unwinding and relaxing.
- Hotel Universal Port – This is an excellent hotel for the Minion fan in your family, only a 5-minute walk from Universal Studios Japan. It also boasts the largest breakfast buffet in Japan, a must during your visit.
Buy Your Tickets & Express Pass
In advance, save time and stress by buying your tickets and Express Pass for Universal Studios Japan.
Universal Studios Japan only offers free Wi-Fi at the entrance to the Park. That’s not enough to stay connected and share your day with everyone back home to give them FOMO on Instagram. Here’s how you can stay connected while travelling in Japan.
- Pocket Wi-Fi – If you’re travelling with a group or have multiple devices, this is your best and most affordable way to stay connected to the internet. Pick up and drop off at the airport. Easy.
- Japan SIM Card – If you have an unlocked phone and need a Japanese phone number, this is the best and easiest way.
Get Yourself Travel Insurance
While travelling aboard, having travel insurance protects you against injury, cancellations, illness, and other things you can never predict. Whenever I travel, I always budget for travel insurance to protect myself. I’ve used it, and I’m so glad I had it. My recommended companies are SafteyWing and World Nomads for travel insurance.
Learn More about Universal Studios Japan
Don’t forget to study our in-depth destination guide on Universal Studios Japan for more information on this beautiful park in Osaka.
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