Super Nintendo World is the world’s first Nintendo-themed land inside Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Japan. Officially opening on March 18, 2021, this brand-new land is a Nintendo fan’s dream come true.
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.
With Japan reopening its borders on October 11, 2022, it is time to start preparing for your trip!
Table of Contents
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!
You’ll need a day ticket (or annual pass) to get into Universal Studios Japan in addition to 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.
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 located 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, once you leave the area, you aren’t permitted re-entry.
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’ll have a chance to 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). Similar to the Area Timed Entry Ticket, you’ll need to scan every group member’s park ticket, and you have to 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. That’ll depend on the day of your visit.
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.
And 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)
Read more about Express Pass at Universal Studios Japan.
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/or 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 you’re 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 to its fullest.
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.
Read our extensive review with tons more photos for more on Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge.
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 on your face. 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 getting into the inevitably 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.
We collected all the stamps in one single ride-through, unlike Mario Kart, 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 (they’re kept track in the Universal Studios Japan app), you can go into 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 made your journey 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’re able to buy the photo afterward. It also comes with a digital download version, both 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
Near the suspicious-looking Donkey Kong-Esque circular door, in the back of Super Nintendo World, is Yoshi’s Snack Island. 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 a bit hungry and want a quick snack, the popcorn stands in front of 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; both popcorn buckets light up! My top choice is the Super Star bucket 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 that 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 if any items were vegan-friendly inside Super Nintendo World. If anyone knows, please let us know in the comments!
Super Nintendo World Merchandise
A visit to a theme park isn’t complete without a vast selection of merchandise for you to max your credit card out on (don’t do that, but you get the point). Super Nintendo World merchandise is in abundance, 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: 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, only 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 coins 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).
Super Nintendo World Tips
Here’s how to make the best of 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 walking into 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.
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.
Guide created with the help of Explorer Parker.
More on Universal Studios Japan
Book Your Flight
I personally 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 a lot to Japan. You’ll sometimes stumble on cheap flights to Kansai International Airport.
Buy Your Shinkansen Tickets (Bullet Train)
Getting around Japan by the world-renown 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 with 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 this simple hotel fantastic 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, that’s a must during your visit.
Buy Your Tickets & Express Pass
In advance, save yourself 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’re never able to predict. Whenever I travel, I always budget for travel insurance to protect myself. I’ve used it in the past, 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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