On February 4th 2021, something incredible opened in Japan… Located in Osaka, Universal Studios Japan, the new Super Mario World promises visitors incredible new games, food and of course, Mario-themed rides all packed into one picturesque amusement park!
Because of its location within the Universal Studios grounds, you will need a ticket for the Studios as well as a separate ‘timed-ticket’ or an ‘express pass’ for entry to the park. An ‘express pass’ is around $170 and gives you access to all areas of the park at any time. You can do this via the Universal Studios Japan app.
Due to opening in the summer of 2020, the long-awaited opening was surely worth the wait, as thousands of people entered the world of Mario. Because of the pandemic, it was closed once again soon after opening – now that the borders are open, learn what’s in this incredible park and how you can explore it, all in this blog!
Entering the World of Super Mario – Power Up Bracelets
As you approach the theme park, you’ll enter through a tunnel and ticket booth, before finding yourself on a platform overlooking the world in front of you. Here, you should see red stalls selling the ‘power up bracelets’. You don’t need one of these bracelets to enter the park, but they do let you access many more activities and games.
The price is JPY3200 per bracelet, and there is a range of character designs to choose from.
You can also use this bracelet if you come back again, or just keep it as a souvenir. What’s more, you can even use the character you chose as an ‘amiibo’ on a compatible Nintendo device. Alongside the amusements in the park, you can also find large-as-life Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi and other characters from the games series! Make sure you snap a picture with them as they will scan your bracelet, which will give you a stamp that you can view via the Universal Studios Japan app.
Activities Around The Park
There is so much to do in the park that you can expect to spend up to 6 hours here, assuming you are trying out everything it has to offer – because of this, it may be a good idea to split your visit between two days to really experience all of what the park holds inside its deceptively small grounds.
There are interactive bracelet activities all around the park, so make sure you explore every bit. The main attraction is ‘Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge’ (‘Koopa’ is Bowser’s Japanese name), which is a ride and virtual reality experience all in one. Once you’ve collected a Super Mario helmet, it’ll connect with a VR headset which later on in the course will allow you to interact with other racers and try and win keys, all the while being on an actual roller coaster.
There are also many mystery ‘?’ boxes around the park, so make sure you tap your bracelet on them to collect as many points as possible for your bracelet character’s team. If you get enough keys from challenges around the park, you get to face ‘Junior Bowser’ at the end. If you’re with your friends, some key challenges can be played with up to 4 players. The last of the major rides is ‘Yoshi’s kingdom’, a slow ride that takes you around the park to enjoy the views while hunting treasure eggs.
Finally, there is a hidden secret to the park: simply referred to as the ‘Underground level’, you can only enter if you have collected more than 3 keys from around the park first, so perhaps save this activity for last. Essentially, it’s a sinister underground maze with stunning light effects and even more coins and hidden activities!
What Can I Eat?
After working away at the challenges and taking in the views, no doubt you’ll be hungry.
Kinopio’s cafe is the main eatery inside the park, and signature dishes include ‘Bowser steak’, ‘Yoshi carbonara’ and ‘Princess Peach cake’. Other popular dishes are the ‘Super Mario bacon cheeseburger’, and the ‘Mushroom dillo pizza bowl’.
For dessert options, try the Mystery Tiramisu with strawberry tart or enjoy a box of popcorn with a Mango Lassi from Yoshi’s snack bar. The food throughout the theme park is delicious, so pick a fun food and enjoy!
If you’d like merch or gifts, make sure you go to one of two store locations in the park, or one of the few outside the grounds which are all within walking distance. If you’ve finished checking out the park, then you could head to Mario cafe on Hollywood Boulevard, just a short walk from the theme park. The cafe is still inside the Universal studio grounds.
The most popular snack here is the red ‘Whose cap?’ Super Mario cream pancake. If you have spent your day in the park you likely have a nearby hotel, so don’t worry about rushing home and instead wait until the sun goes down to take in the beautiful light displays to finish off your Mario adventure the right way!