Super Nintendo World Universal Studios Hollywood opens

A general view of the “SUPER NINTENDO WORLD” entrance at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 16, 2023 in Universal City, California.

Rodin Eckenroth | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Enter the iconic green warp pipe and snake your way into Universal Studios Hollywood’s newest theme park land: Super Nintendo World.

Nearly a decade in the making, this expansion to Universal’s California-based park is part of a broader partnership with video game company Nintendo that encompasses movies and merchandise. The area, a carved out section beyond Universal’s Jurassic World and Transformers areas, opened Friday to the general public.

Super Nintendo World features an augmented reality Mario Kart ride, a Toad-inspired restaurant and a stocked-up merchandise hub filled with shirts, hats, plush and themed popcorn canisters. There are also meet-and-greets with Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach.

The land, sequestered away from other parts of the park, is small, but packed with eye candy and the constant ding of parkgoers tapping question mark adorned bricks. Part of Universal’s lower studio lot was demolished to make room for the new world and new soundstages were erected or relocated to other areas on the expansive backlot.

“What we were able to do was actually have the size work for us,” said Jon Corfino, vice president of Universal Creative. “If you take a look around, I think we are successful at creating this very immersive, enclosed and yet intimate environment where you really feel like you’ve stepped into the game. Because you don’t really see anything else around you and you’re totally contained.”

Mario poses at the “SUPER NINTENDO WORLD” welcome celebration at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 16, 2023 in Universal City, California.

Rodin Eckenroth | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

It’s unclear how much Universal invested in the project, which opens less than two months before the company’s movie studio releases its animated “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” but it seems confident in its launch.

“The parks business … it’s never been better for us,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in January. “We had a record year last year.”

Shell noted that growth is slow domestically, but that the company has “found our footing” in Japan, where it opened a Super Nintendo World in March 2021. Last December, Shell told investors during a UBS conference that the Nintendo land in Japan was driving a lot of attendance to the international park and that those results are encouraging considering the big bets the company made for several Nintendo lands, including the one in Universal Studios Hollywood.

The company has plans to bring similar lands to its much-anticipated Epic Universe in Florida and Universal Studios Singapore in 2025.

Here’s a look at Universal Studios Hollywood’s new Super Nintendo Land:

Princess Peach’s Castle

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge

Toadstool Cafe