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I won the golden mushroom after getting a sneak peek at Universal Studios Hollywood Super Nintendo World.

Bomb after bomb floated toward my shadow on a giant screen, carried by umbrellas. I punched the air, letting my shadow swat the bombs away until one landed on my head.

My shadow had shrunk almost to nothing, and I was sure the game was over. Fortunately, a mysterious box appeared. I jumped up and shattered it open, revealing a flower that floated down to my shadow and granted me the ability to throw flames.

Pew, pew, pew, pew, pew. My flames blew up bad guys and their bombs. I had reclaimed the golden mushroom stolen from Princess Peach.

Bowser Jr. Boss Battle marked the end of my visit to Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood. I had the opportunity to preview the immersive world with other reporters at the end of December, nearly two months before its public opening on February 17.

It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to feeling like a video game character.

What exactly does Super Nintendo World have to offer?

When the park first opens, visitors will ride a massive escalator past Jurassic Park, The Mummy, and Transformers. A green pipe will greet them and transport them to Princess Peach’s Castle, where they will receive their mission to recover her golden mushroom.

They then enter the Mushroom Kingdom’s 360-degree world. They must complete four tasks in order to obtain four keys that will allow them to participate in the Boss Battle.

The interactive games are physical in nature. Guests in Sleeping Piranha must race to turn off a series of alarm clocks or risk being eaten and failing to obtain a key. To knock the angry-looking mushroom off his perch in Goomba Gimme, they must spin a hand crank. In another, they must hit a series of boxes on a screen in order to turn them from yellow to blue before the timer runs out.

How physical are the Super Nintendo World games?

After the jumping and punching in Boss Battle, one woman who tried the games before the public launch was completely exhausted. Another was perplexed as to how anyone could possibly turn all of the boxes blue before time ran out.

Many users will have to play the games multiple times to obtain all four keys. However, the difficulty is part of the fun.

“The real goal behind all of this is to actually immerse them into a game,” said Jon Corfino, vice president of Universal Creative, during a tour of Super Nintendo World in late December.

Most other Universal attractions transport visitors to the world of movies. However, with Super Nintendo World, “it actually immerses you in the full-fledged game experience.”

“There’s nowhere else you can go here where you’re not completely surrounded by it,” he said of the Mushroom Kingdom. “You can’t see anything else in the park… and everything is linked to everything else. So, no matter what you do, you’re keeping score and interacting with all of the characters.”

How do you triumph in the games?

Power-Up Bands, large $40 wristbands that will pair with Universal Studios Hollywood’s app, will aid in keeping score. The take-home bands will also keep track of the keys won and will connect to devices at home.

Other interactive features of Nintendo World include real-life gameplay such as punching question mark blocks to collect digital coins and interactive binoculars that use augmented reality.

The new Universal experience comes nearly two years after Super Nintendo World opened in Osaka, Japan. Universal also intends to open Nintendo lands in its Florida and Singapore parks.

Is it possible to play Mario Kart at Super Nintendo World?

California’s Nintendo Land, like Japan’s, concludes with an ultra-advanced Mario Kart ride that “seamlessly fuses augmented reality with projection mapping technology and actual set pieces along a moving ride track,” according to Universal.

Guests will race alongside Mario and Peach on the dual-track course inside Bowser’s Castle, as well as against an opposing team. In the race for the Golden Cup, each rider in the four-person vehicles has a steering wheel and controller buttons to throw virtual shells. Everyone will be wearing augmented reality goggles on their heads.

Is there going to be food at Super Nintendo World?

The Toadstool Cafe, which will serve Super Mushroom Soup, Piranha Plant Caprese, Mario Bacon Cheeseburgers, Luigi Pesto Chicken Burgers, and Princess Peach Cupcakes, will be part of Super Nintendo World.

How much do Super Nintendo World tickets cost?
Admission to Universal Studios Hollywood will include Super Nintendo World. Tickets for a single day start at $109.

When will Super Nintendo World be available?
Super Nintendo World is set to open on February 17.

Crews were still pouring cement, installing speakers, and constructing much of the land in late December.

“We’re doing everything we can,” Corfino said. “The land looks great, but we’ll still be working to make sure everything is perfect before we open.”

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