While many of us get pumped up to take a vacation to spend the day lazily exploring our favorite theme park, it’s usually more about the enjoyment of the overall experience than it is about any one single ride.
Unless it’s Space Mountain, of course, because it goes without saying that everyone is excited for that glorious tour through the stars.
All that said, if there is any ride that has needed to exist for basically forever, it’s a ride based on the long-running Nintendo franchise “Mario Kart.”
It may be just an excuse to ram colorful cars into other players and use spiked shells and banana peels to transform people who were once dear friends into lifelong enemies.
But now the racing game series is more than just a game to many who have faithfully played every iteration of it for years.
Universal Studios announced way back in 2015 that it would develop a Super Nintendo World area in both Japan and the U.S.
Japan’s is already open — and it looks beyond delightful — while the U.S. location is slated for a 2023 opening, which we can hardly wait to try.
Now Universal has finally given us a peek into its upcoming signature ride, which is based on the beloved “Mario Kart” franchise, and it looks like the best thing ever.
It’s Your Favorite Racing Game, But In Real Life
Officially called “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge,” the ride straps up to four park visitors at a time into real life versions of the cars from the game.
You ever get little red visors with Mario’s signature M on them, which ought to delight young and older fans equally.
Those visors also come goggle-equipped, and for good reason: because the ride uses augmented reality technology to immerse you further into Mario’s world.
Guests are on Team Mario the moment they strap in, and have a very important mission: to steer through courses both beneath the ocean and in the clouds to compete for the coveted Golden Cup, all while collecting coins — because it is still a Mario game, after all.
Riders can also wear what are called Power-Up Bands if they wish, which are an optional item that can be purchased to interact more deeply with all that the ride has to offer.
At $69.99, they aren’t cheap, but they do offer experiences in the rest of the park as well, like collecting coins, fighting enemies, and unlocking special stamps.
This tiny glimpse looks so awesome that it’s easy to imagine people riding, getting off, and getting back in line.
If the ride is as fun as Nintendo and Universal have made it look, it’s sure to be hugely popular when it debuts.
If you need something to tide you over until the new area actually opens its doors next year, watch this video of superstar Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto showing off the park in Japan.
It seems like a very good reason to start saving your coins for next year’s vacation.