Universal Studios Japan’s Super Nintendo World will be opening mid-2020, which is around half a year from now, and yet we still don’t have any information about the land’s star ride since the ground-breaking ceremony a few years back.
The Mario Kart ride will be the only attraction that will be found at every version of Super Nintendo World, including Orlando (Universal’s Epic Universe), Hollywood and Singapore. With that being said, lets get into the details!
Opening Summer 2020 in Japan, and already under construction in Hollywood, the ride is being advertised as “the most immersive and cutting technological attraction” Universal has ever created.
The ride will have two (2) tracks that run side by side, so you’ll feel like they’re racing the other car when riding. According to Orlando Park Stop’s Alicia Stella, it is said to be a bus bar dark ride, essentially meaning the ride vehicle cars will get their power from the track itself.
It’s safe to say the bus bar ride system is one of the most popular types of indoor ride systems. Fantasyland-style dark rides like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride uses variations of a bus bar ride system. The version of the system for Mario Kart may somewhat be a more robust variation, but it is expected to use a track…
…According to Stella, this is not expected to be a trackless ride. You’ll go through several different settings during the ride, all based on the race tracks from the iconic video game series, including the popular/recurring tracks like Rainbow Road.
Along the way, it has been suggested/rumoured that Nintendo characters in other cars will drive up beside you. The ride’s main focus is on real sets and physical characters to tell the story, only using screen-type elements for backgrounds, effects or transitional tunnels between scenes.
Show Building and Queue of Mario Kart
The outside of the building housing the ride will be themed like Bowser’s Castle. The entrance of the ride will be on the second (2nd) level of the 2-level land. A gift shop will be located on the right of the main entrance, themed like a mechanic’s shop, featuring Mario carrying a tire on the sign in the concept art.
Stella suggests this will likely be the exit for the attraction. Once you enter the queue of the ride, you’ll be inside a large castle with a stairwell that branches in several directions. Again, Stella believes that there will be a main standby line, an Express line and (potentially) a single rider line.
All of the ride’s queue is located on the second level of the building, leaving the entire lower level for the ride. As you walk through the queue, you’ll pass through different areas of Bowser’s Castle, including a portrait gallery, library, courtyard and more. Later in the queue, you’ll encounter a training area with trophy displays. This bright and vibrant area will LIKELY be set apart from the darker zones of Bowser’s Castle.
This will give you the chance to learn various skills you’ll need for the ride, including how to put on and use the rumoured augmented reality goggles. As you near the end of the queue, you start to make your way downstairs, into the dungeon of Bowser’s Castle.
The load area is divided into 2 sides. The particular setup will be similar to coming down the stairs at Men in Black: Alien Attack at Universal Studios Florida. Each of the two sides will have space for four (4) vehicles to be parked and ready to load.
Each vehicle will hold 4 passengers, 2 in the front and 2 in the back. Once you’re loaded, the ride is ready to begin. A layout of the ride can be found below; Stella did an excellent scene-by-scene breakdown for the ride which you can read here.
The Interactivity and Augmented Reality (AR) of Mario Kart
It would be fair to suggest that one of the most talked about technologies that may be found on the ride is Augmented Reality (AR). Rumours have suggested that AR goggles will be worn by riders to add further elements on top of what you’re actually seeing.
AR could also be used to add item blocks onto the track that you could “collect1” and then use against the car besides you. Special items from the Mario Kart games like red shells, banana peels and more could be used to help stop the other rides ensuring you win!
In addition to featuring on the ride, AR technology is expected to make an appearance in others ways around Super Nintendo World. Special AR viewer binoculars will be placed around the land! These AR binoculars will allow visitors to look closer at some of the real places in the land, however with the additional characters and elements “overlaid onto reality”.
Other technologies patented are expected to used on the ride in order to create the effect of travelling faster than you really are. To make this happen! Moving backgrounds and LED tunnels may be used between some of the scenes.
With the backgrounds, moving quickly past you, with some fans included, you’d feel like you’re going faster. Another method to make it appear your vehicle is moving faster than it actually is, is by having objects fly overhead or beside you.
Essentially, with objects coming towards you quickly, it would appear as if you’re moving much faster than you are, especially with moving backgrounds added to the mix. Several of the rides scenes may also feature projection mapping effects to create additional movement or background scenery.
A kart-drifting patent may be incorporated into the ride as well, for example when the vehicle makes tight turns or maybe even when the vehicle wipes out from by hit by one of the above-mentioned special items. The vehicle for the ride might also spin in a couple sections of the ride.
Please be aware some of the details in this article are based soley on early information and rumours, so things could change by the time ride opens next year in Japan, and then in Hollywood in 2021 and finally in Universal’s Epic Universe in 2023.
Source: Orlando Park Stop