Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge – Everything You Need To Know!

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is the only ride inside the new Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood and has been highly anticipated by Mario Kart fans across the globe.

The ride mirrors that inside the Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan and uses AR technology constructed through a Mario hat and visor. We had the pleasure of experiencing the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride multiple times both during the annual pass preview event and technical rehearsals.

What Is The Average Wait Time For Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge?

We’ve seen the standby wait times for rides inside Super Nintendo World such as Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge range from 20 minutes to 180 minutes. However, the standby wait time displayed on the digital board can often be different to the actual wait time you experience – both for better or worse.

Thankfully, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is not only one of the best rides at Universal Studios Hollywood but it also has a highly detailed queueing area for you to enjoy as you wait.

This queueing area takes you through Bowser’s entire castle which is situated at a height with a fantastic outdoor viewing area at around the halfway point. The queuing area consists of multiple large areas and rooms each of which comes complete with colourful designs, Super Mario characters, set pieces and some fantastic easter eggs from Super Mario games past and present.

The first queueing room you enter is designed to mimic Yoshi’s Island and as such is filled with beanstalks, gem-filled caves and Yoshi coins.

From there you’ll enter the second queueing room which showcases the interior of Bowser’s incredible castle. This castle has multiple rooms including a study featuring several books and photos referring to the different Super Mario games as well as an assembly room, where Bob-ombs and Bullet Bills are made.

Can You Use The Universal Express Pass On Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge?

Sadly, it is not possible to use a Universal Studios Express Pass to skip the line for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. Instead, it seems (albeit not confirmed) that only VIP Experience guests will be the only guests that are able to skip the line.

However, a VIP Experience is in our opinion so much more than just Super Nintendo World. Therefore we wouldn’t recommend going on this guided tour with the sole purpose of skipping the line on Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.

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Does Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge Have Single Rider?

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge has a single rider line which is located to the right (next to the test seat) just inside the ride’s entrance.

I’ve gone on Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge as a single rider multiple times during trips to Super Nintendo World and found that the queue is often 90% lower than the advertised standard wait time.

What Is The Height Restriction For Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge?

To go on Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge alone, guests must be 48″ or taller, meanwhile, to go on the ride with a supervising adult, guests must be 40″ or taller.

There are height requirement bars both outside the ride and at the boarding area. Given the long expected wait times for this ride, we highly recommend ensuring everyone in your party meets the requirements prior to waiting in line to avoid disappointment.

What Is The Weight Restriction For Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge?

There is no weight restriction for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. However, this ride does use a lap bar and for your safety and security, you’ll need to ensure that the lap bar securely fits around your waist to be able to go on the ride.

This means, that rather than your overall weight, going on Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge instead depends on where you hold your weight (stomach, thighs, breasts, bum, waist etc.)

Universal has come under fire for its size restrictions with this ride with those with a waist larger than 40″ reportedly unable to fit within the test seat. Sadly, we are unable to report based on personal experience. However, according to many on Reddit this is a slight over-exaducation by the media.

If you have personal experience based on this we would love to hear from you (anonymously is fine) in the comments for the benefit of other SNW fans.

The test seat for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is located inside the entrance of the ride to the right (before the stairs). If you have a waist larger than 40″ we would recommend using the test seat prior to queuing to avoid disappointment given the long estimated wait times.

Instructions on how to use the test seat are provided above, however, if you’re unsure about anything we recommend speaking to one of the staff members that should be located at the ride’s entrance.

Does Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge Have Child Swap?

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge operates a child swap programme that allows parents to take turns going on the ride while the other parent waits with the child who is too small to ride.

If you would like to use the child swap programme you’ll want to speak to a staff member at the entrance of the ride who will provide you with instructions.

What Is The Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge Ride Like?

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is designed to make you feel as though you’re inside the Mario Kart game.

During the queueing process, you’ll be provided with your Mario Kart visor (which has been designed to resemble Mario’s hat) and given visual instructions across multiple screens on how to successfully adjust the visor to your head and then once onboard your Mario Kart vehicle connect the 3D goggles to your visor.

You’ll want to ensure that your visor fits well and that you connect your goggles correctly so you have an optimal viewing experience during the ride.

Once you’re at the front of the queue you’ll be asked to board your Mario Kart vehicle. Mario Kart vehicles can seat up to four people, two at the front and two at the back.

If you have a Super Nintendo World Power-Up Band you’ll want to tap this on the ‘M’ on your steering wheel to connect your account at which point you’ll then be eligible for the Mario Kart stamp and be able to collect additional coins.

When the ride is ready to go Lakitu will give you the 3-2-1 signal and from there you’ll race through multiple courses trying to help Team Mario win the Golden Cup.

Just like in the Mario Kart games, you’ll want to toss shells at Team Bowser’s vehicles and collect coins. To do this simply aim with your visor by turning your head (regardless of which way your vehicle faces you’ll shoot in the same direction that you look towards) and then push the buttons located on the top of the steering wheel.

The ride moves incredibly slowly (I’d say no more than 10km/hr) and has no scary scenes as such it should be suitable for all children who are tall enough to ride.

While we have previously experienced motion sickness on multiple rides at Universal Studios Hollywood we did not experience it on Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge despite this ride being 3D. We assume this is a result of the speed and latest technology.

However, should you experience motion sickness during Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge you can simply disconnect the goggles from your visor or remove your visor for the remainder of the ride.

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🎟️ Where To Buy Tickets for Universal Hollywood?

If you’re based in the US or Canada, I recommend Klook for your Universal Hollywood tickets.

Klook consistently has the most competitive prices. There’s also a range of different ticket options to suit all budgets and requirements.

Meanwhile, if you’re based in the United Kingdom. Then I recommend buying your Universal Hollywood theme park tickets from AttractionTix.

I personally use AttractionTix when purchasing theme park tickets. That’s because AttractionTix consistently has the most competitive prices and incredible customer service.

🏥 Should I Buy Travel Insurance for a Visit to Universal Hollywood?

If you’re travelling to Universal Hollywood for vacation, then travel insurance is recommended. Basic travel insurance coverage with Safety Wing averages between $5 – $10 per day and offers peace of mind.

However, if a trip to Universal Hollywood isn’t part of a vacation. For example, you live locally. Then travel insurance isn’t likely to be necessary.

🚘 Do I Need to Rent a Car for a Visit to Universal Hollywood?

You don’t need to rent a car to visit Universal Hollywood, as the theme park has Uber / Lyft pick-up and drop-off points.

However, if a trip to Universal Hollywood only makes up a portion of your vacation, then you may want to rent a car. I personally use Discover Cars to find the best car rental for all of my trips to Los Angeles.

🏨 Where to Stay When Visiting Universal Hollywood?

When visiting Universal Hollywood, I recommend staying at Loews Hollywood. From this hotel, you can take an Uber or Lyft to Universal Hollywood in under 15 minutes.

When it comes to booking any hotels in Los Angeles, I use either Booking.com or Hotels.com. However, for large families and groups, VRBO is my number one choice.

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