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Power-Up Bands are snap wristbands that can be used to interact with various different elements within Super Nintendo World and at home using Amiibo.
Power-Up Bands are essential to experiencing everything that Super Nintendo World has to offer at Universal Studios Hollywood. The bands cost $40 each and are available in a variety of different character-inspired designs.
Using the Power-Up Band to collect keys across Super Nintendo World before going on to face Bowser Jr is appealing to the majority of visitors to Super Nintendo World, and given how general the games are, you don’t have to be a huge Mario fan to enjoy the interactive experiences.
How Much Do Power-Up Bands Cost?
Regardless of the character design you purchase, Power-Up Bands cost $40 each.
Sadly, at this time Universal Studios Hollywood Annual & Season Pass Members are not eligible for discounts on any of the Super Nintendo World souvenirs including Power-Up Bands.
Do You Need A Power-Up Band To Visit Super Nintendo World?
You do not need a Power-Up Band in order to visit Super Nintendo World. However, a Power-Up Band is likely to enhance your visit since it allows you to play the mini-games within this area of the park.
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What Power-Up Band Characters Are Available?
Super Nintendo World Power-Up Bands are currently available in six different designs;
- Princess Peach
- Princess Daisy
The design you choose will not only be reflected in your band but also in the team you join.
Therefore the team’s rankings you will contribute to when either going around Super Nintendo World and collecting coins or playing using Amiibo at home.
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Where Can You Purchase Power-Up Bands?
Power-Up Bands are one of the most popular Super Nintendo World souvenirs and can subsequently be purchased both inside and outside of Super Nintendo World. Inside Super Nintendo World you can purchase your Power-Up Bands from the vending machines (straight in front of you as you enter the land) or from the 1-UP Factory.
Outside of Super Nintendo World, you can purchase Power-Up Bands from;
- Character Store – Just outside of the land (at the bottom of the escalators as you enter the lower lot)
- Universal Store – Entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood (on your left as you enter the park)
- Super Nintendo World Pop-Up Store – On your right as you enter the park opposite the Universal Store
What Do The Power-Up Bands Do?
Power-Up Bands allow you to play mini-games and earn coins within Super Nintendo World similar to how you would in the traditional Mario games. You can also use Power-Up Bands similar to Amiibo when playing select Mario games at home.
There are four mini-games within Super Nintendo World. Each mini-game provides you with the opportunity to earn a key. Once you’ve earned at least three of the four keys you’ll be able to face Bowser Jr in the final challenge.
Specially trained Super Nintendo World staff members are available at each mini-game location to explain how to play and will assist you with hints and tips to try and help you win the key.
Earning a key by playing a mini-game is not guaranteed every time. However, if you don’t earn the key you will be able to go on to play / try again.
Each of the mini-game locations is easy to find. However, should you struggle you can check the map on the Universal Studios Hollywood mobile application or speak to a Super Nintendo World member of staff. Once you’ve earned at least three keys you’ll be able to go ahead and face Bowser Jr.
This mini-game often has the longest wait time of any of the games within Super Nintendo World but is super fun and well worth the wait in our opinion.
Much like in the video games, you can also earn coins inside Super Nintendo World using your Power-Up Band. This can be done by punching blocks. All the blocks within Super Nintendo World are noted on the map you receive when purchasing your Power-Up Band and on the Universal Studios Hollywood mobile application.
If you struggle to get the block to respond to your punch (it should make a noise similar to that in the game to illustrate you’ve earned a coin(s)) then look for the ‘M’ logo under the block and aim your Power-Up Band towards that.
Using either the digital screens within Super Nintendo World or the mobile application you’ll be able to see how many coins you’ve collected both that day and overall (during your multiple visits to the land).
You’ll also be able to contribute to your team’s score (based on the character of the band you selected) and see how your coins score compares to other players within the land (both based on the day of your visit and overall).
By exploring Super Nintendo World with your Power-Up Band you’re also able to collect stamps to commemorate your adventure.
At this time there are currently three pages within the stamp book;
- Super Nintendo World
- Super Mario Land
- Mario Kart
Some examples of stamps I’ve earned include;
- Getting to the finish line without hitting any Team Mario racers (Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge)
- Punch a POW Block
- Collect a Fire Flower power-up
- Get the Super Acorn
A stamp location that many visitors to Super Nintendo World miss is just inside the Toadstool Cafe on the left-hand side. Usually, you have to reserve Toadstool Cafe, however, if you don’t want to dine there and instead just want the stamp a member of staff will usually let you run in and get it, as it’s right at the entrance.
Alongside comparing the number of coins you’ve collected with other visitors to Super Nintendo World you’re also able to compare how you faired against other players on both; Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge and when fighting Bowser Jr.
You’ll be guided through playing against Bowser Jr and connecting your Power-Up Band to the game.
However, to connect your Power-Up Band to Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge you’ll want to ensure that you tap the band on the steering wheel.
This process also allows you to earn the stamps associated with your performance within the game (more on stamps above).
Again you’ll either be able to use the digital screens within the park or the mobile application to see your performance on both games when compared to other players in the park. However, this performance is limited to per day and resets at midnight.
Use As Amiibo
Power-Up Bands can be used as Amiibo for their corresponding characters.
To use a Power-Up Band as Amiibo you’ll want to tap the circular character icon in the centre of the band to the NFC reader on your console. Note that this does not work with Nintendo 3DS or Wii U consoles.
How To Set Up A Power-Up Band For Super Nintendo World
Once you’ve purchased your Power-Up Band you can begin using it to earn keys and coins within Super Nintendo World.
If you don’t want to customise your name or check your keys and coins on the go. Then you can simply use the screens within Super Nintendo World to check your progress and rankings when compared to other players.
However, for customisation options and to check your progress on the go, we recommend setting the band up using the Super Nintendo World area within the Universal Studios Hollywood mobile application.
To begin this process you’ll want to go ahead and download the Universal Studios Hollywood mobile application which is available for both iOS and Android. Then you’ll need to create a Universal Studios Hollywood account if you don’t have one already.
Once you’re signed up and logged in you’ll want to select Super Nintendo World and then add a new Power-Up Band. You’ll then be asked to scan the QR code situated on the back of your Power-Up Band. From there you’re able to customise your name, colour and character expression.
You can add and remove multiple Power-Up Bands to the same Universal Studios Hollywood mobile account easily – which is ideal if you have kids.
You can then use the mobile app to review the Super Nintendo World map as well as check your rankings, your keys and your sticker collection on the go.
Do Power-Up Bands Need Charging?
Unlike the MagicBand+ offered by Disney, Power-Up bands do not need charging. Instead, these Power-Up bands used RFID similar to those found inside the interactive wands that can be used inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Universal filed for the patent for this technology back in 2019, and it was first seen in action in Power-Up bands sold at the Super Nintendo World in Osaka, Japan when it opened in the spring of 2021.
Are Power-Up Bands Worth It?
Neither of us are huge Super Nintendo World (or more specifically Mario franchise fans) – we’ve played the games, but wouldn’t be first in line for the latest release.
However, we highly recommend reserving some of your Universal Studios Hollywood spending money for a Power-Up Band as despite being self-proclaimed cheapskates we found them to be fantastic value for money and a worthwhile investment even if you only plan to visit Super Nintendo World once.
If you regularly play with Amiibo features back home or are a Universal Studios Hollywood Annual Pass Member then a Power-Up band feels like a no-brainer.
Do Universal Studios Japan Power-Up Bands Work At Universal Studios Hollywood?
We have not tested this personally, however, according to information online Power-Up Bands purchased at the Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan will work at the Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood.