Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge Universal Studios Hollywood

The long-awaited Super Nintendo World brings the magic of Mario Kart in the groundbreaking augmented reality ride, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. 

Situated in the Lower Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood, this ride catapults you straight into the legendary Mario Kart video game series. 

For devoted players spanning back to the 1992 release of Super Mario Kart, this is the chance to step into the driver’s seat of a go-kart as the beloved Mario. 

Joining forces with iconic racers like Luigi, Princess Peach, and Yoshi, your mission is to outscore Team Bowser and claim the coveted Golden Cup.

A dynamic and immersive experience, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is designed for fans of all ages. 

Using augmented reality, projection mapping, and set pieces, the ride takes you on a moving track adventure through various iconic Mario Kart tracks.

The exhilarating Rainbow Road is a definite highlight.

As the sole attraction in Super Nintendo World, the ride often boasts the longest lines in the park. 

However, with Universal Express Passes, you can enjoy special privileges, ensuring a more seamless entry into the captivating world of Mario Kart.


Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge boasts an immersive and visually stunning queue that complements the thrilling ride.  

The exterior mirrors the formidable Bowser’s Castle, setting the stage for the ‘Universal Cup’ clash between ‘Team Bowser’ and ‘Team Mario.’ 

As you queue up, grab a visor resembling Mario’s hat — adjust it using a knob. 

And don’t forget the goggles, and you’ll need them to catch all the projected graphics during the ride.

The journey through Bowser’s Castle unfolds in various themed rooms.

Each room transports you to different Super Mario games, starting with the vibrant Yoshi’s Island and diving into the heart of Bowser’s domain.

The excitement amps up in the pre-show, where augmented reality visors turn the adventure into a hands-on experience. 

Before the starting line, you can hone their skills by aiming and firing Koopa Shell ammo at characters in the augmented reality section.

Lakitu guides you through visor setup, showcasing Mii outfits from Mario Kart 8. Hop into four-person vehicles resembling Mario Kart 8 karts.

It’s not just about the thrill; it’s a team effort. You can work together to drift into turns and score big against ‘Team Bowser.’

Ride experience

The action-packed fun of Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge, lasting five minutes, is a blend of go-kart racing and augmented reality. 

Picture this: you’re Mario, cruising through iconic Mario Kart 8 locations alongside pals like Luigi and Princess Peach. 

Your mission? Beat Team Bowser to snatch the Golden Cup and bragging rights!

The journey whisks you through fan-favorite courses like N64 Royal Raceway and N64 Rainbow Road, promising a visually stunning experience.

The ride, intentionally slower than the video games, lets you soak in the awesome theming. 

Zip through underwater realms with cloud-filled skies and encounter the whole Mario gang, including Bowser and the Koopa Troop. 

You can track your high scores on the Universal Studios app using your Power-Up Band for some friendly competition.

The climax of the journey reveals whether Team Mario or Team Bowser emerges victorious. 

The result depends on your collective points. 

You can experience different outcomes on each ride, and if things get a bit intense or motion sickness sets in, simply ditch the goggles.

The ride is all about delivering a visually stunning, mushroom-filled escapade that brings the magic of Mario Kart to life. 


Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge has a minimum height requirement of 40 inches (102 cm). Riders between 40-48 inches (122 cm) need a supervising companion.

A Single Riders line is available for their convenience. 

For wheelchair users, a transfer from the wheelchair to the ride vehicle is necessary.

Be mindful that the ride’s queue and left-hand track exits involve steps. 

If stairs are a challenge, use the doors on the right.

Wait time

Prepare for an average wait time of approximately 100 minutes for the Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge ride. 

If you’re an early bird, catch the minimum wait of around 10 minutes when the park opens in the morning. 

Brace yourself for the peak, with the highest recorded wait time soaring to an intense 240 minutes. 

To optimize your experience, aim for the best times to ride—early morning at 9 am, early afternoon around 3.45 pm, or late afternoon at 6.55 pm.


Gear up for an epic journey through Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge with these handy tips.

First up, during the early part of the queue, keep an eye out for Yoshi in the black light forest—his appearance on the screens tucked into the tree is a lucky charm. 

As you wind through Bowser’s Castle, the massive Bowser Statue signals your entrance into the inner sanctum, where the theming shifts to the big bad guy’s creations. 

Explore Bowser’s workshop, where a delicate picture of his crush, Princess Peach, adds a touch of humor to the villain’s lair.

Next, in the MKTV Studio, pay attention to the non-verbal instructions on how to use the AR goggles and steering wheel. 

Prioritize the practice session at the start of the ride for a visual refresher on steering and shooting. 

It’s the perfect warm-up before you hit the starting line with other kart riders. 

Before entering your kart, study the characters on the wall to know your enemies—take aim and shoot when you spot them in the game.

At the kart assignment area, communicate the total number of people in your party to ensure you’re placed together. 

If you need extra space, opt for the back row, offering more legroom. 

Once seated, synchronize your Power-Up Band by touching it to the center of the wheel, and marvel as your AR screen tracks every point earned. 

Remember, to shoot at targets, move your head to aim while steering with your hands. 

Aim for over 100 points to clinch the coveted Golden Cup and collect special stamps on the Universal Studios app.

When exiting the ride, straighten your legs to break the seal created by the seat.


Is Mario Kart Bowser’s challenge worth the wait?

Despite an average wait time of around 100 minutes, Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge ride is worth the wait. 

It stands out as one of the most innovative and ambitious theme park attractions.

Capturing the essence of the beloved Mario Kart experience, it perfectly blends challenge, fun, and addictiveness.

How does Mario Kart Bowser’s challenge work?

In Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge, players embodying Mario use a visor to aim and throw virtual shells at Team Bowser’s vehicles, collecting coins in the process. 

Pressing buttons on the steering wheel facilitates throwing and collecting.

Beware—hitting Team Mario deducts points, adding a strategic twist to the immersive ride experience.

What is the size limit for Mario Kart Bowser’s challenge?

Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge has a 40-inch waistline limit. 

If you have doubts, we recommend testing the seats before lining up for the ride to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.

Featured Image: Universalstudioshollywood.com

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