Review: Down the pipeline through Super Nintendo World

A sign marks the entrance of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood on March 13, 2023, in Los Angeles, Calif.

Ariel Gil, Assistant Social Media Editor

Local students can now look forward to attending Super Nintendo World, located at Universal Studios Hollywood, and at a discounted price. 

What many CSUN students might not know is that the university provides up to a $20 discount on day and annual passes for its students, alumni and faculty, excluding the gold and platinum passes. 

CSUN offers cheaper prices on one-day general admission tickets, the California neighbor pass, the silver annual pass and one-day express tickets – a fast pass for each ride they have to offer in the park.

Students who are interested can visit the CSUN website and type in “theme park prices,” which will direct them to a page filled with the logos of multiple amusement parks. The discounted tickets can be found clicking on the Universal Studios Hollywood logo.

Something San Fernando Valley residents might enjoy about Universal is how close it is to home, compared to other amusement parks. For CSUN students who attend classes in person, it can take about 20 minutes to get down to the park from campus.

Super Nintendo World features immersive games and a virtual reality ride.

Leslie Hedlund, a guest ambassador at Universal Studios Hollywood, said that Super Nintendo World is like nothing they’ve seen before.

“I would have to say the ride, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, is probably the best part of Super Nintendo World, mostly because of the technology,” Hedlund said. “It’s definitely something new for our park, having that virtual video game aspect.”

CSUN student and communications major Daniella Amar favored the interactive aspect of the ride.

“I really enjoyed the ride. If you do have a power-up band, you can link that to the ride, and at the end of riding it, you can see how many points you accumulated from it,” Amar said. “Even the VR is more comfortable than other VR rides I’ve done.”

A power-up band is a slap-on bracelet with a QR code on the back that connects to the Universal Studios Hollywood app. It can be used to collect stamps and coins throughout the park, making parkgoers feel like they’re characters in the Super Mario games from the moment they step in.

There are Goombas walking around on cliffs, a Yoshi running around a giant tree and a cafe based off of the character Toad. There are also massive blocks to punch and collect coins from, which is only beneficial if you have a power-up band.

Super Nintendo World features four minigames where participants can collect keys on their Universal Studios Hollywood app. Those who are successful in collecting these keys will be able to venture off into a secret minigame only available to those who own a power-up band. However, power-up band holders are permitted to bring a plus one.

According to Hedlund, visitors are still more than capable of utilizing the interactive portions of the park despite not having a power-up band.

“The minigames are great. I like the fact that even if you don’t have the wristbands, you can at least still hear the noises,” Hedlund said. “The games are a little challenging, but the joy is that they give you multiple tries to go through. They are a little bit of a wait, but it’s fun to get coins. You feel like you’ve achieved something today, especially for the gamers that work here.”

There’s also that competitive aspect of the bands, seeing who can get the highest score, collect the most coins and get the most stamps. Amar really enjoyed the interactive minigames, and she said that the power-up band was definitely a plus.

“I really enjoyed the minigames at Super Nintendo World, and I feel like with the power-up band, it’s even more fun because you can get a little competitive with your friends,” Amar said. “It’s really interactive, so I actually really enjoy seeing how many points I can get.”

A large reason Amar even purchased her annual pass this year was because of the opening of Super Nintendo World.

“I really wanted to see what the park was going to be like,” Amar said.

Amar mentioned how she tries to purchase the California neighbor pass every year, but she didn’t purchase one last year to save money in hopes of Super Nintendo World opening this year, which it did. The discount from CSUN was pretty much the icing on the cake.

Going to Universal Studios Hollywood can be such an easy last-minute thing to do with friends if you already have a pass or plan on purchasing one. Unfortunately, not all passes offer free parking.

If you’re looking for something to do on a nice day, you can take a 20 minute drive to grab a hot butterbeer from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, ride Revenge of the Mummy and play a couple of minigames at Super Nintendo World.