Fans of Mario and Luigi can enter the world of Super Mario Bros thanks to Universal Studios Hollywood’s Super Nintendo World theme park in Los Angeles, which opened to the public on Friday.
The entrance to the park consists of a gigantic green pipe tunnel, similar to the one Mario travels through in the video game. From there, visitors can board a ride based on the popular Mario Kart video game or eat at a cafe inspired by Super Mario Bros’ character Toadstool, among other activities.
The theme park “is rich with interactivity, distinctive merchandise and inventive culinary treats,” Universal Parks CEO Mark Woodbury said during a press event this week.
Nintendo is among the best-known video game companies in the world, having created such characters as Donkey Kong, Kirby, Pikachu from the Pokémon series and Samus Aran from Super Metroid. Nintendo’s handheld gaming console Switch became the third-best selling console of all time last year, IGN reported. The company’s U.S. arm — Nintendo of America — generated $305 million in profit in 2022.
Mario and Luigi are Nintendo’s most recognizable characters. In the game, the brothers work as plumbers but also embark on quests across a fictitious land called the Mushroom Kingdom to save Princess Peach from the villain Bowser. Their adventures were depicted in a 1993 film starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo. A remake of the movie starring Chris Pratt as Mario and Jack Black as Bowser is set to hit theaters in April.
Other Mario video games depict the brothers as soccer players, race car drivers, tennis stars and space explorers.
“From the moment we began working on this project, our goal has been to bring the Mushroom Kingdom to reality for all fans of all ages around the world,” Shigeru Miyamoto, a representative director for Nintendo, said at the opening event.
Super Nintendo World is the first park of its kind built outside of Japan, where the video game publisher is headquartered. Nintendo and Universal first announced the theme park last March. Universal also plans to open another Super Nintendo World at its theme park in Orlando, Florida, Woodbury said.
The two companies created and opened a similar theme park in Japan that opened in 2021.
The Los Angeles park generated plenty of interest ahead of its opening. Patrons eager to visit crashed the ticket reservation website last month. One-day, general admissions tickets cost $109, according to Universal Studios’ website.
Actor Brie Larson was one of the first visitors to Super Nintendo World on Wednesday. She tweeted pictures of herself and friends enjoying the Mario Kart-themed ride and checking out the Mario-themed hamburger meal.