With Universal Studios being targeted due to size restrictions on its newest ride, theme park employees share their best tips to visit SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, the Southern California theme park’s latest expansion.
The newest expansion at Universal Studios Hollywood just opened its doors for all Guests to enjoy. While venturing into an immersive land inspired by the Super Mario franchise, some Guests might find their visit to SUPER NINTENDO WORLD disappointing and discouraging, as the only ride in the land has a strict requirement that makes it unavailable for “Guests over a 40-inch waistline.”
Related: Universal Studios Bashed For Restricting Plus-Sized Guests
Accessibility at theme park attractions has been an issue for years, with plus-sized Guests struggling to experience some of the most popular attractions due to a lack of accommodations. And unfortunately, SUPER NINTENDO WORLD is no exception, as Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, the only ride in the Universal Parks expansion, caused outrage due to its highly restrictive accessibility, rejecting Guests with bigger waistlines despite the ride being a slow-moving simulator, not an extreme roller coaster.
However, after intense backlash, The Orange County Register reported on a Guest with a 52-inch waist fitting the vehicle at Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge with “no problem” thanks to four helpful tips from Universal theme park employees. Let Inside the Magic share them with you to help you enjoy Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge on your visit to SUPER NINTENDO WORLD at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Lower Lot.
Use the test seat outside the attraction to make sure you can access the ride
Universal Studios Hollywood added a test seat in an out-of-the-way corner near the attraction entrance to allow Guests to see if they’ll fit in the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge seats. The test seat has a light on the pull-down lap bar that lights up yellow when the restraint is not engaged — meaning you can’t safely ride the attraction — and green when it is secured. The ability to fit in the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge seats, like with many other rides at Universal Studios Hollywood, depends on your body’s dimensions.
Request the back row of the ride’s vehicles
The back row of the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge vehicles has more legroom than the front row, which is important as the height can matter as much as the weight on this new ride. Taller riders with smaller waists may find that their long legs won’t fit under the vehicle’s lap bars. Using the test seat outside the attraction is important to ensure you won’t have a problem with legroom. However, the OC Register report states that the test seat replicates the legroom of the ride’s front row.
Stretch your legs before pulling down the lap bar
The size and position of your thighs play a crucial role in ensuring your access to Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, as they will allow the lap bar to engage safely. Stretching your legs will help flatten your thighs and let the lap bar lower to the required level while also helping the restraint fit you more comfortably. I have tried this strategy on Flight of the Hippogriff in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as I find the ride’s lap bar not to be the best fitting for taller Guests, and it has worked perfectly for me, helping me feel safe and comfortable riding the roller coaster.
Use your momentum
As a last resort, you can use momentum to ensure the restraint will lock in position, allowing you to ride Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, using your body weight to your advantage. You can try and pull down on the lap bar as you sit in the seat, using the momentum of your whole body to pull down the lap bar for a secure lock.
While these tips may help you when trying to ride Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge at SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, each Guest’s experience while testing the ride will be different, and Inside the Magic cannot ensure you will have access to the new ride.
The first SUPER NINTENDO WORLD opened in 2021 at Universal Studios Japan, which explains the extremely restrictive measures on the vehicles. The vehicles for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge were initially designed for the average Japanese Guest’s anatomy without considering the dimension of the average American Guest, as discussed by a theme park expert in The Orange County Register’s report.
SUPER NINTENDO WORLD officially opened its gates at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 17, 2023, welcoming Guests eager to meet Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, and Bowser while exploring Toadstool Cafe, 1-UP Factory store, Bowser’s Castle, and all the fantastic locations at the highly immersive land to live their own Super Mario-inspired adventure.
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, was recently in hot water due to a similar issue with TRON Lightcycle / Run, as the long-awaited roller coaster also has extremely restrictive vehicles that have proven uncomfortable for thousands of Cast Members and Guests lucky enough to experience the new Disney ride ahead of its official opening on April 4, 2023.
Inside the Magic prepared a guide with all the information and tips to make the most of your visit to SUPER NINTENDO WORLD. You can click here to check it out!