Experience Disney’s Latest Ride… at Universal Studios

in Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios

Vanellope in her kart at Universal

Credit: Inside the Magic

In the wide world of theme parks and thrilling attractions, Disney and Universal Studios are undoubtedly the two biggest names in the industry. As Disney prepares to unveil its exciting next new ride, observant fans might notice something odd about the upcoming Sugar Rush attraction.

Guests riding Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge at Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

Rides inspired by race tracks, racecars, and other such paraphernalia are nothing new, but a ride inspired by a racing video game is another matter altogether. As Mario tears up the tracks at Universal’s Nintendo World, both gamers and Disney buffs can’t help but notice more than a few similarities between Bowser’s Challenge and Tokyo Disney’s upcoming ride inspired by Wreck-It Ralph (2012).

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Although the new attraction is essentially a redesign of Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, there’s no denying that there are connections between the fictional racing game Sugar Rush and a certain racing icon. It’s a wonder neither Nintendo nor Universal have said anything.

Will Sugar Rush Steal Mario’s Coins?

An animated scene with characters Ralph and Vanellope in a vibrant, colorful Sugar Rush game world filled with neon lights, candies, and whimsical architecture.
Credit: Disney

If you’re not familiar, Wreck-It Ralph was essentially what would happen if the cartoon character elements in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) were exchanged with video game ones. In the movie, Vanellope is the lost princess of Sugar Rush, the fictional Mario-Kart-inspired racing game, and the similarities between the two titles are pretty obvious.

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A full report from Theme Park Insider shares the following,

“The new attraction will remain an interactive dark ride, this time set within the world of the candy-themed racing game Sugar Rush. “Sugar Bugs” created by King Candy are on the attack, and riders will work with Ralph and Vanellope to transform the Sugar Bugs back to their original “kawaii” form, as confectionery such as cookies and cakes.”

Although the ride will use Buzz Lightyear’s familiar shooting elements, Sugar Rush’s racing imagery is unignorable. Furthermore, the iconography is even more inseparable if guests have both seen the movie and played the video game. Could Disney have been looking at Universal or Nintendo’s designs?

A Buggy Game

Cybugs in Wreck-It Ralph
Credit: Disney

In reality, while the setting might take a few notes from Mario Kart (particularly Sweet Sweet Canyon), the experience will be completely different. Shooting “Sugar Bugs” on the sweet-themed racetrack is the saving grace that keeps the two from venturing into plagiaristic waters, and it’s likely going to be an advantage in the attraction’s favor.

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Imitation is supposedly the sincerest form of flattery, but Disney’s Sugar Rush and Nintendo World’s Bowser’s Challenge might be a case of similar but not congruent. Even so, is it a ride inspired by Mario Kart or a ride inspired by a game inspired by Mario Kart?

Are you as curious as we are? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!

in Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios

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