MARIO KART RIDE AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS IS A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT
First off let me start off by saying, I love Nintendo. Owned every console they ever put out. Played every Mario Kart game, one of my favorite Nintendo franchises. Even interviewed Nintendo’s “Walt Disney”, Shigeru Miyamoto once.
Nintendo is one of the most inventive and innovative companies in the world. I also love theme parks. Worked at Disney World for many years. Been to Disney Parks around the world. Love Universal Florida’s Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood. Have season passes for all.
So, when I heard there was a “Nintendo Land” coming to a theme park, two of the worlds I loved, collided. I was in heaven. When I also heard that the land’s big “E-ticket” attraction would be a Mario Kart ride, I started thinking, OMG, what will it be? After all, Mario Kart is all about SPEED! Will we get Disneyland’s Space Mountain meets California Adventure’s Radiator Springs Racers meets Universal’s Hulk Coaster?!!
My mind started to imagine all the amazing possibilities!! Then this video as seen here hit the internet and I became instantly depressed. It was none of the above. It was Disneyland’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride with 1955 tech. A slow- moving, under 5 minute dark ride, that appears to be going under 8 miles per hour. A ride that has old augmented reality elements (gimmickry I can play at home for over a decade on my Nintendo Switch, 3DS or even my phone).
Why Nintendo? WHY?
This was your big moment to shine, to show the world you mean serious business in the theme park world. Instead, you give us this tepid-slow-crawling “Super Star Limo” Clunker?
People will say “Oh, they didn’t have space!” I say, bullshit! Build UP, 2, 3 stories, like epic rides such as Terminator or Disney’s Star Wars Rise of the Resistance! People will say “But wait, there is AR, you can’t judge that from a video!” And I’ll say, I can judge the ride system, a ride that has no real speed, the use of video projections that will age out quickly, the fact that I can play a pretty nifty AR-based Nintendo game at home, Mario Kart Home Circuit (for the record, there is a video online that shoots the video through the AR goggles, and, it ain’t pretty).
I am just so damn sad that Universal went cheap-cheap (pun intended, Mario fans!) with this ride. And intends to duplicate this in the United States. The land itself is not bad, though not as big as I thought it would be. The shops are awesome (Ill drop a couple hundred here easily), the food experience looks fun and yummy, and, the sleeper-hit attraction might be a video game fight with Bowser, Jr. However, another ride-miss appears to be the “Wedway People Mover-esque” Yoshi’s Adventure. It’s very short, half the length time-wise of People Mover, utilizing static Nintendo mannequins on display during the ride’s journey, scream “we ran out of money!” to me.
This was Nintendo’s moment. To out do FLIGHT OF PASSAGE at Disney’s Pandora Land. Or out Potter Potter himself with Universal Florida’s three great E-tickets. Hell, even try surpass the amazing 1995 tech from INDIANA JONES ADVENTURE ride, Disneyland. Instead, we get the inept Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge (even Koopa is a little known character in the Nintendo World - marketing team, why didn’t you at least call it Bowser’s Challenge? Especially as you battle Bowser at the end?)
Never have I’ve been sadder with a new Nintendo product in my life.