Super Nintendo World
We were lucky to attend the first official opening day of Universal Studio Hollywood’s Super Nintendo World and to create Sensory Rating Cards for both the land itself and the ride, Bowsers Challenge. Super Nintendo World is at the bottom of Universal Studio’s so it requires several escalators – you can see it’s colorful presence as you descend down the escalators. This land is super fun and very authentic to the games, and can definitely be a challenge for those with sensory processing differences! It is very small, so crowding may also be a difficulty for those with tactile/touch difficulties. As you first walk into the land, you move through a tunnel with colorful moving lights, and then enter the land, which is full of very colorful, constantly moving game elements. There are various interactive elements here, including blocks that light up and make sounds when hit from underneath if you have purchased and are wearing a “Power up band.” Its is bright, loud and full of movement just as one wold expect from the games.
The overall feeling is like being inside Mario games, so Mario fans will love this! It is quite stimulating in both auditory and visual senses, so even sensory sensitive fans may need to take breaks. There are really no places to get away from Sensory overload inside Super Nintendo World, but more calming areas can be found rights outside of the exit, which is a green tube tunnel that exits near Jurassic Park, Transformers and Mummy. There are three main activities inside Super Nintendo World – the main area and the interactive power up cubes, the Toadstool Cafe, and the ride, Bowsers Challenge.
To interact with the elements inside Nintendo World, you must purchase a “Power Up band”, which are available both in kiosks inside the land as well in gifts shops throughout Universal Studios. You also need to download the Universal Studios Hollywood app, which will track coins and activities inside the land. There are several characters to choose from. In order to make the cubes light up and make sounds and gather coins on the app, one hits the underside of the cube forcefully with your hand/power up band.
We absolutely love playing this Nintendo game on the Switch, and to be able to sit in a vehicle and BE IN THE GAME was super cool! The ride takes place in a slow moving vehicle that moves and turns along a track, but due to the nature of what you see in the AR goggles that you are wearing, it feels like you are moving much faster, which can be disorienting to some. One has to be comfortable with wearing the goggles and learn to move around with the game controls on the vehicle. There was a LOT to look at through the AR goggles, and this could certainly feel overwhelming to some (our team rated the visual aspect a 5 on a 0-5 scale). The auditory impact was not as significant on the ride than out in the Land itself, but still had a lot of sounds.
The ride, Bowser’s Challenge, has a beautiful queue, with many elements from the Mario kart game to explore visually. The lighting is beautiful, and there is only one place that has a mild flashing effect as if electricity is buzzing.
For more details about the Sensory elements of Nintendo World, download the Super Nintendo World Sensory Rating Card and Bowsers Challenge Sensory Rating Card
If you have sensory processing challenges, what did you think of Universal’s Super Nintendo World?
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