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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

During spring break, I returned to Universal for the first time in four years, eager to see what had changed since I last visited. Specifically, I was excited to see the latest area of the park: Super Nintendo World. Growing up, I was a huge Nintendo fan, and I couldn’t wait to see all my favorite aspects of the video games I would play come to life at the park. My friends and I even came dressed in themed costumes as the characters.

We would show up at the park bright and early, only an hour after opening. I had high hopes. Sure, it was spring break, and there would probably be more people than usual with their schedules free, but the park had only been open for an hour. What was the worst that could happen?

Even when we had to get in line to enter that part of the park, I still felt optimistic. That was up until we entered the park itself. My friends and I had planned on making a reservation for lunch at the restaurant there, Toadstool Cafe, but it was already completely booked for the entire day. I was astounded. As I gazed at the swarms of children and people running around the area, my optimism faded.

What sealed the deal was seeing the wait time for the only ride at Super Nintendo World, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. It was 120 minutes, two hours of waiting for a ride. I had no clue whether or not it would be worth it. At a loss for what to do, as quickly as my friends and I entered Super Nintendo World, we left it, enjoying the other rides and attractions that Universal had to offer.

We wouldn’t return to Super Nintendo World until the end of our day at Universal, as the wait time would finally drop to under triple digits, a 90-minute wait. At this point in the day, most of the accessories of our costumes had been discarded for comfort; our feet were aching, and it was getting colder and windier. To say I had the same enthusiasm as I did at the beginning of the day for this ride would be a lie.

After entering the line for the ride, not even the fun visuals could keep my energy up as we sluggishly moved through the line. I enjoyed being in a black-light waiting room and watching how our clothes glowed in the dark, although the darkness made it all the more easy to fall asleep.

The ride itself, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, at least in my opinion, was not worth a 90-minute wait, and not a two-hour wait either. Perhaps my only highlight of the ride was sitting down and resting my feet during it. Otherwise, it was far too short for my taste.

My friends and I would leave Universal wholly spent, but just because Super Nintendo World wasn’t what I thought it would be didn’t mean I didn’t have a fun time at the theme park. Although I doubt I’ll ever enter the line for its ride again, it was still a pleasant learning experience that, sometimes, good things do not come to those who wait. 

Despite this, seeing the coin blocks, the piranha plants, and Peach’s and Bowser’s castles in real life, rather than on a TV screen, filled me with wonderful nostalgia and took me back to being a kid again. Plus, getting to laugh with my friends as we tried to pass the time waiting in line are memories I’ll cherish forever.

So, if you’re considering going to Super Nintendo World while visiting Universal, I recommend that you bring good company, patience, and comfortable shoes!

Sophia Brunet

UC Berkeley '27

Sophia is a freshman at UC Berkeley, intending to major in English, with minor in Public Policy. She enjoys writing about pop culture, personal blogs, and listicles. Sophia has experience in creative writing and journalism. After graduation, she hopes to enter the publishing and editing industry, determined to sharing the joys of creation and writing with others. In her free time, when she's not writing, Sophia enjoys going to concerts, thrifting for new clothes, and spending time with her friends and family.