Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge might be the main attraction at Universal’s Super Nintendo World—the E-ticket, to use a bit of industry jargon borrowed from Disney—but don’t overlook the new theme park expansion’s second ride, Yoshi’s Adventure. It’s not as technologically impressive as Mario Kart, or as thrilling, but for fans of Mario it offers a charming, low-speed trip through the Mushroom Kingdom. It’s especially exciting if you’re a fan of Baby Mario from the various Yoshi spinoff games—which, yes, I realize is a divisive character within the Mario universe. Many find young Mario’s constant crying to be one of the most annoying sounds in any videogame, turning hatred of the diapered, smooth-faced infant into a kind of gaming proto-meme. Well, it’s time for fans of the lad to feel vindicated: he pops up in Yoshi’s Adventure, riding on the back of an animatronic Yoshi.
I haven’t made it to Japan yet, obviously, but YouTube brings us several ride-through videos of the new attraction, including one from Universal Parks News Today. What it shows makes me excited to climb aboard Yoshi myself whenever it’s possible.
Most of Yoshi’s Adventure takes place outside, offering guests a panoramic view of Super Nintendo World. It’s akin to Disney’s Peoplemover in that way (aka the Tomorrowland Transit Authority), or the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. A significant part of the ride’s appeal will no doubt be getting off your feet for a few minutes, but Yoshi’s Adventure does include that one indoors show scene with Baby Mario and Baby Peach, as well as close-up glimpses of animatronics that probably aren’t that visible from outside the ride, including a piranha plant, various Yoshis, and a cameo from Captain Toad.
Well-done dark rides are probably my favorite type of theme park attraction, but the jury’s out on this one until I can actually ride it myself. This video isn’t especially encouraging—I knew to expect something on the short side, but it still feels shorter than anticipated—but seeing a piranha plant or a whomp come to life might make up for that. The video also doesn’t give a good shot of the ride vehicle, and simply riding on (or in) a Yoshi will probably add a lot to the experience.
Check out the full ride in the video below, along with the heavily themed queue.