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Universal Reveals How Super Nintendo World Power-Up Bands Work

Super Nintendo World will open soon, and the Power-Up Band will be a key part of the experience.

Courtesy Universal Studios Hollywood
Courtesy Universal Studios Hollywood
Courtesy Universal Studios Hollywood

Super Nintendo World is almost ready to open at Universal Studios Hollywood. The most exciting theme park opening of the year will take place on February 17. 

One of the biggest draws–even for fans of plumbing superstars–is the promise of unique technology that will provide experiences you won’t see at many, if any, other theme parks. Key to the promised interactive experiences is the Power-Up Band you’ll have to buy in addition to the admission fee.

There has been a little mystery around the Power-Up Bands, but Universal Studios has offered a preview of what to expect from them at the new Mario-themed area of its California park.The wristbands will sync with the Universal Studios Hollywood mobile app to complement interactive features spread throughout the land. The bands will be available for purchase in six styles with character-themed designs for Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad, and Princess Daisy. Which character you pick will place you on a team with other park visitors as you collect digital stars around Super Nintendo World.

Guests will compete against other teams, striving to get the highest cumulative score during the day through the collection of those coins. Scoreboards are visible in the park as well as inside the app. 

One way to collect coins is by riding Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, the tentpole ride of the land. You can tap the Power-Up Band on the steering wheel to have the ride track the coins you collect on the ride. You’ll also be able to attempt to best your own high score on repeated rides. 

The park says the band further unlocks gameplay activities around the park, allowing you to collect coins and stamps “when completing milestones within the land.” There are also “Key Challenges” allowing guests with bands to collect keys as they accept challenges from Goomba Crazy Crank, Koopa Troopa POWer Punch, Piranha Plant Nap Mishap, and Thwomp Panel Picnic. If you collect at least three keys, you’ll get access to a “final boss battle” against Bowser Jr.

There is also the mysterious promise of an “enhanced experience” when meeting characters like Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach inside Super Nintendo World. That’s a lot of activity that gets unlocked with the band. It’s certainly more than the more modest experiences opened up when guests buy an interactive wand inside the Wizarding World. Though, functionality doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be worth the cost. We’ll see as the first visitors start walking through the iconic green pipe in late February.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin on Twitter.

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Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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