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Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood Celebrates 1-Year with New Power Up Cafe

Here's everything you need to know before visiting the Power Up Cafe at Universal Studios Hollywood.

By Tara Bennett
An exterior shot of the new Super Mario World Restaurant at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Time flies when you're battling Bowser and collecting coins at Universal Studios Hollywood's Super Nintendo World. The incredible interactive land, which opened on February 17, 2023, celebrates its first birthday this month with several sweet perks to acknowledge the anniversary including the debut of the all-new Power Up Cafe, the option to purchase a commemorative, special-release Golden Power-Up Band and a limited-edition complimentary 1-Year Anniversary Button.

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For guests visiting the theme park on February 17, the Golden Power-Up Band will be available for the first time, and join the other six Power-Up Bands that you can purchase to link with the Universal Studios Hollywood App to collect virtual coins and achievements inside Super Nintendo World land. On the same day, the special commemorative collector button will be available (while supplies last) at Guest Relations, located right inside the entrance of the park.

Power Up Cafe Snack and Drinks

The display at the new Super Mario World Restaurant at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood is located in the Lower Lot of the theme park, which also features an outside the land, Nintendo character treat stand for quick themed snacks, collectible popcorn buckets and sippers. Now, the all-new Power Up Cafe (located on New York Street on the Upper Lot inside the theme park) gives Nintendo fans an extra way to celebrate their favorite video game world with bespoke creative snacks and drinks, and an alternate place to buy the collectible mushroom sippers and themed popcorn buckets. 

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As a permanent food station, the Power Up Cafe provides guests a tiny preview of what's to come in the Lower Lot within Super Nintendo World. The Power Up Cafe features a limited menu of meat and vegetarian calzone, a Fire Flower shaped pretzel with three dunking sauces, popcorn with edible glitter and four different Power-Up fizz drinks with flavor pearls (like softer boba). 

Power Up Cafe Menu

An closeup of the Super Mushroom Calzone at the new Super Mario World at Universal Studios Hollywood.

During a recent press preview for the Power Up Cafe, NBC Insider spoke exclusively with Erick Massmann, the Senior Manager for Universal Studios Food and Beverage.

"The idea was to bring a new fun concept tied to the Super Nintendo World, completely separate from what you experience downstairs," Massmann said of the Cafe's origins. "We were looking at what's something that's a big part of that world that we could turn into a really fun experience for our guests here in the park, to be able to enjoy. The first thing that came to mind is the Power-Ups which you experience within the game itself. How do we bring those to life and allow you to experience those yourself?"

Working with Julia Thrash, the Executive Chef at Universal Studios, Hollywood and their partners at Nintendo, Massmann said they developed an array of dish ideas and concepts to brainstorm and test for the Cafe.

"It's a pretty major process," he explained. "We'll partner with Nintendo at the beginning on ideas that we have, to get their feedback and their opinion on what we can maybe pursue and what we can't. From there, we get to work on the different, fun items. Then it's the process of the presentation and the feedback and tailoring until we get to a point where they feel good about it and we feel good about it. It's got to be something we can obviously produce here, consistently, so it's a very lengthy process to get to what you see here in person. It's a lot of fun work too."

Power Up Cafe Special Limited Items

A closeup of the food at the new Super Mario World Restaurant at Universal Studios Hollywood.

While some super fans have speculated if the Cafe would port over food items from Super Nintendo World from Universal Studios Japan theme park, Massmann said they definitely looked at their offerings but decided to create an original menu for the Hollywood theme park Cafe that was tailored to the food preferences they see appreciated by their local guests. 

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"We asked how do we take maybe what they already have, and tailor it a little more to what we're used to here in the States, while also still wanting to work on fun new items too?" he continued. "It's kind of that cross partnership where we might bring something that grabs their attention that they might want to bring to their [park]. But always trying to elevate and come up with really fun concepts that you're able to experience, no matter what park you go to."

Asked if the Power Up Cafe will have any special or limited items that could pop up on the fixed menu, Massmann said "yes."

"This will be the menu programming that we lead with, but we are always looking at bringing in limited time offerings, or new permanent menu offerings. Nothing is planned at the moment but stay tuned."

For more information about Super Nintendo World, or any of the food options at Universal Studios Hollywood, check out the official website and App. 

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