Power up at Grand Central to win an exclusive Super Nintendo World trip in Japan

Naoki Yasumura of Japan dressed as Mario in Grand Central Station. (Alex Mitchell)

It is, in fact the desire of many a gamer to leap up and upper cut a tangible, floating box from Super Mario and await the resulting mystery power up to drop down.

On Feb. 19 in Grand Central Station the special reward for that dream come true is an exclusive trip to the to-be-open Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios location in Osaka, Japan.

Aptly titled the “Super Nintendo World Challenge,” it’s been open all morning in the terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall and will stay available to Mario die hards into the evening tonight — it’s not to late to try and get a spot!

Life size yellow punch blocks from Super Mario and other Nintendo games.
(Alex Mitchell)

The rules are simple: put on some oversized white Mario gloves, stand beneath a golden yellow block, start punching the living daylights out of it for 30 seconds and then once more in a bonus round for a chance to win the trip.

If you find a golden mushroom appear on the screen embedded into your Mario glove, that mean’s you’ve won big time and will be heading to Japan with a guest of your choice in the upcoming months.

Today there will be eight jackpot winners, the first being Jessica from Rochester this morning.

Even if you didn’t manage to win the a flight and three night stay in Osaka, nobody was going home empty handed at the Super Nintendo Challenge.

Super Nintendo Challenge consolation prizes. (Alex Mitchell)

How many clean hits you had on your designated block in the first round determined what prizes you were eligible for afterwards. From stuffed a Yoshi, to a Mario hat and gloves to even mini blocks, Grand Central Station was stocked with the best parts of many New Yorkers’ childhoods.

Wednesday’s challenge featured more than just locals, though. A great deal of Japanese media and Mario lovers made the trip to New York to witness the Mario festivities and learn more about how the famed Italian plumber and his brother are appreciated in America. 

Members of Japanese media in Grand Central Station.
(Alex Mitchell)

Details of the anticipated Super Nintendo World were also announced by Universal international parks and resorts president and COO, Page Thompson.

Saying that it will be “immersive, expansive, authentic,” Super Nintendo World will feature an open version of Princess Peach’s castle along with many other elements of the Mushroom Kingdom in addition to both a Yoshi and Super Mario Kart ride which will make you feel “like you’re actually in the world of Mario Kart,” according to Thomson’s announcement, which was also translated into Japanese.

Super Nintendo World is anticipated to open up this summer in Osaka and is planned to eventually come to Universal Studios in California and Florida, the president explained.

So unless you’re like Jessica from Rochester, you’ll have to wait a few months for a chance to see the Mushroom Kingdom firsthand.

Jessica from Rochester was the first winner of the “Super Nintendo Challenge.”
(Alex Mitchell)