Mario Kart: the Ride is an interactive 4-D motion-based dark ride at Universal Studios Canada and Universal Orlando Resort.
Riders walk through a race track and pick up a pair of "Race Goggles"(3-D glasses).
Riders board a 2-row, 2-seat cart and put on the Race Goggles. One rider in the front row drives the steering wheel and the other rider sets off power-ups. The two riders in the back row just enjoy the ride. Riders experience a 4-minute game of Mario Kart. Riders can choose from these different race courses:
- Toad's Factory
- Coconut Mall
- Wario's Gold Mine
- Bowsers Castle
- Rainbow Road
- DK Summit (only available during winter)
- Mario Circuit (only available during spring)
- Peach Beach (only available during summer)
- Maple Treeway (only available during fall)
There is a small HD TV monitor inside the dash of the cart. Next to the monitor is a keypad. Riders use the keypad in the start of the ride to pick which course they want to do. One rider uses the B button to set off the power-ups they collect during the ride.
The entire ride is created with a series of curved 3-D screen and physical effects. Unlike rides like Transformers the Ride and Men in Black: Alien Attack, this ride uses only screens and no props or sets. This allows the setting of the ride to vary depending on which course the ride chooses. This allows a different ride each time. The transition from screen-to-screen are simply just the cars quickly pulling away from on screen and facing another. The screens interact with the riders. The screens use the same technology as the game, not using pre-rendered film, but having the direction of the cars depend on where the riders are steering. The gameplay of the ride is just like Mario Kart Wii. Whenever a power-up is collected, the power-up appears on the in-car monitor instead of the 3-D screen. The vehicles are also on a 6-DOF motion base. The vehicles move depending on where riders are steering. Wind is blown throughout the entire ride. Water, scents, colored strobe lights, bubbles, fog, and air blasts are also used. The temperature of the air blown onto riders depends on which course, or which section of the course they are on.
- Safety Restraint: Seatbelt, Handrail
- Most of the tracks are from Mario Kart Wii with the exception of Peach Beach which is a retro track from Mario Kart Double Dash.