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Mario Kart VR Races to California at K1 Speed Irvine!

VR Zone Portal Irvine and K1 Speed logos with Mario Kart VR in background

Due to the COVID pandemic, VR Zone Portal Irvine is temporarily closed. However, K1 Speed Irvine is open for real-life go kart racing! Learn more here: Irvine Arrive & Drive Racing


Mama Mia! Get ready for a whole new karting experience at K1 Speed. The worldwide phenomenon that is Mario Kart Arcade GP VR comes to our Irvine location this month!


This is only the second time in history that Mario Kart Arcade GP VR has been offered in the United States (previously only found in Washington DC). And K1 Speed Irvine will be the only place in the entire country where you’ll be able to try this unique experience that journalists and gamers have been raving about since its introduction in Tokyo.


Our whole arcade at K1 Speed Irvine has been converted into VR Zone Portal Irvine – a Bandai Namco Amusement arcade with the latest exciting video game experiences that are coming out of Japan.

Mario Kart Arcade GP VR

In Mario Kart Arcade GP VR, we’ll have four different karts for you to jump into. Each kart comes complete with rumble seats, pedals and steering wheel. Each kart represents one of the playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Yoshi.


Once you’re in your kart, you’ll be slipping on a HTC Vive virtual reality headseat, headphones with mics, and Vive Trackers on your hands. Then, you’ll be transported to the virtual world of Mushroom Kingdom where you and your friends will be racing against Bowser and Wario for the top step of the podium.

four mario kart vr racing machines part of the vr arcade experience

On the way, you’ll have to dodge Piranha Plants and Thwomps as you twist your way around the circuit. Of course, Mario Kart Arcade GP VR wouldn’t be complete without weapons, so these are very much a part of the experience as well. Instead of driving into blocks to pick up a weapon, you’ll simply grab one from a balloon that floats above you within reaching distance. Once you’ve snatched a weapon, you’ll be able to throw bananas or green shells at your opponents or smash a fellow racer with a hammer as you storm past. Must be 48″ or taller to play.


And Mario Kart Arcade GP VR isn’t the only amazing VR experience coming to K1 Speed Irvine. Take a look at the other games in the arcade!

Ski Rodeo

Take to the slopes in Ski Rodeo, a next-generation skiing simulator that is so realistic and immersive, you’ll even see your own breath in the chilly VR environment! Just don’t be surprised if you have a funny reaction like this while playing the game. Must be 48″ or taller to play.

virtual reality skiing arcade game with handles and screen
point of view shot of ski rodeo vr arcade game

Winged Bicycle

Take to the skies in Winged Bicycle – an incredibly immersive virtual reality flying simulation that puts you behind the wheelbars of a Leonardo Da Vinci-style flying machine. Choose your own path to the castle in this open-world environment, where you’ll fly through beautiful landscapes, narrow caves, and crumbling ancient relics. When we say immersive we mean IMMERSIVE – hope you’re not afraid of heights!

the virtual reality machines for winged bicycle by bandai namco
Note: There are 2 machines in Irvine - not 4.
player point of view of winged bicycle - a vr game from bandai namco

Two Different & Exciting Pac-Man Experiences

If these cutting-edge virtual reality video games aren’t your speed, then enjoy some retro fun with Pac-Man! We’ll have two different non-VR Pac-Man experiences available: Pac-Man Battle Royale Deluxe or The World’s Largest Pac-Man.


In Pac-Man Battle Royale Deluxe, up to four players compete against each other – eating ghosts and other players’ Pac-Man characters on their way to victory. Each player will have their own pedestal with controls, and gameplay will take place on a projection on our arcade wall!


If the traditional Pac-Man experience is more your cup of tea, then try out The World’s Largest Pac-Man. This game is the classic 1980 Pac-Man experience that we all know and love – but bigger! You’ll be playing on a nearly 9-foot tall 108” LED screen that’ll suck you right into the maze!

No restrictions to play. 

woman playing worlds largest pacman arcade game

This is Incredible! When Can I Play and How Much Will It Cost?

VR ZONE Portal Irvine will open on Wednesday, June 12 during our normal operating hours.* The prices for these virtual reality experiences are as follows:

Mario Kart VR: $10 (1 Play) / $18 (2 Plays)


Ski Rodeo/Winged Bicycle: $8 (1 Play) / $15 (2 Plays)

Play ‘Em All (1 play on each VR game): $25


Both Pac-Man Games: $1/play

Race Virtually AND in Real Life!

Of course, if you’re planning on doing some laps around Mushroom Kingdom, you’ve got to complement the experience with laps around an actual go-kart track! Make sure you jump into one of our all-electric go-karts while you’re here and experience speeds up to 45 mph!

Explore our Irvine Go-Kart Race Packages
shot of two racers enjoying indoor kart racing at k1 speed

Are YOU excited to play Mario Kart VR? Which character will you race as in Mushroom Kingdom? Let us know in the comments section below!

*If we have a private event, VR Zone Portal Irvine will be closed to the public. Please check our closures page when planning your visit. 

  • Diego Mendez

    Will you have Birthday party package events? Such as renting the VR zone for 2 to 3 hours of unlimited play time + electric go carts and a room for the party to eat and cut cake.

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Diego! We currently do not have any packages including VR, however the VR arcade is available to rent for unlimited play. For more information about the rental, you may speak with a group events specialist by calling 1-855-517-7333. Thank you!

  • Jeffrey Chen

    Hello, will there be Mario Kart merchandise available in the future?

    • Staff Writer

      Hey, Jeffrey! We currently do not have plans to do so, but you never know down the line..!

  • Olivia

    Hi! When will this end? I live in NorCal and want to make sure I make it to Irvine in time.

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Olivia! VR Zone Portal will be inside our Irvine location for at least a year – so you’ve got some time!

  • Ruben Flores

    Can people show up and play or do you have to make reservations? Are the VR MARIO carts available to play all week long and weekends? What’s the website that we can look at?
    Thank you.

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Ruben! All of these games are available for people to show up and play 7 days a week during our normal operating hours. This webpage is your best source for information regarding the arcade. If looking for more information about K1 Speed Irvine, please visit: https://www.k1speed.com/irvine-location.html . Thanks for your interest!

  • Tetsuo

    Is there a minimum age requirement for the VR games?

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Tetsuo! You just have to be 4′ (48″) for Mario Kart Arcade GP VR and Ski Rodeo. Suggested age for Argyle Shift is 13.

  • Tetsuo

    I have another question. How long (time) does a single play typically last in the Mario Kart GP VR last?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello again! Mario Kart Arcade GP VR typically lasts around 5 minutes per play.

  • Lana


    It says online that the height req for VR Mario Kart is 48inch, but one of your Staff Writer replied as minimum 58″. Which one is it? I have a 10-year old about 54″ tall.

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Lana! Whoops! Our mistake – the original information in the blog post is correct: 48″ or 4′ tall. Sorry for any confusion!

  • Chris

    Is there an entrance fee and do I have to have someone over the age of 18 with me if I am 15

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Chris! Thanks for your interest in our VR Zone! Nope, you don’t need someone over 18 with you to play our virtual reality games. However, you will need someone with you who is 18 or older if you want to experience our real-life go-kart racing. Hope we see you soon!

  • Tim Legdeur

    Will the Mario kart thing ever make it’s way to Europe as well? Also what’s there to brag about this only being in one place in the US? That actually sounds very pathetic in this day and age and yet you guys are putting it like it’s something we should be cheering for.

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Tim! Yeah, think there’s one located in England somewhere in addition to other places around the world. Oh, we are DEFINITELY bragging about it – we’re currently the only one in the US with this amazing Bandai-Namco VR game. Why wouldn’t we boast about it?

  • Marco Antonio

    What is the maximum weight capacity for the VR Mario Karts. 🙁

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Marco! Thanks for your interest in Mario Kart VR! We’ve had someone who’s over 300lbs before, so we say around 300lbs, maybe a little more. Hope that helps and that we get to see you here soon!

  • Steven Sievers

    i have a 7 year old daughter who wants to go Mario Kart VR. is there an age limit ?

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Steven! Thanks for your interest in Mario Kart VR! Nope, no age limit. She’ll just need to be at least 48″ tall to play. Thanks!

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