David “Dez” Hernandez
The Super Nintendo World Visionary
A glance at the resume of self-professed pop-culture nerd David “Dez” Hernandez proves he isn’t playing when it comes to building a storied career. For well over a decade, Dez has been a creative consultant at Universal Creative responsible for some of the studio’s biggest hits — most notably, Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood — leading teams of artists, designers and engineers from project vision to final development. Before bringing iconic Nintendo favorites to life and giving them a theme park home, Dez was a creative director and consultant at Lucasfilm, where he developed and created content, themes and other projects for Star Wars Celebrations III – VI and designed sets for George Lucas Main Event with Jon Stewart.
Nintendo aficionados with a soft spot for Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and other beloved characters can now immerse themselves in a 360-degree Super Nintendo World thanks to Universal Creative visionary Dez Hernandez. He was responsible for conceptualizing and creating the instantly iconic theme park that opened in Universal Studios Hollywood last February — from the giant green pipe entrance guests travel through to get into the Mushroom Kingdom to Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, a ride that combines augmented reality and a moving ride track with projection mapping technology and set pieces. Dez’s deep understanding of the Nintendo brand informed many aspects of the massive project, from the gaming giant’s costumed characters and scripts to its logos and food menu.