Nickelodeon Universe

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For the Nickelodeon themed area inside various theme parks, see Nickelodeon Central.
Nickelodeon Universe
Second Nickelodeon Universe logo as of 2010
Nickelodeon Universe
Location Bloomington, Minnesota, United States
Coordinates 44°51′15″N 93°14′32″W / 44.85417°N 93.24222°W / 44.85417; -93.24222Coordinates: 44°51′15″N 93°14′32″W / 44.85417°N 93.24222°W / 44.85417; -93.24222
Owner Triple Five Group
(owners of Mall of America)
(co-owner/distributor)
Viacom
(1992-2005)
Viacom
(2005-present)
(operated and amused by MTV Networks)
Opened Camp Snoopy – August 11, 1992
Nickelodeon Universe – March 15, 2008
Previous names Knott's Camp Snoopy (1992–2005)
Camp Snoopy (2005–2006)
The Park at MOA (2006–2008)
Operating season Indoors, open all year
Area 7 acres (28,000 m2)
Rides
Total 27+
Roller coasters 5
Water rides 1
Website Official Website

Nickelodeon Universe (originally Knott's Camp Snoopy, later known as The Park at MOA) is the seven-acre (28,000 m²) indoor amusement park in the center of the Mall of America (MOA), in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA.

On August 18, 2009, Nickelodeon and Southern Star Amusement announced that the second Nickelodeon Universe would be in New Orleans, Louisiana and tentatively would open around the end of 2010. It was set to be the first outdoor Nickelodeon Universe theme park, but on November 9, 2009, Nickelodeon announced that it had ended the licensing agreement with Southern Star Amusements.[1]

The amusement park is co-owned by The Triple 5 Group, which is the owner of Mall of America, Inc.

Design[edit]

Nickelodeon Universe is primarily lit by a glass ceiling, which is also the source of most of the heat for Mall of America. It was originally built by the then-owners of Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. The floor has a wide variance in height – the highest ground level in the park is 15 feet (4.6 m) above the lowest. This allows for a far more naturalistic experience than would normally be found in an indoor amusement park.

The park has four small roller coasters, but mainly has flat rides due to space constraints. Near the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge roller coaster is the site of home plate for Metropolitan Stadium, which was previously located on the site of the Mall.

History[edit]

Camp Snoopy[edit]

The map of Camp Snoopy.
Woodstock near the Screaming Yellow Eagle.

The park was originally known as Knott's Camp Snoopy, and later, simply Camp Snoopy, and was themed around the Charles M. Schulz "Peanuts" comic strip characters. Camp Snoopy themed areas are still located at the following Cedar Fair parks: Cedar Point and Knott's Berry Farm.

Camp Snoopy was never aggressively themed to the Peanuts franchise; the park had a very outdoors and woodsy feel with more subtle references to the Peanuts franchise. Much of the original theming in the Camp Snoopy fountain and all around the park was already toned down by the time the rights to the Peanuts characters were lost.

Theming that was removed from the park prematurely and was never replaced includes various kites near the ceiling, Charlie Brown and Lucy playing baseball above the Sports Grill restaurant (although their baseball remained suspended in the air afterwards), theming in Snoopy fountain, the retheming of Snoopy Boutique, Snoopy Bouncer, and the Snoopy Shop[2] and much smaller theming.

On April 7, 1998, New Horizon Kids Quest, Inc. opened a Kids Quest hourly child care facility in Knott's Camp Snoopy. It incorporated 17,385 square feet (1,615.1 m2) and served children ages six weeks to twelve years until it was removed in 2007.[3]

In 2005, there were plans to revitalize the Camp Snoopy image, and a new logo was introduced in October, called the "roller coaster logo" to replace the "canoe logo". However, this did not last long, as there were even bigger and unexpected changes coming within the next few months.

The Park at MOA[edit]

On January 9, 2006, Mall of America management announced that talks between MOA and Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. (which owns the national rights to amusement-park branding of the Peanuts license) had broken down, primarily over the mall's rights to effectively market its park within and outside the United States, and effective January 19, the park's Peanuts branding would end, the park being temporarily renamed "The Park at MOA" while new branding was being applied. All traces of the Peanuts branding was removed, some very sloppily, although the gift shops were allowed to continue selling Peanuts merchandise without the Camp Snoopy label. The inflatable Snoopy character was removed and it took several months before it was finally replaced by a generic tree house inflatable. Many other landmarks in the park were either replaced by generic landmarks or not replaced at all.[4]

Nickelodeon Universe[edit]

Original Nickelodeon Universe logo (2008–2010).

The park's new licensing deal and name, "Nickelodeon Universe", was announced on July 25, 2007.[5] Construction began on August 27, 2007, work was completed in sections so 80 percent to 90 percent of the park remained accessible at all times. Nickelodeon Universe was completed on March 15, 2008.[6]

New rides include SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge, a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter style coaster themed after the Nickelodeon show SpongeBob SquarePants, the Splat-O-Sphere, a tower drop-ride in the center of the park, and the Avatar Airbender, a surf-rider attraction located in the center of the park as well and Brain Surge which is on the side of the park. The shooting gallery beneath the Ripsaw/Orange Streak roller coaster was gutted and was replaced by Rugrats Reptarmobiles.

The site of the Mystery Mine Ride was completely demolished to make way for SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge. This site also included an Old Time Photography studio and restrooms. Old Time Photography relocated into the mall (but not within the park) and restrooms did not return in this section of the park.

Levy Restaurants partnered with Nickelodeon Universe to include a themed restaurant at the park. The restaurant was called EATS and is located in the former Park at MOA food court. Recently, the partnership ended; the EATS area closed and was replaced with a butterfly display.

On March 12, 2008, the Star Tribune reported that the price of ride points, daily wristbands, and, in particular, annual passes, would take a significant price hike once the park transitioned to Nickelodeon Universe. The price for an annual pass, which had remained $99 per year since the park opened in 1992, would increase to $250, and daily wristbands would be raised from $24.95 to $29.95. Then in 2014, prices rose to where they currently stand at $31.99 for a daily wristband. Some decried the price increases as being unjustifiably high when compared to other parks, such as much larger Walt Disney World at $249.95 and local park Valleyfair at $79.95–$99.95. Others defended the pricing as necessary to accommodate the millions of dollars of investment needed to rebrand the park as Nickelodeon Universe.[7]

Even though the Nickelodeon cable channel changed their logo in September 2009, Nickelodeon Universe still continued to use a variant of the splat logo. The old logo was phased out after the new, all-text Nickelodeon Universe logo was revealed in an ad for the park's New Year's Eve event.[8] The new logo has now replaced all of the old logos on the website, and in the park.

Rides/attractions[edit]

The park is free to enter, but the rides require patrons to purchase a varying number of tickets (points), depending upon the type of ride. Unlimited single rider wristbands and annual passes are also available.

Roller Coasters[edit]

Ride Name Opened Manufacturer Model/Type Former Name Notes
Avatar Airbender 2008 INTAMIN Worldwide SurfRider Coaster
Back at the Barnyard Hayride 1995 Zamperla Dragon Li'l Shaver (1995-2007)
Fairly Odd Coaster 2004 Gerstlauer Amusement Rides Spinning Coaster Model 420/4 Timberland Twister (2004-2007)
Pepsi Orange Streak 1992 Zierer Tivoli — Custom Pepsi Ripsaw (1992-2007)
SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge 2008 Gerstlauer Amusement Rides Euro-Fighter (Custom)

Thrill Rides[edit]

Ride Name Opened Manufacturer Model/Type Former Name Notes
BrainSurge 2010 Chance Rides UniCoaster
Danny Phantom Ghost Zone 1992 Chance Rides Falling Star Screaming Yellow Eagle (1992-2007)
Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider 1992 Zierer Hexentanz Treetop Tumbler (1992-2007)
Log Chute 1992 O.D. Hopkins Log Flume Paul Bunyan's Log Chute (1992-2007)
Splat-O-Sphere 2008 Moser Rides Spring Ride (4x4)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock 2012 Gerstlauer Amusement Rides Sky Fly
Barnacle Blast 2014 Unknown Zip Line Part of Dutchman's Deck Adventure Course.

Family Rides[edit]

Ride Name Opened Manufacturer Model/Type Former Name Notes
Backyardigans Swing-Along 1992 Zierer Wave Swinger
Carousel 1992 Chance Rides 36' Carousel
El Circulo Del Cielo 1992 Chance Rides Century Wheel Dora and Boots Sun Wheel
Ghost Blasters 1996 Sally Corporation Ghost Blasters

Kid Rides[edit]

Ride Name Opened Manufacturer Model/Type Notes
Balloon Race 1992 Morgan Balloon Chase
Big Rigs Zamperla Convoy
Blue's Skidoo
Crazy Cars 1992 Bertazzon
Diego's Rescue Rider Zamperla Crazy Bus
La Aventura de Azul 1992 Zamperla Rio Grande Train
Pineapple Poppers 2008
Rugrat Reptarmobiles
Swiper's Sweeper Zamperla Speedway
Wonder Pet's Flyboat S&S Worldwide Frog Hopper

Former Rides[edit]

Ride Name Opened Closed Manufacturer Model/Type Notes
Tak Attack 1992 2011 Zamperla Rotoshake Formerly known as "Mighty Axe"

Dining[edit]

Former Dining[edit]

  • Tall Timbers
  • Stampede Steakhouse
  • Mrs. Knott's Restaurant
  • Mrs. Knott's Picnic Basket
  • The Silver Stein-Festhaus
  • Festhaus Buffet
  • Hormel Cook Out
  • McGarvey Camp Bakery
  • EATS
  • Cool Treats
  • Schwan's Ice Cream Cafe (Replaced by Sweet Treats)

Retail[edit]

  • Nickelodeon Store
  • nuStuff (Nickelodeon Universe merchandise)
  • TOYS
  • LEGO Store
  • American Girl Store
  • Peeps & Company

Former retail[edit]

Arcade[edit]

  • Namco Arcade

Other Attractions[edit]

  • Dutchman's Deck Adventure Course
    • Includes the Ghostly Gangplank ropes course, Anchor Drop slides and Barnacle Blast zip line.
  • Moose Mountain Adventure Golf

Accidents[edit]

  • In April 1998, a dime-sized plastic nut in the ride "The Mighty Axe" came loose, causing the ride to come to a stop with the riders stuck upside down at the very top. The loose nut had interrupted the power to the seating platform. The five riders were stuck for about an hour before park mechanics were able to get them down.[10]
  • On Saturday, August 1, 1998, a 12-year-old boy fell off the log chute. When the boat neared the top of the chute, the boy began to panic and reached outside of the log to grab a railing. The ride was stopped, but the log had already begun its descent down the major drop. Losing his grip, he fell off the chute, falling onto the landscaping rocks. The boy died from his injuries. O.D. Hopkins Associates, Inc., the manufacturer of the ride, inspected it and found it was in proper working order. It was Camp Snoopy's first fatal accident.[11]
  • On Saturday, August 15, 1998, an 8-year-old girl died of a heart attack after she rode the Screaming Yellow Eagle (now known as Danny Phantom Ghost Zone), a rotating platform ride. She had a history of heart problems for the five years before her death. The ride was working properly.[12]
  • On November 4, 2007, a conveyor belt on the log chute malfunctioned, causing one log to crash into the other. However, there were only minor injuries. The ride was inspected and fixed. It reopened on November 15, 2007.[13]
  • On May 14, 2008, four people were slightly injured, suffering minor leg injuries when the Backyardigans Swing Along malfunctioned, apparently spinning at a faster-than-normal rate. The ride was shut down when it became apparent that it was malfunctioning and remained shut down until maintenance crews located and fixed the problem.[14][15] On May 18, 2008, The ride was inspected and fixed. It reopened on May 19, 2008.[citation needed]
  • On January 27, 2009, one of the coaster cars didn't make it over the last hill on the Fairly Odd Coaster and stalled. No one was hurt, and once the lap bars were unlatched, the riders in the stalled car were let off. The other two cars on the circuit were stopped safely by the computer's actuation of the ride's air brakes. The method and speed with which the air brakes were deployed caused a small panic; many visitors said it sounded like a gunshot (the noise the brakes always make when activated). The ride was running normally the next day.[citation needed]
  • In April 2010, the Backyardagains Swing Along ride broke down and was suspended in the air for about 30 minutes. No one was hurt and everyone was brought down safely. The ride was tested and reopened the same day.
  • On June 12, 2014, The Jimmy Neutron Atomic Collider was suspended in the air for 25 minutes before three technicians were able to lower the ride to a safe height and then had to use a metal bar to release the lap bars. One rider suffered minor motion sickness. The ride was tested and reopened the same day.[citation needed]

References[edit]

External links[edit]