Nickelodeon Universe

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Nickelodeon Universe
Nickelodeon Universe logo.svg
LocationBloomington, Minnesota
East Rutherford, New Jersey
Coordinates44°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
OwnerTriple Five Group / Mall of America
(under license from Viacom)
OpenedCamp Snoopy – August 11, 1992
Nickelodeon Universe – March 15, 2008
New Jersey Location – April 2019
Previous namesKnott's Camp Snoopy (1992–2005)
Camp Snoopy (2005–2006)
The Park at MOA (2006–2008)
Operating seasonIndoors, open all year
Area7 acres (28,000 m2)
Attractions
Total27+
Roller coasters5
Water rides1
Websitewww.nickelodeonuniverse.com

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 & at American Dream Meadowlands in East Rutherford NJ (Opening in April 2019)[1]

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.[2]

The amusement park is owned and operated by The Triple 5 Group (under license from Viacom), which is the owner of Mall of America, Inc. Triple 5 Group also owns West Edmonton Mall, which also has an amusement park in the mall called Galaxyland.

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 Cedar Point and Knott's Berry Farm, also owned by Cedar Fair.

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[3] 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.[4] It is now the "Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course" ropes course, slides and zip line.

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,[5] 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.[6]

Nickelodeon Universe[edit]

Original Nickelodeon Universe logo (2008–2010).

On November 2, 2005, Viacom filed a trademark for Nickelodeon Universe.[7] The park's new licensing deal and name, "Nickelodeon Universe", was announced on July 25, 2007.[8] 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.[9]

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. They eventually rose to $32.99 in 2014. Then in 2017, prices rose to where they currently stand at $35.99 for a daily wristband. On April 2015, the price for the annual pass drops down to $139. Some decreed 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.[10]

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.[11] The new logo has now replaced all of the old logos on the website, and in the park.

Nickelodeon Universe will open its second location at American Dream Meadowlands in East Rutherford NJ in April 2019.[12]

Rides and 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. All-day unlimited ride wristbands and annual passes are also available.

Roller coasters[edit]

Ride Name Opened Manufacturer Model/Type Former Name Notes
Pepsi Orange Streak 1992 Zierer Tivoli — Custom Pepsi Ripsaw (1992–2007)
Back At The Barnyard Hayride 1995 Zamperla Dragon Li'l Shaver (1995–2007) Replaced Huff and Puff
Fairly Odd Coaster 2004 Gerstlauer Amusement Rides Spinning Coaster Model 420/4 Timberland Twister (2004–2007) Gerstlauer's first spinning coaster in the US
Avatar Airbender 2008 INTAMIN Worldwide SurfRider Coaster Replaced the water fountain area in the center of the park
SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge 2008 Gerstlauer Amusement Rides Euro-Fighter (Custom) Replaced Mystery Mine (1992-2006) Yogi's Big Rescue (2006-2007)

Thrill rides[edit]

Ride Name Opened Manufacturer Model/Type Former Name Notes
BrainSurge 2010 Chance Rides UniCoaster Based on the game show of the same name
Log Chute 1992 O.D. Hopkins Log Flume Paul Bunyan's Log Chute (1992–2007)
Shredder's Mutant Masher 2015 Chance Rides Revolution 20 Replaced Danny Phantom Ghost Zone
Splat-O-Sphere 2008 Moser Rides Spring Ride (4x4) Replaced the water fountain
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock 2012 Gerstlauer Amusement Rides Sky Fly Replaced Tak Attack
Barnacle Blast 2014 Rope Courses, Inc Zip Line Part of Dutchman's Deck Adventure Course.

Family rides[edit]

Ride Name Opened Manufacturer Model/Type Former Name Notes
Paw Patrol: Adventure Bay 2018 Nickelodeon Universe Playground Replaced Jimmy Neutron: Atomic Collider
Backyardigans Swing-Along 1992 Zierer Wave Swinger Kite-Eating Tree (1992-2006) Tree Swing (2006-2007)
Carousel 1992 Chance Rides 36' Carousel Americana Carousel (1992-2007)
El Circulo Del Cielo 1992 Chance Rides Century Wheel Skyscraper Ferris Wheel (1992-2007)
Ghost Blasters 1999 Sally Corporation Dark Ride

Kid rides[edit]

Ride Name Opened Manufacturer Model/Type Notes
Big Rigs 1992 Zamperla Convoy Formerly known as Truckin' (1992-2007)
Blue's Skidoo 2008 SBF Visa Group Replaced Red Baron
Bubble Guppies Guppy Bubbler 2015 Zamperla Samba Tower - Custom Replaced Balloon Race
Crazy Cars 1992 Bertazzon Formerly known as Bumpers (1992-2007) and Naked Brothers Crazy Cars (2008-2011)
Diego's Rescue Rider 1992 Zamperla Crazy Bus Formerly known as Camp Bus (1992-2007)
La Aventura de Azul 1992 Zamperla Rio Grande Train - Custom Formerly known as Bloomington Express (1992-2007)
Pineapple Poppers 2008 Replaced Snoopy Bounce and Bounce
Rugrat Reptarmobiles 2008 Replaced the shooting gallery
Swiper's Sweeper 1992 Zamperla Speedway Formerly known as Speedway (1992-2007)
Wonder Pet's Flyboat 1999 S&S Worldwide Frog Hopper Formerly known as Frog Hopper (1999-2007)

Attractions[edit]

Ride Name Opened Manufacturer Notes
Moose Mountain Adventure Golf 1992 Unknown
Xscape Entertainment Center 1992 Xscape Entertainment Center Two locations; formerly Games! Powered by Namco
Dutchman's Deck Adventure Course 2010 Ropes Course, Inc Includes the Ghostly Gangplank ropes course, Anchor Drop slides and Barnacle Blast zip line.
Flyover America[13] 2016 Flyover America Ltd
Rock of Ages Blacklight Mini Golf 2017 Rock Of Ages Inc
5D Extreme Attraction 2018 Matrix Technology

Former rides[edit]

Ride Name Opened Closed Manufacturer Model/Type Notes
Tak Attack 1998 2011 Zamperla Rotoshake Formerly known as "The Mighty Axe" and replaced by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock
Balloon Race 1992 2015 Morgan Balloon Chase Replaced by Bubble Guppies Guppy Bubbler
Danny Phantom Ghost Zone 1992 2015 Chance Rides Falling Star Formerly known as "Screaming Yellow Eagle" and replaced by Shredder's Mutant Masher
Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider 1992 2018 Zierer Hexentanz Formerly known as "Treetop Tumbler" and replaced by Paw Patrol Adventure Bay. One of the last Hexentanz in the world.

Dining[edit]

  • Caribou Coffee
  • Grub
  • Sweet Treats
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • Various carts featuring popcorn, mini donuts, cotton candy, Dippin Dots ice cream, Pepsi beverages And ICEE beverages.

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)
  • Slurp and Snack (Replaced by Grub)

Retail[edit]

Former retail[edit]

  • 4U[14] (Replaced by Peeps & Company, which eventually closed and became the Mall's second IT'SUGAR location called "Candy Universe". This IT'SUGAR location is now closed.)
  • NU Stuff [14] (Replaced by Gear)
  • Candy Universe (Operated by IT'SUGAR)

Accidents[edit]

  • On August 3, 1998, a 12-year-old boy, David Martin, was killed after he fell off the Log Chute. When the boat neared the top of the chute, he began to panic and reached outside of the log to grab a railing. The ride stopped, but the log had already begun its descent down the major drop. Losing his grip, Martin fell off the chute, falling onto the landscaping rocks. He then died as a result of 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.[15]
  • On August 15, 1998, an 8-year-old girl, Anna Coleman, died of a heart attack, a week before her 9th birthday after she rode the Screaming Yellow Eagle (now known as Danny Phantom Ghost Zone, which was replaced by Shredder's Mutant Masher), a rotating platform ride from Chance Rides. Her parents said she died from a heart attack because she had a history of heart problems for the five years before her death. The ride was working properly.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "4 Ways To Spend A Day At American Dream Meadowlands". Wyckoff, NJ Patch. 2018-09-27. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  2. ^ Jaquetta White (2009-11-09). "Nickelodeon ends licensing agreement with Southern Star". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  3. ^ "Camp Snoopy". AOL. Archived from the original on May 9, 2006.
  4. ^ Business Wire (April 7, 1998). "Kids Quest Opens at Knott's Camp Snoopy in Mall of America". HighBeam Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on March 23, 2008.
  5. ^ "Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection - MiceChat". discuss.micechat.com. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  6. ^ "The Park at MOA". Mall of America. Archived from the original on March 5, 2006.
  7. ^ http://www.trademarkia.com/nickelodeon-universe-78745643.html
  8. ^ Carissa Wyant (July 25, 2007). "MOA unveils Nickelodeon theme park name". Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal.
  9. ^ PR Newswire (January 29, 2008). "Nickelodeon and Mall of America(R) Set Date for Nickelodeon Universe's Grand Opening - Saturday, March 15, 2008". CNN Money. Archived from the original on February 14, 2008.
  10. ^ "New Mall of America rides put an exra nick in your wallet". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008.
  11. ^ [1] Archived February 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "4 Ways To Spend A Day At American Dream Meadowlands". Wyckoff, NJ Patch. 2018-09-27. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  13. ^ TEGNA. "Mall of America launches new high flying attraction". KARE. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  14. ^ a b "Nickelodeon Universe Opens in Mall of America". KOMA (Press release). April 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  15. ^ Associated Press (August 3, 1998). "National News Briefs; Boy Dies After Fall From Ride Inside Mall". New York Times.
  16. ^ "Girl dies after ride at Mall of America in Minnesota". RideAccidents.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2008.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]