Nickelodeon Universe is the name of two indoor amusement parks located at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota and American Dream in East Rutherford, New Jersey, consisting of attractions and rides based on Nickelodeon’s popular franchises. The amusement parks are owned and operated by the Triple Five Group with licensing rights from ViacomCBS, which owns Nickelodeon.
On August 18, 2009, Nickelodeon and Southern Star Amusement announced that a Nickelodeon Universe would be built in New Orleans, Louisiana to replace the former Six Flags New Orleans that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and 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.
Mall of America
|Owner||Triple Five Group / Mall of America|
(under license from ViacomCBS)
|Opened||March 8, 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)|
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; 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, the Snoopy Shop 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 its removal in 2007. 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 Mall Of America
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.
On November 2, 2005, Viacom filed a trademark for Nickelodeon Universe. The park's new licensing deal and name, "Nickelodeon Universe", was announced on July 25, 2007. 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. 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, 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 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 was located in the former Park at MOA food court. When the partnership ended, the EATS area closed and was replaced with a butterfly display. In 2014, a Hard Rock Cafe opened on the site where EATS once stood.
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. In 2017, prices rose to where they currently[when?] stand, at $35.99 for a daily wristband. In April 2015, the price for the annual pass dropped to $139. Some decreed the price increases as being unjustifiably high when compared to other parks, such as 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.
Rides and attractions
|Pepsi Orange Streak||1992||Zierer||Tivoli - Custom||Formerly known as Pepsi Ripsaw (1992-2007)|
|Fairly Odd Coaster||2004||Gerstlauer||Spinning Coaster - 420/4||Formerly known as Timberland Twister (2004–2007)|
|SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge||2008||Gerstlauer||Euro-Fighter - 410||Located on the former home plate for Metropolitan Stadium, which was previously located on the site of the Mall. Replaced Mystery Mine (1992-2006) Yogi's Big Rescue (2006-2007)|
|Back At The Barnyard Hayride||1995||Zamperla||Mini Mine Coaster||Replaced Huff and Puff. Formerly known as Li'l Shaver (1995-2007)|
|Avatar Airbender||2008||Intamin||Surfrider - 20m|
|BrainSurge||2010||Chance Rides||UniCoaster||Based on the game show of the same name|
|Shredder's Mutant Masher||2015||Chance Rides||Revolution 20||Replaced Danny Phantom Ghost Zone|
|Splat-O-Sphere||2008||Mosers Rides||Replaced the water fountain|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock||2012||Gerstlauer||Sky Fly||Replaced Tak Attack|
|Paw Patrol: Adventure Bay||2018||Replaced Jimmy Neutron: Atomic Collider|
|Carousel||1992||Chance Rides||36 Foot Carousel||Formerly known as Americana Carousel (1992-2007) and Nick-O-Round|
|Log Chute||1992||Hopkins Rides||Flume||Formerly known as Paul Bunyan's Log Chute (1992–2007)|
|Ghost Blasters||1999||Sally Corporation||Interactive Dark Ride|
|El Circulo Del Cielo||1992||Chance Rides||63' Century Wheel||Formerly known as Skyscraper Ferris Wheel (1992-2007)|
|Crazy Cars||1992||Bertazzon||Bumper Cars||Formerly known as Bumpers (1992-2007) and Naked Brothers Crazy Cars (2008-2011)|
|Backyardigans Swing-Along||1992||Formerly known as Kite-Eating Tree (1992-2006) Tree Swing (2006-2007)|
|Big Rigs||1992||Formerly known as Truckin' (1992-2007).|
|Blue's Skidoo||2008||Replaced Red Baron.|
|Bubble Guppies Guppy Bubbler||2015||Replaced Balloon Race.|
|Diego's Rescue Rider||1992||Formerly known as Camp Bus (1992-2007).|
|La Aventura de Azul||1992||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||Formerly known as Speedway (1992-2007).|
|Wonder Pet's Flyboat||1999||Formerly known as Frog Hopper (1999-2007).|
|Barnacle Blast||2014||Part of Dutchman's Deck Adventure Course|
|Moose Mountain Adventure Golf||1992|
|Xscape Entertainment Center||1992||Two locations; formerly Games! Powered by Namco|
|Dutchman's Deck Adventure Course||2010||Includes the Ghostly Gangplank ropes course, Anchor Drop slides and Barnacle Blast zip line|
|Rock of Ages Blacklight Mini Golf||2017|
|5D Extreme Attraction||2018|
|Huff and Puff||1992||1995||Bradley and Kaye|
|Danny Phantom Ghost Zone||1992||2015||Chance Rides||Falling Star|
|Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider||1992||2018||Zierer||Hexentanz|
- Caribou Coffee
- Sweet Treats
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Various carts featuring popcorn, mini donuts, cotton candy, Dippin Dots ice cream, Pepsi beverages and ICEE beverages
- 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
- Cool Treats
- Schwan's Ice Cream Cafe (replaced by Sweet Treats)
- Slurp and Snack (replaced by Grub)
- Nickelodeon Shop
- LEGO Store
- 4U (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  (replaced by Gear)
- Candy Universe (operated by IT'SUGAR)
- American Girl Store
- 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.
A view of the Nickelodeon Universe theme park at American Dream Meadowlands
|Location||East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States|
|Slogan||Every Day is the Best Day Ever|
|Owner||Triple Five Group|
(under license from ViacomCBS)
|Opened||October 25, 2019 |
|Area||8 acres (3.2 ha)|
In September 2016, the Triple Five Group announced that a second Nickelodeon Universe amusement park would fill the 8-acre indoor amusement park space at American Dream, which will feature two world record-holding roller coasters. TMNT Shellraiser, a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter, would hold the record for the steepest roller coaster drop at 121.5 degrees, and is based on a model seen in Japan. The second coaster, a spinning coaster called the Shredder, consists of four-passenger cars that spin on a vertical axis as it progresses down the coaster's track, and is the world's tallest and longest free spinning coaster, at 1,600 feet.
On April 6, 2020, American Dream changed from a mix of 55% entertainment-related tenants and 45% retailers to roughly 70% entertainment and 30% retail. As of April 10, 2020, no retailers had backed out of American Dream. American Dream said it will add eight more rides to the Nickelodeon Universe theme park, building on its early success.
Finally after 4 months, on September 3, 2020, Triple Five announced that on October 1, American Dream would reopen its amusement park, water park, ice rink, and mini-golf arcade, each of which would limit patrons to 25% of capacity.
On October 1, 2020, American Dream opened its doors again.
Rides and attractions
|TMNT Shellraiser||October 25, 2019||A Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter that is the world's steepest roller coaster at a 121.5 degree drop angle|
|The Shredder||November 2, 2019||Gerstlauer spinning coaster|
|Nickelodeon Slime Streak||October 25, 2019||Chance Rides family coaster|
|Sandy's Blasting Bronco||October 1, 2020||Intamin multi-launch coaster|
|Timmy's Half-Pipe Havoc||December 7, 2019||Intamin half-pipe roller coaster|
|Aang's Air Gliders||2019||A Zamperla Air Race attraction that sends 24 riders into several inversions. The ride is themed to Avatar: The Last Airbender.|
|Bikini Bottom Crosstown Express||A Zamperla Rocking Tug themed to a Bikini Bottom bus from the SpongeBob SquarePants franchise. Intended for families with young children.|
|Blaze's Monster Truck Rally||A children's ride where scaled-down Monster Trucks drive along an oval track encircling some mock stunt ramps. The ride is loosely themed to the Blaze and the Monster Machines franchise, and presumably a Zamperla Convoy.|
|Blue's Skidoo||A children's spinning ride where riders can board various vehicles themed to Blue and Magenta. Loosely themed to the Blue's Clues show.|
|Dora's Sky Railway||A monorail that takes riders on a journey across the park. This attraction is loosely themed to the Dora the Explorer franchise and gives families an elevated view of the park.|
|Fairly Odd Airways||A Zamperla Flying Tigers taking younger riders for a flight in their own planes. Themed remotely to the Fairly Odd Parents.|
|Invader Zim's Flip & Spin... OF DOOM!||A bumper car style attraction where riders can flip upon impact. Very little is currently known about this attraction, but it is not at all common. Themed to Invader Zim.|
|Jimmy Neutron's Atom Smasher||A Chance Rides Unicoaster flat ride where riders spin along a track and can control the flipping motion of their vehicle. Themed to The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron show, and only the third Unicoaster to be installed within North America.|
|Legends of the Hidden Temple Challenge||A 10-story tall interactive ropes course developed by Michigan-based RCI Adventure Products. Vaguely themed around the discontinued Legends of the Hidden Temple game show.|
|Nickelodeon Skyline Scream||This is an S&S - Sansei Technologies spinning Rotating Tower drop tower, which is marketed as the tallest indoor drop tower in the world, taking the record from Galaxyland's Space Shot, which is 37 m tall (121 feet). Opened on November 7, 2019.|
|PAW Patrol Adventure Bay||A large interactive play area with play structures, slides, and pits meant for younger children, and themed around the Paw Patrol franchise.|
|Pup, Pup, and Away||This is a Zamperla Ferris Wheel Fiesta Balloon/mini ferris wheel that is loosely themed around the Paw Patrol.|
|Ren & Stimpy's Space Madness||A 10-passenger Zierer family drop tower. This attraction can hold 10 riders and is themed to The Ren & Stimpy Show.|
|Rugrats Reptar Go-Round||A Chance Rides double-decker Carousel of the 36 foot variant. All of the vehicles are custom themed to the Rugrats franchise. Riders have the option of riding on Reptar's back or in a tea cup or other ride vehicle.|
|Shimmer & Shine Jumping Genies||A Zamperla Jump Around where riders are speedily taken through a circle. Unlike many of the other attractions, this is located within an enclosed building within the park. Themed to the Shimmer & Shine show.|
|SpongeBob's Jellyfish Jam||A Zierer family Wave Swinger themed to a horde of jellyfish in the SpongeBob SquarePants franchise.|
|Kraang Prime Pandemonium!||This Zamperla pendulum ride takes riders in 360° loops going both directions. It is of the 16 seater Discovery Revolution make, and loosely themed around the Krang extraterrestrial villain in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.|
2020 temporary closures
The two Nickelodeon Universe theme parks in Minnesota and New Jersey were temporarily closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nickelodeon Universe reopened at Mall of America on August 10, 2020. Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream reopened on October 1, 2020.
- "4 Ways To Spend A Day At American Dream Meadowlands". Wyckoff, NJ Patch. September 27, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- Jaquetta White (November 9, 2009). "Nickelodeon ends licensing agreement with Southern Star". NOLA.com. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "Camp Snoopy". AOL. Archived from the original on May 9, 2006.
- 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.
- "Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection". MiceChat. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
- "The Park at MOA". Mall of America. Archived from the original on March 5, 2006.
- Carissa Wyant (July 25, 2007). "MOA unveils Nickelodeon theme park name". Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal.
- 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.
- "New Mall of America rides put an exra nick in your wallet". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008.
- "Nickelodeon Universe Opens in Mall of America". KOMA (Press release). April 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
- Associated Press (August 3, 1998). "National News Briefs; Boy Dies After Fall From Ride Inside Mall". New York Times.
- "SpongeBob, Ninja Turtles sign on with American Dream". NorthJersey.com (The Record). September 13, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
- "SpongeBob, Ninja Turtles sign on with American Dream". NorthJersey.com. September 13, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
- Jerde, Sara (December 5, 2017). "Meadowlands megamall to house pair of world record roller coasters". NJ.com. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
- "American Dream megamall in New Jersey is shutting down over coronavirus". cnbc.com. March 13, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- "Stalled by coronavirus pandemic, American Dream rethinks its future and retail becomes an afterthought". cnbc.com. April 6, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
- Marden, Duane. "TMNT Shellraiser (Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
- Marden, Duane. "Shredder (Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
- Marden, Duane. "Nickelodeon Slime Streak (Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
- Marden, Duane. "Sandy's Blasting Bronco (Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
- Marden, Duane. "unknown (Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
- "Nickelodeon Universe Reopens Monday With COVID-19 Safety Precautions In Place". August 10, 2020. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
- NJ.com, Allison Pries | NJ Advance Media for (September 3, 2020). "American Dream announces reopening date, but it's far away". nj. Retrieved September 9, 2020.