Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America ~ Family Travel Review

Disclosure:  This post contains sponsored content.

We wrapped up our Minnesota vacation last month with a visit to the Mall of America in Bloomington.  We arrived on a Thursday afternoon after checking out of Grand View Lodge and headed straight to the mall to do some shopping. We had two days to explore so we ended up shopping and eating on Thursday so that on Friday morning we could head straight to Nickelodeon Universe.  It worked out perfectly to arrive a little before the mall and park's opening.  We headed to guest services by the carousel to grab our all-day wristbands. There are ticket kiosks located at each of the entrances to the park from the mall, but if you have any type of coupon or discount you'll want to head to guest services to get your tickets.

The older kids and I decided to ride the Pepsi Orange Streak coaster first.  It's listed as a thrill ride, but I think it is pretty tame overall.  I recommend riding it early on your first visit because it's a long coaster that goes around almost the entire park.  There are a few "thrills" but overall I enjoyed the view from the ride and checking out the park.  If you want to ride it more than once it's a great one to visit later in the day because it has a higher ride capacity than many of the other rides.  After that ride my oldest and his dad headed to ride Spongebob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge and I took my youngest on some of the junior rides.  Rock Bottom Plunge ended up being my son's favorite ride at the park and he rode it several times that day.  

I was really glad that there were so many rides for my little guy to enjoy. His first ride was on Diego's Rescue Rider which we rode together with my daughter.  She wasn't quite 48 inches tall yet on this trip so that limited her ride options a bit, but she was more than happy to go on rides with her little brother which was nice.  

He loved the Swiper's Sweeper ride and did that more than once. 

Of course he always enjoys a train ride as well.

My 10 year old and I rode a couple of the big thrill rides together including Shredder's Mutant Masher and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock.  He thought they both were awesome.  I personally preferred Shell Shock.  I like the feeling of soaring through the air and controlling your movements a little more than just being kind of suspended upside down.  They are both very popular rides and the lines were getting longer.  They don't seat a lot of people at one time so be sure to do those both early if you can.

While we were riding those Little Miss had discovered she could ride on the Fairly Odd Coaster so then we rode it again with her.  It's a fun ride that has some drops and does some spinning.  Both of the kids really enjoyed that one as well.

My little guy got to ride the carousel and the Big Rigs while the older kids were off doing their thing.  I also took him on the Back at the Barnyard Hayride junior coaster which he had fun on.  It was his first roller coaster ride and he did great!

Little Miss got to do a couple of rides on her own which was nice since I could hang out with P and Mr T and hubby were in longer lines for some of the thrill rides. She rode the Rugrat's Reptarmobiles (bumper cars) and they Backyardigans Swing-Along.

The younger kids definitely got to do more that my oldest in the overall number of rides because the waits weren't nearly as long as what he had. They were able to ride the Big Rigs together and Blue's Skidoo.  My daughter was also able to ride the Wonder Pets Flyboat.  They did that all in the time the other half of our party was waiting to ride Brain Surge.

We took a quick break from the park for lunch.  There are some food options on the first level of the mall.  We opted for something quick from the crepe stand and some yummy strawberry lemonades from Tony Roma's TO GO window.  I definitely recommend those lemonades.  They were tasty and a pretty cheap option for a drink.

It was nice that there were a few rides our entire family could enjoy doing together.  After lunch we all played Ghost Blasters and rode the El Circulo del Cielo (ferris wheel).

The view from the top of the ferris wheel gives you can idea of just how much fun they can pack into this pretty compact space.  It's really not a big park, but considering your inside the mall and there are over 20 rides I think it's pretty impressive.

I wasn't able to capture a good picture but I really liked when all three of the kiddos rode the Bubble Guppies Guppy Bubbler together.  It's so nice when they can all enjoy the same thing even with over a 7 year age difference between the oldest and youngest.

Our longest wait of the day was for the Log Chute.  That was the ride my daughter wanted to do the most but of course it's fairly slow loading.  However the ride itself was longer than expected so that was good.  Again if you want to ride that one try to do it early.

We left the park around 3:00 that day.  We had another stop to make before our four hour drive home to Des Moines.  If we didn't have that traveling to do we definitely would have stayed longer or taken a break and then came back to ride more.  However you don't have to try to do every ride at Nickelodeon Universe to have a good time.  They offer many different ticket options and if you're not getting an unlimited ride wristband you can buy tickets with a certain allotment of points.  Different rides use a different number of points so if you can only ride a few things you can do some research in advance and figure out how many points you'll need for that ride.

Another thing that's nice for parents is that you don't have to pay admission to come into the park.  So if your kids are the only ones who want to ride they are good to go with their tickets (as long as they meet the minimum height requirements).  If you've got kiddos that aren't tall enough to ride alone the chaperone can ride for free.  

Nickelodeon Universe is open during the Mall of America's operating hours.  Be sure to visit their website to learn more ride details, height requirements, chaperone policy and more.  You can also connect with Nickelodeon Universe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

If you have questions I'll be happy to try and answer them for you.  Have you been to Nickelodeon Universe?  What's your favorite ride there?


  1. Wow!!! Sounds like a lot of fun not just for the kids but for mom and dad. Like that mom and dad don't have to pay if they aren't going to ride, that's great.

  2. Wow, you guys were able to do a lot of rides, looks like everyone had so much fun!

  3. I live in MN and go to the Mall a few times a year. I love the rides.

  4. I want to visit there someday. Looks like your kids had a blast.

    slehan at juno dot com

  5. What a colorful, fun, happy place. Rides for all! Love the names, too. Great photos. Looks like a lot of fun.

  6. It looks like fun for the children.

  7. Great place for family fun.Looks like lots to do there.

  8. Great place for family fun.Looks like lots to do there.

  9. Oh my goodness, this is an interesting Mall! I bet it was so much fun for the kids.
    Great post and great tips, thank you!
    visiting from Friday's fb link.