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Nickelodeon Universe / American Dream Discussion Thread

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The atmosphere was totally different than 2 years ago for sure. Last time it felt like a warehouse with a couple random stores plus a park and a ski hill. This time it legitimately felt like being in a real mall. It's kind of surreal watching my wife spend millions of dollars at Bed Bath and Beyond and thinking in 3 minutes I'll be spending an equally absurd amount to ride roller coasters.

It's great that it finally no longer feels like a place that might shut down next week.

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  • 1 month later...
12 hours ago, anonymouscactus said:

Geez, hopefully those people aren't too injured. That helicopter is pretty big and high up...


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Seriously, very lucky for those below the thing.

I'm almost almost starting to feel bad for this place for being the subject of so press attention.  Then again, they basically robbed the taxpayers of NJ (including my parents) to build this place and are continually defaulting on their debts...so I don't feel too bad LOL.


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The laughs keep coming...


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (PIX11) — The building that houses a water park at New Jersey’s American Dream mall and entertainment complex is “unsafe,” a state official reportedly said Tuesday, forcing the park to remain closed days after a decorative helicopter fell into a pool and injured four people.

A spokesperson for the state Department of Community Affairs’ construction office told NJ.com that the building housing the DreamWorks Water Park is an “unsafe structure,” the outlet reported Tuesday.

That designation means that the park will remain closed for the time being, as officials continue to investigate conditions following the Sunday afternoon incident that left four people injured.

A decorative helicopter fell from the ceiling around 3 p.m., plummeting into a pool below, officials said.

Three people were treated at the scene for minor injuries, while a fourth went to a hospital for further care. The injuries were not considered life-threatening, according to an American Dream spokesperson.

“The safety of our guests is our highest priority,” a spokesperson said after the incident. “We will conduct a thorough investigation into this incident to ensure the park meets all safety regulations as required.”

The closure is not expected to impact operations at the rest of American Dream. State officials did not immediately respond to a request for further information from PIX11 News.


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  • 4 months later...

Visited the mall for the first time in 2 years last Saturday


Surprisingly crowded. Like mid 90s heyday crowded. The line at Primark looked like black friday.

But oddly, retail is still like 50% vacant so lots of dead areas even though there are plenty of customers. A lot of mall mainstay stores are still missing. They could also use a Barnes and Noble.

The luxury area is sad. Like 15% occupied.

The first floor has seating, but very hard to find a bench on floors 2 and 3. Bathrooms good.

Theres an Hmart, which is nice. Picked up some stuff on the way out.




I thought there were supposed to be like 4 food courts, but I only saw one that looked full (both crowds and store fronts).

There was also a "food hall" area that was confusing and badly designed. A Hasbro Arcade that was supposed to open last year is there but not open yet. Says Spring 2023.

The 3rd floor has the sit down places. We ate at Yardhouse and there was a 20 minute wait. Aside from that, theres an Italian Place, Peruvian, and Mr Beast. There are coming soon signs for 5 or 6 other restaurants. Once they open it will be a good selection.

Some random snack places (cinnabon, dunkin) are located in random places

Missing a Cheesecake Factory because IMO every large mall is supposed to have one.



Theres no movie theater or arcade (yet). I recently went to a Round1 Bowling and Entertainment in Texas and was amazed. The mall could use that.

The Legoland and Aquarium looked popular, but theres no way to see in to have an idea about the size or how crowded they are.

The two minigolfs look really sad.

Theres an escape room, and I looked at their website. You can see what slots are available and based on that, they were doing good business.

Skating Rink was a lot emptier than what I anticipated. I didnt check the pricing.



Last time I went, you couldnt get in without paying, so I didnt. This time, you can walk right in, which is fantastic. No security or anything which is great. Was able to take photos without being harassed, which people on here reported was an issue previously.

We enjoyed walking around. Everything is close together so the walkways in some sections were crowded. The rides are well laid out, except for one that is in the walkway (you can tell by the floor pattern).

That being said, many of the rides appeared to have no line. Most of the customers appear to be small kids going to the kiddy rides and/or families just taking pictures with the character statues. Even though the park was pretty full (comfortably, not suffocating) they dont appear to be doing brisk business.

I didnt look for it, but there was no obvious ticket sales mechanism or pricing.

Im surprised they dont have more boardwalk/carnival games to make money.

I didnt ride anything due to time.





They still make it hard to look in, with the large glass windows having stickers that block the views. Thats a stupid design decision, dont you want to entice people?

The pool looked crowded, but not terrible. Much better than Six Flags water park. But if I go I rather go on a weekday.

They have a "season" pass on the website thats a good deal, but it mentions blackout dates, and yet I couldnt find those listed anywhere. I wonder how pricing/demand will change with the Atlantic City one that just opened.



Looked....pretty empty. I thought it would be packed due to the weather as a way to beat the heat. I want to go. Ill probably take a day off work in August and try it.

The Yardhouse has windows looking into it, although lots of condensation.

Theres a hallway and coffee shop with good views. When I came two years ago, it was impossible to look inside.




Overall....mixed bag.

If you ask the average NJ person about American Dream they probably think it's a ghost town. Thats not the case at all. Things are simultaneously more crowded than what I expected and also emptier. Part of it is due to bad design of the mall. Many of the amusement areas and larger stores are really big so they can swallow large crowds easily making them seem empty, but the main hallways are narrow which makes sections feel overcrowded in a bad way.

The high retail vacancy is still a bit of a bummer. I feel like they should pivot to make floor 2 outlets lol.

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It's a pretty quick ride for me but it's the pricing for me for the rides that makes me uninterested every time I look into going. I still don't know a single person who has gone either. It's also weird to me that I use to tailgate and park for Devils games and use to do my homework growing up in the lot where this whole thing is built lol

I gotta just go one day and check it all out. 

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  • 5 months later...

Stopped by the mall this afternoon. Went into the park just to ride Shellraiser as I had never ridden it at night before. Due to technical problems they were only running one car which created a 20 minute wait. I have read in the past that the back row is smoother and I can confirm that is now my experience as well. First time riding in back and what a difference. The bottom of the big drop in front feels like it's going to jostle your brain out of your head, but in back it's just the slightest if bumps. When you get a smooth ride, this thing is truly a great coaster with awesome forces and it definitely completes with Nitro and Gale Force for best steel coaster in NJ. 

I also ponied up the money to ride the Ferris Wheel which is fantastic to experience once, with great views of the city, MetLife Stadium, the Turnpike, the guy getting arrested on the road underneath, etc. 

Mall had a good crowd but still way too many empty areas. And for the love of God, put some signs up for the exit so I don't end up in some giant parking lot for MetLife and then onto route 3 north (which is the opposite of where I needed to be) because there are ZERO signs when you're heading out telling you how to get to the Turnpike.




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So I think I figured it out...



As you can see in the first picture, on that sign there is a tiny little NJTP logo and a left arrow. I DID see this when I was driving through. But if you look at the second picture, the left turn lane is coned off both on Google Street View and also coned off currently in real life. So I guess I ended up taking the next left but apparently you're supposed to go straight another...half mile? Then it loops around back to the NJTP ramp that you just drove by because it's coned off. And there are NO SIGNS at all past this coned off intersection. F*cking Jersey. 😆

If anyone here has been to Boston's airport, it's the same convoluted layout where you drive around in circles 3 times before you finally get to the correct garage after having to dart across four lanes of traffic to get there because the exit ramp from the highway comes out on the left and your terminal is 300 feet ahead on the right. But at least Boston gives you clearly marked signs to get back to the highway as long as you successfully dart back across 4 lanes of traffic to get to the exit. This place? "Yeah f*ck you welcome to New Jersey we're gonna make sure you get a nice tour of beautiful downtown Rutherford before you leave." No wonder Jets fans are so miserable...you just watched your team somehow lose to Mac Jones, now we're gonna trap you in this circle from hell so you can't get away from this debacle!

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I heard rumors that Sandy's was actually open last week for a few days, but it looks like it's already closed again. I hate this place. I want to love it... I really, really, really do and on the 6 days per year where most of the good rides are open it's actually fun but I've never ever seen such a dumpster fire.

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2 hours ago, coasterbill said:

I heard rumors that Sandy's was actually open last week for a few days, but it looks like it's already closed again. I hate this place. I want to love it... I really, really, really do and on the 6 days per year where most of the good rides are open it's actually fun but I've never ever seen such a dumpster fire.

I went in yesterday expecting to buy the Twilight Pass (good for the last 2 hours of the day) for the low low price of $46. But then I checked the closure list and saw Sandy's on it (which is somehow the first time I've been there with it closed) but also saw Skyline Scream is closed which I did want to get a night ride on. 

Wouldn't hate going back sometime in February if Sandy's is open to get an off-season fix in. And at the rate this winter is going, maybe I can bring my skis and manage a day without skiing in mud.

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  • 2 months later...

I went here in 2019 with my brother and his then-girlfriend. They rode Shellraiser (I was too scared to at the time), and my brother got a stomachache from the roughness. I did love The Shredder though.

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  • 2 months later...

Visited one month ago and they were no longer allowing access into the park without a purchased ticket. There was a $10 "non-rider" pass you had to buy. The top of the escalators was roped off and someone was checking wrist bands.

Checked today and that doesnt seem to be the case on the website. Maybe it varies by day of the week?

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