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Photo TR: Nickelodeon Universe - Jan 3rd, 2014


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Hey everyone!

 

So I recently returned to Florida from visiting family in the Seattle area for Christmas and New Years, and on my return trip, my connection was through Minneapolis. Little did I know when the flights were booked that there is a light rail train that connects the airport to the Mall of America. As it would turn out, I had about a 4 hour layover, and thus I made an unplanned stop to the park for a few rides.

 

I had previously been to the park when we moved from Washington to North Carolina, and my brother Kellen and I did multiple laps between the Ripsaw (now the Orange Streak) and the log ride. That was nearly 15 years ago, so there were a few new things to check out! I didn't have enough time to hit as many of the rides as I wanted to since I only gave myself about an hour and a half in the park, plus it was a bit busier with it being a Friday afternoon, but I was able to score two new credits with the Fairly Odd Coaster and Spoungebob coaster. Avatar was closed for maintenance, so I also took a lap on the Orange Streak and tried out the newer Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ride, which I had never seen before, but thought it was a fun ride.

 

Off the bat, this place is kind of hard to get as many good views for pictures of individual rides as they are pretty much built on top of each other and with little space between. I also was going off of limited time since I wanted to get a few new credits and have enough time to ride back to the airport for my flight home. This was also my first time using my new DSLR camera that I got for Christmas before going to Seattle at a theme park, so please feel free to let me know how you think the pictures turned out as I am still kind of getting the hang of using a more advanced camera.

 

Thank you all for checking out this short update of my layover visit to Nickelodeon Universe!

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After arriving in Minneapolis, I made my way right to the light rail to head to the Mall of America. I think this is pretty awesome that Minneapolis has set this up! I will definitely take advantage of it next time I have a longer layover here.

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And here comes the train to the Mall of America! These trains cannot be very old, and they were very clean too (Other than the floors from the salt tracks people brought from walking on roads and sidewalks).

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The one thing I also noticed.....it was really cold in here! At the time we landed it was 18 degrees F, and this tunnel felt like a freezer because of it, but no worries......

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.....I still was able to dress warmly since I had been visiting Seattle.

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Yeay! I got to see snow again....although I am okay with it staying up north.

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After about a 12 minute ride, we were to the Mall of America!

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We have arrived.

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After exiting the train, you head through here, walk up the stairs/escalator, go through a few doors, and after a short walk through the mall.......

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......you are at Nickelodeon Universe!

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So my first ride as a spin on the Fairly Odd Coaster.

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Same layout as the Spinning Dragons at Worlds of Fun which I had just ridden for the first time back in June, but felt quite different because of the surroundings.

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My car got a good amount of spinning in the second half of the ride

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Going up......

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......weeeeeee!!!!!

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After the midcourse you go for a nice little dive.

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In general, I do really like Eurofighters. While I would pick Mystery Mine over this one, I think the ceiling definitely adds to the thrill of this ride.

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I really like the way this coaster pretty much covers the entire park as you go from end to end.

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Weeeee!!!!

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So before this visit, I had no idea that this ride existed. I guess I just didn't keep up to date with this park as well as others once the conversion to Nickelodeon Universe was done.

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Since it was unlike anything I had ever seen, I felt compelled to give it a spin.

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There were some folks who were spinning like crazy completing barrel roll after barrel roll. I think it would have made me sick if I had pulled that off.

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Overall I did really like this ride. It would be cool to see more of these built.

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Thank you again Minneapolis for being awesome and having this system in place!

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A nice little moment of air.

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Next I rode the Spoungebob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge. I was really looking forward to this one especially, just to see how the ride was given the surroundings and to compare it to Mystery Mine at Dollywood and Untamed at Canobie Lake.

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One thing that I thought was awesome was just how close you come to the ceiling. Especially since you are higher than the bottom of the support structure of the roof when you hit the top.

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Past-vertical drops are always good

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Loop lovers.....rejoice!!!!!!

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Next up was the Pepsi Orange Streak. This was the one coaster I had already been on from my previous visit back in 1999.

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Certainly not the most intense ride, but a fun ride that gives you a great tour of the park.

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The theming of the ride is pretty well done too, having the control panel made to look like a pizza cart.

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With moving side to side and pointing the wings in different directions, it helps you spin. Too bad I don't have a good weight distribution, although it did make for a few moments of hanging upside down which was a bit of a rush at times.

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And to wrap it up, I would like leave you with a thought from Spoungebob.....Think Happy! Even if I still have two credits to go, I was happy to have had the chance to come here and spend a decent chunk of my layover riding rides and taking pictures rather than sitting around an airport. I am glad you all checked out my Photo Trip Report, and hope you enjoyed it!

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Awesome TR. I've seen that Ninja Turtle flat ride before in another TR and it looks like a lot of fun. One of these days I will make it out to this park. Just out of curiosity, how long did it take you from the Airport to the mall using the train?

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Great TR. I'll be down there next Thursday. I have a convention within a few miles of there Friday-Sunday, so once I check into the hotel Thursday afternoon, I'm taking the shuttle over there for a little bit of Eurofighter/Rainforest Cafe action! The light rail is neat, isn't it?

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Thanks for the pictures Gary! I also really enjoyed this park on the 2008 tour and thought it was pretty amazing how they fit the Spongebob coaster in there. The Ninja Turtles ride wasn't there then, but it looks pretty freaking cool.

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Wow...the Ninja Turtles ride looks like a much cooler version of the Sky Pilot ride they used to have at KD and KI which we were just talking about over in the KD thread. I would love to see a park like Kings Dominion or Cedar Point get a ride like this!

 

I was only at MoA once about six years ago, but they have since added a lot more decent rides. And I never knew about the rail to and from the airport, so thank you for letting me know that. I will definitely remember that the next time I have to travel to Minneapolis for business!

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Glad you took advantage of the light rail from the airport to MOA, let this be a lesson to anyone with a layover at MSP. If you thought 18 F felt like a freezer your lucky you left because it hit minus 21 F Monday night and that is without the wind chill factor. This is why NU is my 'winter theme park'.

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We were there back in 2007, back when it was called "The Park at Mall of America." And you're right, that light rail is awesome! We stayed downtown, and even though we had driven to Minneapolis, we left the car at the hotel and took the light rail to Mall of America. I'll take light rail over a highway every time, so much easier and more convenient.

 

That Ninja Turtles ride looks really awesome. We've been thinking about going back to the Twin Cities within the next couple of years, and I"m glad to see that Nickelodeon hasn't just rebranded what was there already but has added all kinds of new things. I love what they've done with the place; looks like enough new stuff to make this a required stop when we do eventually get back to Minnesota.

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