My picture threads consist of images I have taken that focus on the architecture, landscape architecture, planning, design, and theming of the facilities highlighted. They may also contain short descriptions and commentary, but will not focus on construction progress or special events or memorabilia or food selections or my traveling companions. Hopefully these threads are a good introduction for those who have not seen these places yet. All killer, no filler!
Nickelodeon Universe photographed in May 2010:
This 7-acre indoor amusement park is located in Bloomington, Minnesota, a suburb about 10 miles South of the downtowns of the twin cities Minneapolis and Saint Paul. It occupies one immense skylit room in the center of the Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in the United States. The park has free admission and can be entered from four openings on the ground floor of the mall. Its 23 rides as well as multiple small attractions are ridden according to a point system so that many of them cost a different amount to experience. Most of the rides are average spinning ones (both calm and thrilling) with various light theming that corresponds with many of the different characters from the popular childrens cable channel. 4 small rollercoasters and 1 log flume ride are among the rides, and the park is surrounded by several shops as well. When it originally opened in 1992, this park was Knott's Camp Snoopy, inspired by Charles Schulz's Peanuts characters and the large childrens themed area of the same name that already existed at Knott's Berry Farm in California. This made sense since Charles Schulz was a native of Saint Paul. Relicensing the brand with the characters' theme park licensing owner, Cedar Fair, did not happen in 2006 and the park was temporarily called The Park at MOA before it was rebranded to Nickelodeon in 2008 and several new rides added or replaced while nearly all were rethemed. It is certainly a bright and concentrated chaotic collection of attractions, but in no way does it satisfy a theme park design fan.
Moose Mountain Adventure Golf:
An upper level that overlooks Nickelodeon Universe features an indoor miniature golf course behind a rugged Western set that is probably a more detailed themed environment than anything downstairs.
Mall of America:
The mall itself is certainly large but not especially noteworthy for any unique design features. Facing Nickelodeon Universe is a large multiplex cinema and food court as well as an interesting LEGO shop in an open-air signature brick pavilion decorated with creative combinations of the bricks.
Underwater Adventures Aquarium:
In another part of the mall is this separate-admission attraction located below the building. It is a nice complex composed of aquatic exhibit areas for native freshwater fish, Amazon River fish, sharks and other pelagic fish, tropical reef fish, seahorses, and jellyfish.