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    Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection



    When the Mall of America (located at old Metropolitan Stadium) opened in August of 1992 just outside Minneapolis, Minnesota one of main attractions was the amusement park located in the center of the mall, Knott's Camp Snoopy. Snoopy and friends continued to attract visitors worldwide for years, even after Cedar Point purchased the park, dropping the "Knott's" and keeping it as Camp Snoopy. In early 2006 it was announced that the rights to the Peanuts characters had not been renewed, and Camp Snoopy (which had been run by the Mall since 2005) was to continue operation without the lovable Beagle mascot. Snoopy said goodbye to the Mall of America and it turned into The Park at MOA. With some minor changes and modifications of theming and elimination of "Camp Snoopy" merchandise operations practically continued as normal. The Mall worked hard to continue to attract visitors with unique seasonal attractions such as a Gingerbread House, Flower gardens, and others. Meanwhile the Mall was looking for contractors to bid for the next phase of the theme park. It was eventually announced that Nickelodeon would build its first-ever theme park in the Mall of America! Most of that meant re-theming of the existing rides and major re-theming of the area to change it from a "Camp" to the bright and colorful "Nick" images. Although Nickelodeon is already involved in other theme parks, this is this first-ever individual Nick theme park. (Lego also started in the Mall of America with a small "Lego Land" area which has since expanded into theme parks of their own.) Eventually the "kids" decided to name this new place, "Nick Universe" and it officially opens March 15, 2008. (That's just one week from today!)



    As a native Minnesotan and frequent visitor to the Mall of America I invite you to take a look into what it looks like now and what it will be. Just walking through the Mall yesterday and last weekend (no camera then, sorry) it was difficult to see this all and realize it's going to open so soon. When we compare things to Disney and how they are ready so early compared to the dates the marketing teams release you would think they still have a lot of work ahead of them. That may be true since some rides won't be re-themed or open until later this year.


    April 2004
    Camp Snoopy, right after the Timerland Twister opened.






    From the Ferris Wheel.
    If you look closely you can see Snoopy and Woodstock on the "Water Game" area in the middle.


    February 2006
    These photos were taken from the South Food Court area on the 3rd Floor.







    May 2006
    Here are a few aerial photos taken from the Ferris Wheel and North side, 3rd Level. Snoopy is long gone, but you can still see how this is a "Camp" as it has transitioned into the "Park."











    As you enter from the rotunda you saw this:





    Since Cereal Land hand closed for some time now at this point, Dinosaur Walk was finally stepping in and opening up in that area on the 3rd Floor North across from the North Food Court.






    April 2, 2007
    Last year around Easter I took a long walk through the Park at MOA to capture what it was from a thematic side since it was only a matter of time before it all changed.



    As you enter from the Rotunda to your left.



    Spring is in full swing! (This matches the rotunda one from May 2006.)



    It's the Easter Beagle Bunny!



    Since Nick was already introduced, the merchandise had already hit shelves and carts all over!



    Once sponsored by Xcel Energy (pre-Xcel Energy Center days, I believe) - this is a real Minnesota ride complete with the creator of our 10,000+ lakes, Paul! Inside there was great theming to Knott's which remained after the name was dropped. The giant pancakes were being made and topped with Knott's Berry Jam.



    The ride not only brings you through a series of drops, it also takes you by the Hooters on the 4th Floor.
    This is also the location of the first major accident of the park, which happened in 1998.



    While zooming by in your log, or walking by you may notice a red chair attached to the wall.



    In true theme park fashion, as they replaced something historical they were sure to make something to mark what used to be. Here you'll find the sign that describes the longest home run ever hit in Mets Stadium. It was hit by Twins player, Harmon Killebrew (and you take Killebrew Lane on your way to the Mall.)



    More Paul Bunyan



    The DROP!



    Exit for the Log Chute



    Shop located across from Paul Bunyan's Log Chute. This had been an existing building for some time, but after the Timerland Twister was built it became a gift shop that you HAD to walk trough to exit. It wasn't set up that way when it first opened, but it was quickly modified so that guest would have the luxury.

    You may seem like something is missing from this sign. That is because Snoopy was right above it. The name now slips my mind, but since they quickly removed all Peanuts theming this is a typical example of the small modifications done all throughout the park.



    The Kite Eating Tree, which became simply the Tree Swing after Snoopy left.



    yoyoflamingo in front of my FAVORITE fudge place and fun shop in the Mall and Park.

    When I walked past it the other weekend I noticed a line to enter it. I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but it reminded me of the line to enter the nearby Build-A-Bear Workshop.



    Mrs. Field's Bakery is amazing! And Caribou had just recently taken over this location.



    In between the General Store and Mrs. Field's is where the Lego Land area is.



    Funnel cakes! (And Dippin' Dots)



    When they changed it to "The Park at MOA" they also changed the Kite Eating Tree to the Tree Swing. In doing this they modified the direction that some of the swings were facing. Although they had to eliminate some of the swings, this meant you could ride it facing forward or backwards.



    They added in some topiaries...



    Basic directional signs



    Pay (not included with your points/wrist band purchase) Rock Climb wall.



    Can you tell where Snoopy used to sit?



    Yes, right on that little raft with Woodstock.
    And that isn't a large brown mark because it needs paint, (even though it did,) but that's where the small canoe for Woodstock was.



    Please excuse the geeky middle schooler... but there you have it in all of its Camp Snoopy glory in 1997, 10 years prior.







    It's so empty without the Peanuts characters in there.






    From another angle.



    Camp lighting with the traditional Red Barron behind it.










    The 'Lil Shaver - kid friendly coaster.



    Or head down this way toward the Frog Hopper, Bumper Cars, Bounce House and Mighty Axe.



    More lighting.







    This is just sad!



    I guess they did take the time to add some creatures in the places of the Peanuts characters.



    But the ghost of Dora was NOT happy. She wants to take over, now!



    Merry-Go-Round.
    Don't ever think of video taping or taking pictures if you're on it - you WILL get yelled at. (I think that's my only memory of this.)



    It's the Camp Bus, but it always seemed like it could be linked to the Magic School Bus.



    Kiddie Train! (The Mall is located in Bloomington, Minnesota.)











    The Balloon Race - A favorite of mine since I was young. (I have no idea why!)



    Miniature Golf was on it's way back to the MOA, finally!



    This was one of the main toy and merchandise shops for Peanuts items. Although they lost the rights to have them in the park, they were still allowed to have Snoopy merchandise for sale. The only limitations were on items which said "Camp Snoopy" and those were allowed to be sold up until a certain date. The following is a selection of what you could find in this store, specifically Peanuts related at this time.






    Collectible cells



    More collectibles







    What's on TV? I think it was Sponge Bob or Dora if I remember correctly.


    For years visitors from all over the world would come to St. Paul to go on Charles Shultz tours. He's from Minnesota so they would tour his home, various sites where his character statues now are, and of course top it off with visiting Camp Snoopy! Sadly, that era of tours has dwindled a bit.



    Kiddie Ride - Speedway









    Would you care to buy some tickets?



    Treetop Tumbler



    You average foot vendor cart.
    The "Camp" theming isn't aged that much on purpose.



    Arcade, area one (expansion)



    Win a Prize?



    Traditional Arcade with the Stadium Club above it. (This pays tribute to both Charlie Brown's lovely baseball team and the old Met being in this location.)



    Recent - Pay to play/experience additions



    Drive a miniature car? (They also had boats over by the Log Flume.)



    Tumbler again, but I'm not quite sure of this tree for theming.



    The Steakhouse



    Back over to the Merry-Go-Ground



    Pay to learn about Dinosaurs. (This was added before the Dinosaur Walk even started to build.) But you would pay and anyone could listen and learn as it talked and moved. It was very difficult to hear when it was loud.



    The Pepsi Ripsaw!
    One of the original main rides that people waited HOURS for.
    It doesn't go upside down or even very fast. You do get a nice tour of the entire park to take a small journey through the Log Flume though.






    Shooting Gallery






    The Mystery Mine Ride.
    Another that drew in large crowds when it opened, especially when the videos kept updating.

    "Sponge Bob The Ride" took over for some time. (Foreshadowing, anyone? Especially since this is now the site of the new Spongebob Coaster.) If you look carefully you can see that's the Sponge Bob sign with the Jetsons over it.

    The last video to show as a part of the Mystery Mine Ride was Yogi's Big Rescue. (Maybe you saw it yourself at Universal Studios Orlando?)






    These clouds sat there for some time. It was almost as if they were going to do more theming and then decided not to.












    When the Skyscraper Ferris Wheel first came to the Mall it was the highest indoor Ferris Wheel. I'm not sure if it still holds that title, but it also did something else. It was the first and only ride (at the time until Timberland Twister) in Camp Snoopy that required you exit through a gift shop. But you didn't go through any gift shop, you went through Peppermint Patty's Candy Shop. Do you see anything that was left from that?

    The changed the exit when they decided to put a KidsQuest Hourly Daycare location up there instead. I want to say that was covered by something by Cereal Land though?



    The Red Barron, minus Snoopy.
    Why they kept things like this up was just odd. It was as if they wanted to remind you that Snoopy was once here, but now he ran away. It isn't exactly the type of small gesture to remember changes one would hope for. (I think they got the hint since they moved Snoopy's giant water bowl fountain out, even after they tried to make it into a planter.)






    Old Time Photos, which used to be a restaurant somewhat like the traditional one at Knott's Berry Farm. But no, it was no where close. But that was the original idea I believe.




    Ghost Blasters.
    Think of Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, only with much older technology.







    Here's where the plate is.
    (The chair and Log Flume are on the opposite end.)



    The Northwood's Stage where the Peanuts characters would do little shows and come out by for meet and greets during the weekends and summer.



    The Season Pass started within the last five-seven years. I am forgetting now. But with the advent of it came more kiddie rides (to help attract more guests after the popular Toddler Tuesdays,) more pay for extra things, more arcade games, etc.



    The Mighty Axe.






    Theming over by the Ballroom used to have a man who would sit there fishing over a stream. It reminded me of the beginning of Pirates at Disneyland.









    The Joe Cool Shop, which became the Cool Shop.












    These used to be named after Peanuts like Lucy, Linus, and Woodstock.






    Where those benches are is where Snoopy's Dog Bowl fountain used to be.






    This bounce area used to be a giant Snoopy and helped to serve as an icon to show guests where they were. It turned into just the black base until it became a tree house.



    Another look over at the Bumper Cars.



    Frog Hopper

    Last edited by BigPigletFan; 03-08-2008 at 05:18 AM.

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    Nick Universe Name Changes

    As they work to re-theme The Park at MOA many ride names are changing or the original ride as we know it has already left. With some help from Wikipedia to make sure I'm on track we have...
    Camp Snoopy names, The Park at MOA names, and Nick Universe names
    Thrill Rides
    • Pepsi Ripsaw Pepsi Ripsaw Pepsi Orange Streak
    • Screaming Yellow Eagle Screaming Yellow Eagle Danny Phantom's Ghost Zone
    • The Mighty Axe The Mighty Axe Tak Attack
    • Timberland Twister Timberland Twister Fairly Odd Coaster
    • Treetop Tumbler Treetop Tumbler Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider
    • Mystery Mine Ride (1992-2007) Mystery Mine Ride (1992-2007) -- it's gone
    New rides under construction:
    1. SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge
    2. Avatar Airbender
    3. Splat-O-Sphere
    Family Rides
    • Americana Carousel Americana Carousel Unknown
    • Bumpers Bumpers The Naked Brothers Band Crazy Cars
    • Ghost Blasters Ghost Blasters Unknown
    • Paul Bunyan's Log Chute Paul Bunyan's Log Chute Paul Bunyan's Log Chute
    • Skyscraper Ferris Wheel Skyscraper Ferris Wheel el Círculo del Cielo
    • The Kite-Eating Tree Tree Swing Backyardigans Swing-Along
    Kiddie Rides
    • Balloon Race Balloon Race Unknown
    • Bloomington Express Bloomington Express la Aventura de Azul
    • Snoopy Bounce Bounce Pineapple Poppers
    • Camp Bus Camp Bus Diego's Rescue Rider
    • Frog Hopper Frog Hopper Wonder Pets Flyboat
    • Li'l Shaver Li'l Shaver Back at the Barnyard Hayride
    • Red Baron Red Baron Blue's Skidoo
    • Speedway Speedway Swiper's Sweepers
    • Truckin' Truckin' Big Rigs
    New ride under construction:
    1. Rugrats Reptarmobiles
    Last edited by BigPigletFan; 03-08-2008 at 06:02 AM.

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    March 7, 2008

    March 7, 2008
    This is a collection of photographs starting as I entered from The Mighty Axe side and continued toward the Ferris Wheel side. I wasn't able to make a full round, but I did seem to cover quite a bit. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions. Hopefully you'll be able to compare it to whatever is listed above as to what it used to be so you can see how everything has changed. As I mentioned at the start of this thread, there is still a lot of work to go. The food court which was Pronto Pups, The Burger Zone, KFC Express, Taco Bell Express, Pizza Hut Express, and Cousin Subs is being re-done and themed in as well.

    The grand opening is March 15th and there's a number of festivities planned for that entire day. (It also links up nicely with the Spring Breaks for kids in this area. I know that wasn't a mistake in the planning!)

    Join Mall of America® and Nickelodeon® for the grand opening of Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation's first Nick theme park! Be the first to experience five new rides, including the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge, Avatar Airbender, Splat-O-Sphere and more. Meet your favorite Nickelodeon costumed characters and enjoy a new way of dining at EATS, a fabulous food marketplace by Levy Restaurants. The festivities continue with a live performance by Ashlee Simpson and autograph signings with Nick live-action talent! Finish out the day by groovin' at the Kids Dance Party.

    9 a.m.: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
    East Entrance to Nickelodeon Universe

    9 a.m.-9 p.m.: Virtual Slime Zone
    South Entrance to Nickelodeon Universe

    9:30 a.m.: SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge inaugural ride with Nickelodeon celebrities Lil' JJ (Just Jordan), Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly), Nat Wolff & Alex Wolff (The Naked Brothers Band)

    10 a.m.-8 p.m.: Nickelodeon Character Meet & Greets
    Blue Spot and Green Spot

    10:30 a.m.: Ashlee Simpson Live Performance
    Rotunda

    12 p.m.: Ashlee Simpson Live Performance and Autograph Signing
    Rotunda

    12:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet with Lil' JJ from "Just Jordan"
    West Market Square, Nickelodeon Universe

    1:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet with Miranda Cosgrove from "iCarly"
    West Market Square, Nickelodeon Universe

    2:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet with Nat Wolff & Alex Wolff from "The Naked Brothers Band"
    West Market Square, Nickelodeon Universe

    6-8 p.m.: Kids Dance Party with J. Boogie of TEENick
    West Market Square, Nickelodeon Universe

    A complete list of Nick stars and festivities is in the works!
    (But no Jamie Lynn.)



    It's so EMPTY without those trees. It makes it look so much bigger and as if there's more building than park.
    It's also much more bright and kid-like.

    You can see the Kemp's Ice Cream shop get it's face lift on the far right to show the contrast between the "Camp" Park that was toward the "Orange" park that is now.



    The former Joe Cool Store, then Cool Store is quite orange! It's taken over the former Ticket Booth last pictured above.



    That ticket booth has moved here. There is an increase in the number of digital ticket locations and a decrease in the number of live person ticket locations.*



    Rugrats! The only Nick show that I watched in Kindergarten... that still plays today. (Only they show some weird version instead of the original episodes.)



    This new ride, Rugrats Reptarmobiles is right under the Pepsi Coaster in the are that used to house the shooting arcade.









    The entrance to the Pepsi Coaster is quite blue. There's no more "Ripsaw" or need for it in the sign. And they have painted the cars orange to match the new park and new name, Pepsi Orange Streak. They might of finally gotten new, slightly larger cars (you'd think they were made for kids and Japanese tourists since anyone over 5'6" has trouble fitting their legs in.) as well but I only saw it going by on the track.






    No more Mystery Mine Ride... and I don't think most visitors will care.



    It's a giant pineapple!






    A sign is up to go with what all the Mall employees have been calling "The Spongebob Coaster." It will officially be known as SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge.









    Do you see it? Dora has taken over!


















    The store that used to house all of the collectible Peanuts merchandise now looks like this.



    There's a large sign over the elevator by the Ferris Wheel to direct you into the park.



    On the 2nd Floor.




































    Different character banners top the support beams in three rings. If you have no idea who these characters are you might not know what that is supposed to "be" depending on what angle you're looking at it from.








    My friends who work at the Park have been test riding the new coaster for a few days now. I saw some employees riding to "test" while I was watching as well. Take a look at this picture below. Right after they went through this loop and around the bend I just watched the track SHAKE. Normally with all of the traffic in the Mall of America as you stand there you can feel everyone else move throughout it. But there was this eerie feeling that came over me as I watched that track move.




    Last edited by BigPigletFan; 03-08-2008 at 06:23 AM.

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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    (I will fill this all in later.)

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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    I love it. I had no idea how large that park was in the mall. I'll have to finish looking at the pictures when I get home. The hotel internet connection dropped half of them....

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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    Thanks for posting these BPF. Definitely on my visit list.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    WOW this is cool. My girls would be in hogheaven --thanks so much for sharing! I had no idea!
    Just countin' the days til the next visit!

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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    I've been following this project since it was announced, and it looks AWESOME!

    hehe, Disney may have a Land and a World, but now Nickelodeon has a universe.....

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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    Thanks for the thread, Piglet. Nick Universe shares it's name with the oringal one at Kings Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. www.pki.com From what I have seen alot of the attractions and signs are direct clones from the one in Kings Island. Nick Universe replaced Hanna-Barbera Land, Nick Splat City, and Nick Central in the park.

    Last edited by Monkey joe; 03-08-2008 at 01:08 PM.
    Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    Wow thanks for the pics! I've always wanted to see what the park was like with the Peanuts theming. I was sad to see it go before I had the chance to visit, but the Nickelodeon stuff all looks really great so far.

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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    Nick Universe at Kings Island.

    Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    Quote Originally Posted by stitchon View Post
    I've been following this project since it was announced, and it looks AWESOME!

    hehe, Disney may have a Land and a World, but now Nickelodeon has a universe.....
    I figured you'd enjoy seeing these pictures stitchon.

    Thank you for adding in those pictures monkeyjoe. I had been informed of other Nick places, but this is their chance to stand solo. Just looking at those pictures you can see some similarities in designs. An example of this is that they took the Red Barron out and put in the same type ride, only with Blue and Magenta instead of the planes.

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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    Quote Originally Posted by BigPigletFan View Post
    I figured you'd enjoy seeing these pictures stitchon.

    Thank you for adding in those pictures monkeyjoe. I had been informed of other Nick places, but this is their chance to stand solo. Just looking at those pictures you can see some similarities in designs. An example of this is that they took the Red Barron out and put in the same type ride, only with Blue and Magenta instead of the planes.
    Your welcome. Our Blue ride has the same name and Kings Island kind of did the same thing with our Red Barron a.k.a. Dick Dastarly's Flying machines. I think that the Rock Bottom ride is a never used Nick ride idea that the Paramount park had planned. Since the paramount parks are no more, I guess this park got access to some of the artwork and concepts. Here hoping that MOA get the Boating School dark ride concept. I have the concept art of that, from a survery I did for Paramount back when I was a season pass holder.

    http://s128.photobucket.com/albums/p...view=slideshow
    Last edited by Monkey joe; 03-08-2008 at 03:47 PM.
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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    woot! Awesome pictures! Now I wanna go....
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    'Cause I'm just trying to be happy." ♥




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    Re: Nick Universe at the Mall of America - A photographic reflection

    It is sad to see some of the Minnesota influence disappear from this area,
    Paul Bunyan, the Forrest theme, etc. And I am fond of some of the
    Hanna Barbarra cartoons, as well, Jetsons, Flintstone, Dastardly and Muttley,
    etc. However it is fun to see Sponge Bob and Patrick.

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