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Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park: Everything You Need to Know

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November 3, 2019

It’s always 70 degrees and sunny at Nickelodeon Universe theme park in Bloomington, MN!

As the largest indoor theme park in the United States, Nickelodeon Universe provides year-round fun for generations of visitors year-after-year.

Perfect for family entertainment in the middle of winter, or on a hot summer day, let’s take a moment to review everything you need to know about Nickelodeon Universe theme park!

Learn absolutely everything you need to know about Mall of America's Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park!  As the nation's largest indoor theme park, plan ahead for ticketing, wait times, what what rides to expect.   We discuss every last details here!  #NickelodeonUniverse #MallofAmericathemepark #Nickthemepark #NickelodeonUniversewaittimes #NickelodeonUniverserides #thingstodoatmallofamerica
Nickelodeon Universe in Mall of America

Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park: The Basics

A humongous 7-acre indoor amusement park, Nickelodeon Universe Mall of America is a Midwest U.S. gem!

This massive indoor playground is located in the center of Mall of America, located in Bloomington, MN.

Mall of America is the United States’ largest and most popular shopping mall and welcomes 40 million visitors annually.

Locally known as MOA, Mall of America is 4 circular stories tall and features 520 stores. It is home to an array of general retail, restaurants, and specialty attractions.

In a nutshell, Mall of America should absolutely be on the top of your list of things to do in Minnesota as it is a mecca of entertainment, shopping, and fun!

Though shopping itself may not be high on your list of things to do, Nickelodeon Universe is large enough to provide hours of fun in itself.

Whether you spend a couple of hours or an entire day here, Nickelodeon Universe has dozens of rides and attractions to keep the whole family entertained.

Additional planning tip: Mall of America offers free parking in several covered parking ramps and open-air lots.

To visit Nickelodeon Universe, park in any of the Mall of America ramps or lots. Follow signs to enter the mall, make your way to the center, and you will naturally run into the theme park.

Ariel of Nickelodeon Universe | Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park:  Everything You Need to Know by popular family travel blog, Travel with a Plan: image of Nickelodeon Universe theme park.
Nickelodeon Universe, Mall of America

Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park Atmosphere

Thanks to its climate-controlled environment and glass ceiling that lets natural light in, guests avoid all inclement weather while still feeling like they are actually outside.

Likewise, to further enhance the feeling of being outdoors, Nickelodeon Universe is adorned with live and luscious landscaping designed to complement the rides.

“The plants next to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shell Shock ride have giant leaves that look like turtle shells. There are perfectly placed spiky yellow and orange flowers in front of SpongeBob’s pineapple-shaped bouncy house.”

Jill Weglarz, Interior Landscaper Supervisor

As one of the best Mall of America attractions for kids of all ages, Nickelodeon Universe is an absolute must-do when visiting the mall.

Its brightly colored Nick-themed rides and decor make for a fun and lively ambiance and experience.

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Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park Tickets

There are four entrances into Nickelodeon Universe and admission into the park itself is free. Guests, however, must pay to experience the rides and attractions located within the park.

Rides can be paid for in the form of a points system, an unlimited wristband, or an annual pass.

When paying for rides via the points system, take note that all rides have a point value. Junior rides cost 3 points and higher thrill rides cost up to 6 points.

After choosing the rides that you want to go on, purchase your points accordingly.

If you and your kids plan on going on multiple rides, it is most cost-effective to purchase a Nickelodeon Universe all day pass. Save $2.00 on each unlimited wristband by purchasing them online or by checking for an applicable corporate discount.

Last, there are many special ticketing options available to Nickelodeon guests including a military discount, twilight savings, and the ever-so-popular Toddler Tuesdays.

Take note that per the Nickelodeon Universe chaperone policy, parents or guardians of (paid) small children ride free!

Additional planning tip: Don’t wait in line at the single ticket booth to purchase Nickelodeon Universe tickets. Instead, get your passes from one of the electronic kiosks located at each one of the four entrances.

ticketing kiosk | Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park:  Everything You Need to Know by popular family travel blog, Travel with a Plan: image of Nickelodeon Universe theme park ticketing kiosk.
Nickelodeon Universe, ticketing kiosk

Nickelodeon Universe Rides

For a theme park that has to fit inside a shopping mall, Nickelodeon Universe does a great job of appealing to a wide age-range of customers. In doing so, they offer three categories of rides: Family, Junior, and Thrill.

Yes, the 28 Nickelodeon Universe rides are designed for an indoor setting which means that there are no big-dropping or monstrous roller-coasters.

There are, however, quite a few rides that will indeed make your stomach drop.

Our kids’ favorites include Brain Surge, Avatar Airbender, SpongeBob’s Rock Bottom Plunge, and Shredder’s Mutant Masher.

Fairly Odd Coaster | Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park:  Everything You Need to Know by popular family travel blog, Travel with a Plan: image of the Fairly Odd Coaster at Nickelodeon Universe theme park.
Fairly Odd Coaster

For the little tykes in your family, there are 11 rides designed for children 36-42 inches tall. There are 4 additional rides designed specifically for families to enjoy together.

The newest addition to Nickelodeon Universe is Adventure Bay.

Adventure Bay is a themed play space where children under 52″ can sit in and climb on replicas of the Paw Patrol vehicles and lookout tower. If you have a Paw Patrol-loving child in your family, be sure to check it out!

Mall of American Adventure Bay

Additional planning tip: Before your visit, be sure to review all necessary theme park safety rules to keep the kids safe and accounted for as you venture off among the rides and crowds.

During non-peak season, Nickelodeon operates on a reduced ride schedule. Likewise, check the ride maintenance schedule to be sure your favorite ride will not be shut down during your visit.

Nickelodeon Universe Dutchman’s Deck

Additional Attractions

Aside from rides, Nickelodeon Universe also features the Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course, which consists of a ropes course and zip line over the park. Also featured is Moose Mountain Adventure Golf, an 18-hole miniature golf course, and FlyOver America, a flight simulation attraction.

Each of these attractions requires an additional cost and are not included in the price of an all-day unlimited wristband.

Other things to do through Nickelodeon Universe include arcade games, caricature drawings, carnival drawings, and vendor shopping.

And of course, there are plenty of snack stations, vending machines, and (a local favorite), Caribou Coffee.

Character Appearances

Sponge Bob, Dora, Diego, Blue, and the Ninja Turtles make regular appearances at Nickelodeon Universe theme park. Paid photo opportunities are available and times are posted throughout the park.

Character appearances and times are subject to change without notice, however.

Dining

From food courts, to quick service and sit-down dining, there are dozens of kid-friendly restaurants at Mall of America.

The only restaurant that is located directly within Nickelodeon Universe however, is Hard Rock Cafe. Dining at any other restaurant or fast food counter will require you to leave the confines of Nickelodeon Universe.

Additional planning tip: There are a few snack counters located throughout Nickelodeon Universe that sell items like ice cream, drinks, and cotton candy.

You are also welcome to bring snacks from home in your purse or diaper bag. There are no bag checks required to get in to Nickelodeon Universe.

Best Time to Visit Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe can be enjoyed in full capacity year-round, 365 days a year!

For this reason, we rank it one of the best things to do in Minneapolis with kids in winter, as well as recommend it as a top pick in Midwest weekend getaways!

Because of its excellent climate-controlled environment, Nickelodeon Universe is exceptionally busy when it is snowy, rainy, or extremely cold outside, however.

Nickelodeon Universe theme park is also very busy on weekends and if it is a local school holiday.

During these peak times, the wait times for rides become extremely long, so do plan accordingly. Nickelodeon Universe wait times vary per ride and do not have signs (similar to Disney) that advertise an anticipated wait.

Unfortunately, if the line looks long, the wait time will be too, as there is not a quick turn-around on any of the rides.

Additional planning tip: We have the best luck avoiding crowds when visiting Nickelodeon Universe on a weekday.

Nickelodeon Universe wait times are the lowest right when the park opens, and again after 7:00 PM.

Nickelodeon Universe Review

We are huge fans of Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America!

We have been taking our kids here since they were toddlers, and they ask to go back year after year.

As a parent it is very comforting to gear up for an attraction where weather is never a concern. It is also helpful that there are so many rides for toddlers, and kid of various other ages.

Likewise, the themeing is appealing to both boys and girls as well as young and old.

Being that there are no huge roller coasters or gigantic drops, tweens and teens may find the rides a bit boring. Typically, if it is their first time visiting however, there is still some excitement in the rides being a ‘first’.

Overnight Accommodations

The MOA is located directly across the interstate from Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport (MSP). Consequently, there are more than 50 hotels within 10 minutes of the mall.

Here’s a look at the best Mall of America hotels!

Two hotels, the Radisson Blu and JW Marriott Minneapolis have direct access to the Mall of America and provide ultimate style and convenience.

Great Wolf Lodge, Bloomington, is located adjacent to the Mall of America parking lot and includes a gigantic indoor water park and child themeing throughout.

Lastly, our other favorite accommodation when visiting Nickelodeon Universe is Best Western Plus. Best Western Plus is located directly across the street from the mall close to restaurants and public transportation.

The clean poolside rooms, huge indoor pool area, and free gourmet hot breakfast make this our favorite family-friendly hotel in the area!

Booking.com

Do you have any questions about visiting Nickelodeon Universe theme park? I’d love to respond to your comments! -Jen


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Learn absolutely everything you need to know about Mall of America's Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park!  As the nation's largest indoor theme park, plan ahead for ticketing, wait times, what what rides to expect.   We discuss every last details here!  #NickelodeonUniverse #MallofAmericathemepark #Nickthemepark #NickelodeonUniversewaittimes #NickelodeonUniverserides #thingstodoatmallofamerica
Top U.S. family travel blog Travel With A Plan let's you know all about Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, located inside of Mall of America!  Click here to read all about Nickelodeon Universe theme park!   #nickelodeonuniversewaittimes #nickelodeonuniversereviews #nickelodeonuniverse #mallofamericatips #mallofamericarides #nickelodeonpark #nickelodeonuniversemallofamerica #nickelodeonuniversereview #NickelodeonUniverserides #NickelodeonUniverseMOA #NickelodeonUniversetickets #MOAamusementpark #mallofamericaridesfortoddlers #ridesfortoddlers #indoorthemeparks
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Hi, I’m Jen!  Welcome to Travel With A Plan!

I’m an avid adventurer who is always planning the next family vacation for my husband and I, and our three boys!

As an advocate for family travel with kids of all ages, I am a firm believer that traveling together helps keep families healthy and happy at home!

Here is where I share our best family vacation itineraries, resort reviews, and family travel tips (incuding Disney!).

Let’s go on an adventure! -Jen

TMOM Travel Writer
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