Wednesday, August 7, 2013 1:43 AM

We went to the Mall of America on Sunday. That meant, that like every other mall in the country, hours of operation were shorter (I think 11:00 - 7:00 PM.) My daughter was excited about visiting the American Girl Store. She and my wife walked around doing the shopping thing. My nephew and I looked around the mall. We didn't plan to do rides, but I just had to drop some money on some tickets so that we could go on some rides. I saved the rest to use with my daughter later in the day. I really would have loved to do a wrist band, but I just didn't have it in my budget and the evening rate (which would have been doable) just didn't work with our schedule.

Anyway, my nephew isn't a huge daredevil and wanted to try the Pepsi Orange Crush coaster first. It was actually a more fun ride that I expected. Maybe the trip around the park helped. Maybe it was because if was the first coaster that I had ridden in a year. But it was really pretty fun if not thrilling. I would have definitely revisited it if I had been able to take unlimited rides.

After that, my nephew and I tried the log flume. What a great ride! I love log flumes anyway, but it was nice to see the indoor theming. The animatronics on the ride are not ground breaking but are lots of fun. In one of the last rooms, Babe the Blue Ox and Paul Bunyan tower over you. There are two nice big hills that splash but don't get you soaked. The world really needs more old fashioned log flumes!

My nephew and I were going to do one more ride on The Fairly Oddcoaster, but time was not on our side and we were not able to wait through the line that had formed for it. We had to get out of the line so that I could take my nephew and mother in law over to a dinner theater that they had gotten tickets for in nearby Chanhassen.

When I got back, I had the opportunity to enjoy some rides with my daughter. We went on the log flume because I knew that she would love it. She did and wanted to go on it several more times. I did ride it with her one more time. Unfortunately, that second ride took the place of hopefully getting to try the Fairly Oddcoaster which she was strangely against riding. I'm sure I didn't miss out on too much there and the log flume was excellent but it was disappointing to miss it. It just looks really interesting.

We then went on the Ghost Blasters dark ride as our final ride at the mall. That was a surprisingly fun and well themed interactive dark ride. More parks need these rides too!

Anyway, I would have loved to try the other two coasters, but it just didn't work out. Sponge Bob looked interesting but short and neither or my riding partners is interested in going upside down. They were also intimidated by the straight up and down lift hill (oh well). I'm really surprised that a tourist trap mall like this one follows the same hours as other malls around the country. I guess the workers still need a short day every once in awhile. We went back to our hotel and got in a few hours of swimming. Then we prepared for Monday at the surprisingly fun Valleyfair! I'll be back to share a trip report in the near future.

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Friday, August 9, 2013 6:13 PM

I was going to say you're kidding about the mall hours. But, then I saw the Sunday thing, and went yep. It does seem like a mall as big as the Mall of America would have longer hours. You would think the amusement park, and the big chain stores would want to stay open longer. At some malls, in Grand Rapids, the big chain stores stay open until 9, and they just close the gates to the mall, and stay open. And the 20 screen theater in the mall stays open well after the mall is closed. At least until the last movie at 10.

So, if I ever go there, I will know not to go there on a Sunday. Thanks for the heads up on those crappy hours. Now I need to go to the Mall of America website, to see what their regular operating hours are. I'll bet its packed there in the winter months.

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Friday, August 9, 2013 6:49 PM

I was just looking at the Nick park website. I was wondering if you thought about riding the mutant ninja turtle ride. That looks like it would be one crazy ride, as well as the Himalaya type ride with the rolling cars on it.

It didn't seem like that bad of a deal for an all day wristband, I don't see the lines being that long for and indoor park. Though I would not pay almost $9.00 for mini golf. That's just crazy. MA's is only $3.00.

I'll have to keep the mall of America, and Valley fair on my list as well. Both places would be new to me.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013 10:39 AM

The wrist band was not necessarily a bad price. However, I knew that we were going to have a limited time because of our schedule for the day, were going to be spending the next day at Valleyfair, and would have had to get wrist bands for three separate people instead of tickets that we could all share. They have evening rates that I would have gladly used. Originally we were supposed to go to Valleyfair on Sunday and MOA on Monday, but we had to change that plan.

I did think about trying the Ninja Turtles ride and several other flat rides that either looked interesting and different or were favorites from other parks. I let me the kids that I was with, decide what to ride. The only one that I was disappointed to not get on was the Fairly Odd Coaster. That one looks like a lot of fun.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013 10:56 AM

I can't remember how I got it, but I got a free wristband from MoA. I think I had to sign up for their frequent rider e-mail list or something.

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