Nickelodeon Universe, Bloomington, Minnesota, USA
Mall of America
June 2, 2021
Waking up earlier than expected I decided to shower and head somewhere for breakfast so that I could get to Nick Universe at or around opening. There is an iHop in the area that was in walking distance, so I ate breakfast there, and then headed across the street to the Mall of America. I arrived just after opening.
The park was really cute. Very well done, although I would have liked to have seen it when it was themed to Snoopy as well. I had some issues trying to get my ticket, but eventually the second kiosk across the park worked. The park had responded to a message I sent on Instagram letting me know that it would indeed be fully opened, save for the log flume and a couple of small kids rides, starting this week. When I arrived, I also saw that certain rides only ran during certain hours, but this wasn’t an issue as the park was never busy during my day. My first ride of the morning was a new type of coaster for me thats been around for quite a while, the Intamin Half Pipe coaster.
Avatar Airbender (425)-It was uncomfortable because I’m so fat right now, but I fit! The ride was a lot of fun. You launch up the 2 spikes in either direction as the circular seating bench spins in both direction. The ride cycle was pretty long and it was really a lot of fun.
The park was so dead that I decided to try and get all of the coasters in pretty quickly. I moved over to the park’s Gerstlauer spinning coaster next.
The Fairly Odd Coaster (426)-I ended up riding in a car to myself after about a 20 minute wait. Lots of spinning ensued. I’ve been on similar layouts by Gerstlauer and while I prefer outpacing spinning cars, I do enjoy these. With the semi-mouse layout at the top the spinning gets going, then the helixes and swoops contributed to more with a spinning bonanza at the end on the brake run.
Walking through the park I was able to get a lot of pictures from different angles. I love parks where most of the ride layouts are easily accessible. I headed over to the park’s other Gerstlauercoaster to see if I’d fit. I have issues with their restraints when I’m smaller in weight. The wait was about 35 minutes or so. Would I fit??
SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge-Nope. The ride op tried and tried. He could get the green light to come on then when he went to start the ride, it would turn red. He tried a couple times but it was a loosing game. And that’s fine. It looks like a lot of fun, but it isn’t a super unique ride, and I’ll be back eventually, when I’ve lost more weight (down 20lb in 5 months already as of this writing).
Welp, that didn’t work, so I walked across the midway to the next coaster, and one of the original rides from the park’s opening.
Pepsi Orange Streak (428)-I liked the open station design. The ride was long and a lot of fun, with some fun drops and swoops and helixes. I was not aware that it had a dark ride portion, that was unexpectedly fun. The coaster is rather long, and goes around quite a bit of the park. I enjoyed it for what it was, a fun family coaster.
I’d left the mall and found my way back to my hotel. After I got back to the hotel I asked about scheduling a pickup in the morning to go to the airport, then I asked about reserving the pool. It was about 2:30 at this point, so I requested the 3 PM slot. Then I went to my room, hung out for a few, put on my swimming trunks, and headed down to get the key. It was really nice having the entire pool by myself for an hour. The room was warm, the water was comfortable, I played my own music, and just enjoyed being in the pool for about an hour.
After dropping off the key to the pool room I headed back upstairs to shower and change back into my dry clothes. I decided to hop on the light rail back to MoA. I love public transportation. The light rail rolling stock looked just like the ones used in Charlotte. I walked around for a bit once inside the mall then had lunch at Cadillac Ranch. It was okay, but I’ve had better burgers. Then I walked around the second, third, and fourth floors to get some more shots of the park. I wanted to get more photos and check out the dark ride, so I headed back down to Nick Universe. The Ghost Blasters dark ride was fun, even though it’s mostly just the same thing as Boo Blasters at the various Cedar Fair parks.
Then I walked over to the Shredder themed flat ride to see if I could fit. The line wasn’t long, and eventually I was sitting in the seat with the lap bar down and plenty of room.
Shredder-I’d wanted to ride one of these while in Japan, but it was down. I know I’ve been to another park that had one or got one soon after, but this was the first time I’d seen it operating. The ride is fantastic. The seats flip 360 as the arm rotates at an angle, all while coming close to the walls of the park.
I walked around a bit more to take more photos and then rode Shredder again. The ride is just so much fun, and I was able to get some full 360 spins this time. I also walked around the mall some more, but the only store I bothered walking into was the Oakley store. After another lap around I headed back to the lightrail station and back to my hotel for the evening. I decided to call it early so that I could repack all of my stuff and get everything ready for my early morning. I had Mexican food delivered, watched some TV, got the Keurig ready for my morning coffee, and then eventually went to sleep.
On Thursday morning I woke up early, showered, got my stuff together, and headed down to the transport to the airport. The security line was light and I ended up grabbing a bagel and was the first person to arrive at my gate. When the gate agent eventually walked up she asked if anyone wanted to switch to an exit row as she had several seats available. I hopped at the chance, and I’m glad I did. I had an exit row seat all to myself on the way back.
The flight back was quick and easy. I watched some shows I’d downloaded on Amazon Prime. When I landed in Charlotte I headed to the transport to the off site parking (it was cheaper). Once I got to my car, I went to the exit gate and had some issues, which ended up being a good thing. I had to talk to the woman at the exit gate to be let out and so I asked if anyone had turned in a pair of Oakley sunglasses. She went to check and came back around and I immediately saw the black bag in her hand. I’m glad I asked.
So for a first full vacation after a year of lockdown, I had a great time. I walked a lot, rode several good coasters and a couple of amazing coasters, and was able to visit some parks I’d been eying for many years. I feel it was overall a success.
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