MOA’s Nickelodeon Universe Set to Reopen Aug. 10
While the coronavirus pandemic has felt much like a roller coaster ride itself, it’s not the kind of roller coaster any of us were hoping to be on. The ones Minnesotans do want to ride, however, are about to reopen.
After nearly five months closed due to Covid-19, Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe is set to partially reopen on August 10, aided by strict protocols and capacity restrictions created under the guidance of state and national organizations and industry experts.
The seven-acre indoor theme park will operate at a significantly reduced capacity of 250 people at a time. On a traditional, pre-covid weekend, capacity often reached as many as 3,000 guests at once, MOA public relations director Sarah Grap said.
“Reopening Nickelodeon Universe—even with significantly reduced capacity—is a positive step forward,” said Jill Renslow, MOA’s executive vice president of business development and marketing. The theme park will operate under the current restrictions until new guidelines are released by the state of Minnesota.
Guests will be able to purchase two-hour tickets ($19.99 plus tax for ride access; $4.99 plus tax for non-riders), allowing them unlimited access to Nickelodeon Universe attractions during that time frame. Tickets will only be available onsite (no advance reservations). Capacity is expected to be reached early in the day, and guests who arrive after the park is full will have the opportunity to join a virtual queue to be notified when they are able to enter the park for their own two-hour time slot.
“With a maximum capacity of 250 guests at any given time with this limited reopening, it will give these guests the sense of having the theme park to themselves,” Grap said.
Attractions will be sanitized after each ride, hand sanitizer will be provided and required prior to entering each ride, ride seats will be assigned to comply with social distancing guidelines, and queue lines will have floor markers so that those waiting can properly socially distance. Face masks covering the nose and mouth will also be required for all guests three and older (aside from those with exempting medical conditions) while in the park except while eating and drinking.
The attractions that will reopen August 10 include: Backyardigan’s Swing-Along, Big Rigs, Blue’s Skidoo, Carousel, Diego’s Rescue Rider, Ghost Blasters, Guppy Bubbler, Swiper’s Sweeper, Brain Surge, Fairly Odd Coaster, Pepsi Orange Streak, and SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge. All other rides will remain closed due to limited staffing or the inability to enforce safe social distancing protocols.
Nickelodeon Universe will also be available for group buyouts, allowing groups up to 250 to rent the entire theme park for up to three hours before or after operating hours.
As the mall gradually gets back to business following a complete shut down due to Covid-19, most of the big entertainment attractions have reopened with restrictions, including Moose Mountain Mini Golf, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, The Escape Game, and Rock of Ages Mini Golf. Crayola Experience and CMX Cinemas remain temporarily closed.
Nickelodeon Universe joins a number of other parks and attractions across the Twin Cities which have been reopened with similar capacity limits and procedures in place. For example, St. Paul-based Como Zoo reopened to guests on June 23, and Plymouth’s Urban Air Adventure Park, featuring trampolines, ropes courses, Go-Karts, and more, reopened on June 19. Valley Fair, the Twin Cities’ largest outdoor amusement park, remains closed.