Review: Nickelodeon Universe Rides

 Mall of America, one of our great tourist attractions is a huge mall with a lot of stores and even a theme park in the middle of the mall.  Originally the theme park was “Camp Snoopy” though a few years ago that park was changed into Nickelodeon Universe.  A nice size indoor theme park with rides for people of all ages.  They have easy going rides to big thrill rides, they even have those games that you feel like is ripping  you off to win cool prizes.  That’s right, this theme park is fully set up to be like most any theme park you can find outside.  I will like to share my thoughts on all the rides that I enjoyed at Nickelodeon Universe while there for the TMNT Shell Shock grand opening.

The first ride I went on was Shell Shock, though I already wrote a review for that one.  During the weekend, I did manage to get over to Shell Shock five times with all of the other stuff I was doing.  So it’s a ride I do recommend, though it was only the beginning of the rides that I went on at the park as I wanted to take the time to find out what all the others were like.  After doing the Shell Shock ride, the group split up as I started the next group of rides with TurtleNinja and Draco.  

The first ride the group found was the Jimmy Neutron ride.  “Atomic Collider” is a ride where two people fit per seat, with two seats connected to an arm. The arm rotates, bringing the seats forward and backwards, so your seat can be up high or down low.  The seats ride can go fast and slow, and is not that bad for fans for a bit of a thrill.  TurtleNinja and I sat in one seat while Draco sat in the seat behind us.  The ride was a bit fast, though it was fun.   I was able to enjoy the ride while holding a conversation with TurtleNinja.  Which meant it was a nice start for me, I was not too scared to talk.  It was fast, I enjoyed the breeze and held onto the handle that was in there with us.  I also found that looking upward towards the ceiling helped with my fear of heights.  I remember thinking that would be a fun ride to go on again, though I wanted to try other rides first.

The next ride that TurtleNinja and I went to was Danny Phantom Ghost Zone, now this is the ride that I would normally use to help break my fear of heights so I already knew this is one I can enjoy.  TurtleNinja and I sat in seats to the far left of the ride, and as this one is like an old pirate ship ride from the state fair grounds, it goes back and forth, then up and over.  You never go upside down, though it goes high and fast enough to give you a thrill.  Though I found that I was not nearly as scared as I was my first time on this ride.  I was able to enjoy it the first time around.  After getting off of that ride, we met back up with Draco and headed around the corner to a really big ride.

The ride we were getting on this time was the Fairly Odd Coaster, a roller coaster that goes along a track, with no upside down motion.  Though the buggies that you sit in spins around.  Now, I was not sure how it worked or anything as we got on, there was only three of us.  So Draco and TurtleNinja sat across from me.  Once the ride started it did not take long to show us that it was going to be a fast spinner.  This was the first ride that I went on that day where I could not hold a conversation, as it whipped us around the track.  I found myself honestly screaming and having a blast as the buggy would not stop spinning.  At one point, the track went over where my mom was sitting on the ‘bench ride’ and I screamed hi down to her, though she did not hear me.  This fastly became one of my favorite rides.  I remember getting off of it and laughing so much. It was truly a fun ride and well designed.

Draco decided to sit out the next ride as TurtleNinja and I decided to go get on the coaster that goes around the full park.  Now I remember riding this a few times back when it was Snoopy Camp, so I knew I could handle this coaster with no upside down movements.  This is the Pepis® Orange Streak, and though fun, it could not get me to scream after just taking the Fairly Odd Coaster.  It’s a cool ride to get to see the full park, you even go through a tunnel attached to the water log ride, going right by the food court.  This is a nice ride for anyone who wants a full view of the park, from up above.

After this, TurtleNinja and Draco had to head out for a bit.  Just as they left, Fugitoid and Tokka arrived, so the next crew of going on rides with me was there.  We did a few things in the mall before hitting the rides, though we did not waste time to work on rides that I knew were going to be testing my fears.  I wanted to start with one which wasn’t my fear of going high, but my fear of going upside down on rides.  So I brought us over to Brain Surge.

Now Brain Surge is a ride with two people per a seat, one of those people gets a lever to control on how much you spin.  The ride starts up bringing you in a circle over a curved track, though the lever makes it so you spin upside down going forwards or backwards.  I got to use the lever, and found that the fear of going upside down on rides was all in my head, as I kept Tokka and I either spinning or head down towards the ground.  This was a lot of fun.  And it was nice to see how easy I overcame one of my biggest thrill ride fears.  Though I was still not sure if I can overcome that fear in high places.

Now came the rides that really hit my fear of heights.  I was looking at this large ride since we got there, Avatar Airbender.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love the cartoon series Avatar : The Last Airbender.  I even bought all of the DVDs from the series, got a handful of toys and have sat many friends through the series.  So seeing this ride, I knew at some point I had to go on it.  Just this ride went all the way up to the glass windows at the top of the theme park.  It scared me just looking at this ride.  Worse part was having to wait in line, as it made me watch more and more people going up on this very high ride.  Tokka and Fugitoid were both going on the ride, it was clear Tokka was not scared, though that did not help my fear.  Once we got up to the ride, all I could do was think ‘what the hell am I doing in this line?’

Much like the “Shell Shock” ride, Avatar Airbender goes up 70 feet in the air, on a huge skate board that goes up and down this over side skate board ramp.  The people on the skateboard is strapped into these spinning seats.  There’s two sets of spinning seats.  We sat on the water bender side of the skateboard, you can tell this by the painting on the floor, it’s the the right side when you first walk towards the skateboard.  The other side if firebending.  Fugitoid sat to my left, and on the other side of him was Tokka as the ride started up.  It wasn’t as bad as I feared. Everytime we’d get up to the top I’d shout out something like “Cowabunga”, one time I even quoted Bart Simpson... “Aye Caramba!” I could hear Fugitoid laugh when I yelled that.  Once again I found myself enjoying a ride much more than I thought I would.

Once we got off, it was deciding what to do next.  Fugitoid decide to stick with my mom, so Tokka and I ran off to do the rest of the rides ourselves.  We went to the Water Log ride, it’s an easy water log ride compared to the ones I go on at Six Flags Great America.  The funniest thing with it is the big Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe.  This ride has not really been changed at all from when it was Camp Snoopy.  Poor Tokka somehow got the water in his mouth and said it tasted nasty.  I’ll take his word for it.  After that, I took him on the Fairly Odd Coaster, a ride I originally wasn’t sure I wanted to go on and here I am taking it a second time in the same day.  He kept saying though that he wanted to go on the Spongebob coaster, which was the ride that scared me the most when looking at it, so I told him that I would not be going on that with him.

After the Fairly Odd coaster we found ourselves in line for the “Backyardigans Swing-Along”.  This was a relaxing ride, I just enjoyed sitting back and talking with Tokka as the swings went around.  I use to be scared of the ideas of going on these big swings, though it seemed my fear of heights was not hitting me as hard, which is when I began to think, maybe I can do the Spongebob coaster.  Though I kept this thought to myself as we got off and headed in that direction.

Spongebob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge, the scariest looking ride in the full park.  Not only does it bring you straight up 70 feet and drop you straight down those 70 feet, it has two upside down circles.  When I got there, I said that was the ride I would not go on.  Though now, after a day of going on most of the thrill rides right there in the park, I was not sure if I was going to keep to that.  I followed Tokka as we got to the big ride, and stared at it.  Why not? I went on Airbender and that one looked scary, I went on Brain surge and taught me I can go upside down.  So why not go on this big scary ride that makes every part of me just want to freeze?  I ran up into line with Tokka, lucky for me at the end of the night there was no line. We went straight onto the ride so I didn’t have time to turn and run for my life.

I would of taken second row, but got lead into front row. I wanted to sit more center, instead of on the outside, but I ended up sitting in the far right seat.  So both securities I was hoping for with this ride were not there.  The ride started and I realized just how tall 70 feet was as we got to the uphill climb.  It faced straight up, no tilt or anything, as it slowly went up towards the top.  I could feel myself just getting tense and starting to worry about how high we were.  I knew one thing, I did not want to look down, but when I got to the top of the ride I realized this ride does not give you the option to not look down as it went over the top and we started to go down REALLY fast.  I did scream on the way down, but then I realized it wasn’t as bad as I feared, we were heading to our first loop and I thought this was going to be worse, and it wasn’t.  I enjoyed it!  I laughed realizing this fear of mine that I’ve had all of my life, is not stopping me.  Though near the end of the ride they do some twist with the tracks that causes your head to jerk back and forth. This hurt my neck, which recently had intense surgery.  So once I got off, I knew I could not go back on Sponebob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge, at least for now.

Tokka went running back onto it.  I went back over to Fugitoid and my mom to get ready to leave.  Though when Tokka returned, we decided to go on the Shell Shock ride one last time.  Finishing off the day with our favorite Thrill Ride, the ride that got us to come to Nickelodeon Universe.  This was a great day, and I left with my head high knowing that day I conquered a lot of my fears and had a blast doing so!

I highly recommend all of the rides at Nickelodeon Universe.  Though if you have any problems with your neck beware of “Spongebob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge”.   These rides are all fun and worth a day to explore.  There’s so many other things there that we did not get to focus on as it was a busy day!   Though when I go back I plan to ride all of these again and try some of the other things there that we did not get to take part in.

Thanks Nickelodeon Universe for making this trip as awesome as it was!  And thank you for bringing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles their first Thrill Ride!

Have you been to Nickelodeon Universe?  If so what is your favorite ride?  Please give reviews, comments and questions below in the comment section!  Remember that all email addresses are kept private.

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