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Nickelodeon and Mall of America Take Families on the Ride of a Lifetime During the Grand Opening of Nickelodeon Universe, March 15

PR Newswire (press release)

Original Article »

March 10, 2008

NEW YORK and BLOOMINGTON, Minn., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- This
Saturday, March 15, at 9 a.m. (CT) the number-one kids' brand, Nickelodeon,
and Mall of America the country's largest shopping and entertainment
destination, celebrate the grand opening of Nickelodeon Universe, a
seven-acre theme park featuring 18 new Nick-themed rides and attractions.
Nickelodeon Universe is a seven-acre indoor park located in the center of
Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. The grand opening celebration of the
re-branded, first-ever Nickelodeon theme park will feature special
appearances by TEENick talent including: Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly); Nat
Wolff and Alex Wolff (The Naked Brothers Band); and Lil' J.J. (Just
Jordan); and a special performance by multiplatinum recording artist,
Ashlee Simpson.

"The grand opening of Nickelodeon Universe, marks a very exciting time
for us, as the Nickelodeon brand continues to expand to bring more hands on
entertainment experiences to families," said Howard Smith, Executive Vice
President, Nickelodeon Recreation. "This represents the perfect marriage of
two entertainment entities, Nickelodeon, the number-one brand for kids, and
Mall of America, the top shopping and entertainment destination in the
country. Nickelodeon Universe will provide hours upon hours of excitement
for kids and their families."

"Over the past year we have witnessed an amazing transformation of our
amusement park," adds Maureen Bausch, Executive Vice President, Mall of
America. "We are thrilled to have partnered with Nickelodeon to create
Nickelodeon Universe. Guests to the park will be amazed at the new rides
and theme. We have guests from around the country and the world visit our
park, and everyone is certain to enjoy their experience here."

Nickelodeon Universe will feature rides themed with Nickelodeon hit
properties from the past and present, including: SpongeBob SquarePants;
Dora the Explorer; Go, Diego, Go!; Avatar: The Last Airbender; The Fairly
OddParents; Rugrats; Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius; The Wonder Pets!; and many
more. The newly re-branded rides will be family oriented thrill rides with
a Nick twist.

The new line-up of Nickelodeon-themed rides includes:

  • SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge: This rollercoaster offers unique vertical lifts that will turn riders head over heels with intense loops, spirals, and 90-degree turns. Riders will twist and turn through Bikini Bottom, then screech to a halt at the Bikini Bottom bus stop.
  • Avatar Airbender: Riders can reach heights of 70 feet as they rock back and forth and also spin along a horseshoe track on this family thrill ride.
  • The Fairly OddParents Fairly Odd Coaster: Featuring Cosmo and Wanda, this rollercoaster includes, spinning cars, hairpin turns, plummeting spirals and fast fun.
  • Danny Phantom Ghost Zone: Riders will embark on a ghost-hunting adventure that will 'pale' in comparison to all others. This theater-seat style, platform ride soars at high speeds above the Mall and rotates 360 degrees in a clockwise motion.
  • Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider: A radical thrill ride where riders can take one of Jimmy's out-of-this-world inventions for a test drive. The cars on this ride lift off the ground and leap over one another as one of Jimmy's inventions goes awry again.
  • Splat-O-Sphere: Riders will get a bird's eye view of the park as they are taken up the 60-foot tower via a vertical lift and then dropped back.
  • Tak Attack: Spin head over heels and flip upside down on this gravity-defying thrill ride. Riders will harness the power of Juju as they hurtle skyward, twisting and turning on Tak's gigantic magical staff.
  • The Naked Brothers Crazy Cars: Riders can join in smashing bumper car action for in these Naked Brothers themed "crazy cars."
  • Pepsi(R) Orange Streak: A spine-tingling ride in a sleek, Nickelodeon orange vehicle, this rollercoaster streaks down a twisting, turning track through the entire park, leaving nothing but laughs and screams in its wake.
  • El Circulo del Cielo: Families can circle high above the crowd for a view of the park from more than seven stories high on a Dora and Boots-themed Ferris Wheel.
  • Back at the Barnyard Hayride: Kids of all ages can take an "udderly" wild ride through the Barnyard with Otis and the rest of the party animals on this family friendly coaster.
  • The Backyardigans Swing-Along: Riders can let their imagination soar as they fly on this Backyardigans-themed swing and reach heights of up to 27 feet.
  • Blue's Skidoo: Based on the preschool hit Blue's Clues, kids can fly through the air in Blue and Magenta-themed planes, using their on-board control buttons to make them hop up and down.
  • Diego's Rescue Rider: Fans of Nickelodeon's animal rescuer can hop aboard the Rescue Rider bus and ride along in Rescue Pack for another wild animal rescue adventure.
  • La Aventura de Azul: All aboard for a whimsical journey on Azul, the blue train. Head out on a storybook journey through the fantasy world of Dora the Explorer.
  • Pineapple Poppers: Fans of Nickelodeon's most popular underwater sea creature can hop up-and-down and jump to their heart's content in this bright orange oversized pineapple resembling SpongeBob SquarePants famous abode.
  • Rugrats Reptarmobiles: The Rugrats are at it again -- and now fans can join them in the driver's seat of their very own kid-sized bumper car, made especially for Rugrats-sized visitors.
  • Swiper's Sweeper: Fans of Dora the Explorer are in for a wild ride as this "Kiddie Whip" ride rotates little ones round-and-round while trying to keep Swiper from swiping their stuff.
  • Wonder Pets Flyboat: Kids can hop aboard the Wonder Pets' fantastic Flyboat, which will lift riders 20 feet above the park, then bounce them up and down until they reach the ground.

The first-ever Nickelodeon theme park will also feature, attractions,
daily meet and greets with costumed characters, and games and entertainment
based on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. properties. Additionally, Mall of America
will feature "Toddler Tuesday," a program that will present Nick Jr. events
throughout the year.

Nickelodeon Universe also features four new Nickelodeon-branded retail
stores. Located at the north entrance of Nickelodeon Universe, the
Nickelodeon Store, occupying more than 5,000-square feet, is the flagship
store with the largest selection of Nickelodeon merchandise in the world.
The store will include unique character merchandise from SpongeBob
SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, The Fairly OddParents, The Backyardigans,
Rugrats and more. 4U Nickelodeon Universe will feature-up-to-the-minute
fashions for tweens and teens from hot tees to funky bags featuring some of
Nick's most popular properties, including The Naked Brothers Band and
SpongeBob SquarePants. Home to some of Nickelodeon's most beloved
properties and the largest toy store in the Mall of America, TOYS will be
the one-stop-shop for the latest new toy trends for kids of all ages. NU
Stuff, is home to park based Nickelodeon Universe souvenir merchandise.
This 1,000-square foot space, located at the East entrance of Nickelodeon
Universe, offers an open atmosphere to make browsing fun an easy.

Chicago-based Levy Restaurants will bring a fresh new dining
marketplace, EATS, to the theme park. Levy's innovative Culinary team has
created healthy dining options and one-of-a kind concepts for guests of all
ages, including fresh-carved sandwiches, flatbreads and signature baked
goods. These unique, healthy dishes complement Nickelodeon's five-year-old
health and wellness commitment, Let's Just Play, and the brand itself.

More than 4,400 hours of labor from PCL Construction has gone into
Nickelodeon Universe to install the new, branded rides. Construction on
Nickelodeon Universe is environmentally conscious, with nearly 85 percent
of the construction demolition being recycled; totaling 2,179 tons of
material or 5,000 cubic yards.

For more information, visit

About Levy Restaurants

Levy Restaurants was founded in Chicago in 1978 and is recognized as
one of America's fastest growing and most critically acclaimed restaurant
companies, and is the leader in premium sports and entertainment dining
concessions. Levy's diverse and expansive portfolio includes award-winning
restaurants such as James Beard-winning Spiaggia and Bistro 110 in Chicago,
Fulton's Crab House and Wolfgang Puck's Grand Cafe at Walt Disney World
Resort, renowned sports venues, such as Lambeau Field in Green Bay, STAPLES
Center in Los Angeles, and American Airlines Arena in Miami, retail
locations including Hershey's and the Harley Museum, and events including
Super Bowls, World Series, Kentucky Derbies, NASCAR Racing, the US Open and
the Grammy Awards. For details on Levy Restaurants, visit

About Mall of America

Mall of America is the nation's largest retail and entertainment
complex. The 4.2 million square foot complex is home to more than 520
world-class shops; the nation's largest indoor family amusement park;
Underwater Adventures, a 1.2 million gallon walk-though aquarium; a
14-screen movie theater and more. The Mall opened in August of 1992 and is
located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and
St. Paul. For more information visit

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon Recreation began in 1990 and since has grown to include a
diverse range of complex and specialized business segments including hotel
resorts, touring family theatricals and theme park attractions.

Nickelodeon, in its 28th year, is the number-one entertainment brand
for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in
everything it does. The company includes television programming and
production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer
products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films.
Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in almost 96 million
households and has been the number-one- rated basic cable network for more
than 13 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters
and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

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