An 8.5-acre indoor theme park that organizers have touted as the largest in the Western Hemisphere is opening at the New Jersey Meadowlands on Friday, and classic characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming along for the ride.
Nickelodeon Universe is scheduled to open at the American Dream Meadowlands mall in East Rutherford on Friday. While a list of rides has not been revealed, the park will reportedly feature more than 35 attractions, including two record-setting roller coasters. A spokesperson at American Dream did not respond to request for comment.
One ride, the Shellraiser, will feature a 122-foot drop at an angle of 121.5 degrees, making it the steepest roller coaster in the world, the Global Association for the Attractions Industry reported. Another coaster, known as the Shredder, serves as the longest, tallest free-spinning roller coaster, according to NJ.com. A third ride, Skyline Scream, will be the record-holder for the tallest spinning indoor drop tower, American Dream wrote on Instagram.
CNN indicates there will also be a “Nickelodeon Slime Stage” for entertainment, calling back the popular kids network’s iconic green slime. Mascots like SpongeBob, Dora the Explorer, and the ninja turtles will reportedly be on hand for Friday’s scheduled opening.
Timed tickets for the park went on sale earlier this week, but passes for opening weekend have already sold out, the American Dream website indicates. General access tickets, which limit how many rides you can go on, will cost $40, while all-access passes — which allow guests to ride all rides at the park — go for $50 and are available for times starting Monday. Tickets are organized in five-hour blocks, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from 4 to 9 p.m.
There’s also a Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., that opened in 2008.
Despite its size, the New Jersey park is only a portion of the 3 million-square-foot American Dream complex. In development since 2003, the mega-mall on Friday will also debut an NHL regulation-size skating rink and a multifloor candy store known as It’Sugar.
Additional attractions are scheduled to open in phases, and include an upcoming indoor DreamWorks Water Park and an indoor ski slope known as Big Snow American Dream. Developers have indicated that the full complex, which includes about 450 shops and amenities, will be in full swing in early 2020.