Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream to Feature TMNT, SpongeBob & Slime Themed Roller Coasters

Originally published: Thursday, February 7, 2019.

COWABUNGA! Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream has announced that the upcoming Nickelodeon-branded theme park will feature rollercoasters inspired by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants and SLIME!

Update (7/16) - Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream will also include a Blue's Clues merry-go-round ride!

Update (7/3): American Dream has announced that it will welcome the public to its opening on Friday, October 25, 2019 where we will feature the launch of the property’s unprecedented indoor Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park! See below for the press release!

Update (4/5): American Dream has begun testing its amusement park rides inside the mega-mall’s Nickelodeon Universe theme park — a telltale sign that the retail and entertainment extravaganza will finally open this year, after nearly 15 years of delays! Additionally, drone footage from the ongoing construction at American Dream at the Meadowlands filmed by NJ Advance Media for NJ.com has revealed that banners (pictured above) for the upcoming Nickelodeon Universe amusement park, including one featuring SpongeBob SquarePants saying his "I'm ready" catchphrase, have appeared on the side of the mega-mall! Click here for more details!

Two rollercoasters we’ve already heard about -- and two we haven’t -- were revealed at a recent gathering of roller coaster enthusiasts and industry insiders. The thrill rides are in the works inside the massive theme park in the under-construction American Dream mega-mall in Bergen County, New Jersey.

The American Coaster Enthusiasts held an annual “EastCoaster” gathering at Hershey Park this past weekend where representatives from Nickelodeon Universe unveiled four roller coasters that will be part of the indoor theme park at the American Dream, Elizabeth Ringas, communications coordinator for ACE said.

Triple Five, the developer of the American Dream, announced more than a year ago that two record-setting roller coasters would be coming to the site. But their themes and character-associations were not known until this ACE announcement.

Roller coaster enthusiasts rejoiced. Here’s what ACE has shared of the news:

The roller coaster with the record-setting steepness will be called the TMNT Shellraiser (TMNT = Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle). It’s from German-based Gerstlauer, and the model is referred to as the “Eurofighter.” It will hold the record as the steepest plunge on a rollercoaster in the world.

The ride will pause at the top of a 122-foot drop, giving riders a glimpse of New York City - the home of the Turtles - across the Hudson River!

The other record-setter we’ve been hearing about has now been identified as “The Shredder” -- likely named after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle antagonist, Shredder. It is also a Gerstlauer model and it will hold the record for being the tallest and longest free-spinning roller coaster.

Two previously unmentioned roller coasters were also unveiled: Sandy’s Blasting Bronco, inspired SpongeBob SquarePants’ dive suit-wearing friend, Sandy Cheeks, and Slime Streak, inspired by Nickelodeon's famous slime!

The final new ride unveiled is called Slime Streak. It’s manufactured by Kansas-based Chance Rides and is less heart-pounding and more family-oriented than the record-setting roller coasters planned for American Dream.

Representatives for American Dream and Nickelodeon Universe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Credit: Instagram /@americandream.

The 3 million-square-foot American Dream mega-mall is expected to open this spring. About 55 percent of it will be devoted to entertainment, including the 8-acre indoor Nickelodeon Universe amusement park. The rest will be retail.

From the North Jersey Record:

American Dream has begun testing its amusement rides, Phil Murphy says

American Dream has begun testing its amusement park rides — a telltale sign that the retail and entertainment extravaganza will finally open this year, after nearly 15 years of delays, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

In an interview earlier this week with 1010 WINS radio, Murphy said there are visible signs the structure is inching closer to completion: workers have begun testing amusement park rides and encasing the mall's indoor water park, and retailers' signs have gone up.

"It’s going to happen," Murphy said. "I don’t see any scenario where it doesn’t happen, because that’s an important point. For many years, we couldn’t answer that question."

Murphy made the assertions in a Facebook Live interview with 1010 WINS reporter Glenn Shuck on Wednesday.

An American Dream spokesperson declined comment on Friday afternoon.

Murphy is often asked about American Dream. Last year, officials promised a 2019 opening by March or April — and Murphy later hinted the opening would be "closer to June." Meanwhile, officials with the development have largely stayed mum, and routinely decline to comment on Murphy's remarks.

Last month, however, American Dream officials broke their silence and announced a late summer opening — which many saw as yet another delay.

Triple Five Group, the project's developer, last month also announced it hired Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus' longtime fashion director, as the company's chief creative officer, whose immediate focus will be on American Dream's final touches.

Downing's appointment, like the testing of its rides, signaled that the project may be in its final preparation before its long-awaited opening.

Once open, American Dream will feature 3 million square feet of retail, dining and entertainment — including more than 450 stores and restaurants, an amusement park, an indoor ski slope, an indoor ice-skating rink and an indoor water park. Officials estimate that the project will be 45 percent retail and 55 percent entertainment.

The project was first proposed in 2002 as Xanadu, a mega-mall envisioned by its original developer, Mills Corp. The project had languished alongside the New Jersey Turnpike since then. Over the past year, however, construction has intensified.

"I don’t have insight" into American Dream's opening date, Murphy told Shuck. "But I do know this – for instance, they are testing the amusement rides and that’s probably a good sign. They’re encasing, as we speak, the water park. They’re starting to see some of the retailers put their name up – Saks Fifth Avenue’s name is now up on the side of the building."

Murphy projected there are an estimated 2,000 workers at the site daily. Once the project is up and running, there will thousands of people employed by American Dream, he said.


Also, from NJ.com:

American Dream mega-mall is testing its amusement park rides, Murphy says

Gov. Phil Murphy says American Dream at the Meadowlands is actually going to open -- despite more than 16 years of delays. And the proof of that is amusement park rides are being tested inside the mega-mall’s Nickelodeon Universe theme park.

The update was shared during a 20-minute interview on Facebook Live by 1010 WINS reporter Glenn Schuck. He asked Murphy about [...] the $5 billion development along the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 3.

A spokesperson for American Dream did not respond to a request for comment.

Murphy last spoke publicly about American Dream on, March 8, when a NJ Advance Media reporter asked the governor, at an unrelated press conference, about the opening date. Murphy said American Dream’s promised Spring 2019 opening had “slipped closer to June."

Almost two weeks later, the developer admitted the opening is actually delayed until late summer.

In the Wednesday interview, Schuck said that people at the Bergen County Executive’s Office wanted him to ask the governor about American Dream.

“I know this has been in the pipeline,” said Schuck, a Bergen County resident. “There have been a lot of jokes about American Dream.”

The two then talked about how the project had been around since James McGreevy’s administration.

“I don’t see any scenario where it doesn’t happen. So that’s an important point,” Murphy said. “Because there were many years where we couldn’t answer that question.”

And, while he said he doesn’t have information on the late summer opening date, "they are testing the amusement rides. And that’s probably a good sign.”

“They’re encasing, as we speak, the waterpark,” Murphy continued. “You’re starting to see some of the retailers put their names up. Saks Fifth Avenue’s name is now up on the side of the building.”

Murphy said he thinks there are about 2,000 workers at the site daily.

Citing “something like $1.2 billion of payroll eventually for New Jersey” and “probably $140-something million in taxes,” the governor praised the project, though he admitted it’s “slower than probably any of us would’ve wanted.”


Official American Dream Press Release via Globe Newswire:

American Dream—a Revolutionary, First of Its Kind Destination—Will Open in Fall 2019

Redefining retail, recreation and community, American Dream ignites a spirit of inclusivity

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., May 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Dream, a revolutionary community for fashion and luxury retail, fine to casual dining, and unexpected attractions, will open in Fall 2019. Developers Triple Five Group bring their expertise in curating one-of-a-kind destinations to this diverse, inclusive community. Our property will host hundreds of shopping and entertainment options, appealing to all tastes and interests. Whether guests are tempting their imagination with window shopping, curators of luxury’s finest, adventurers or leisure seekers, there is something for everyone at American Dream.

“For over 35 years, Triple Five Group has embraced the concept that retail cannot exist without entertainment and experiential elements, and American Dream will further raise the bar,” said Don Ghermezian, President, American Dream. “Guests will experience something completely unique each time they visit—this project will be the realization of their wildest dreams.”

Fashion’s leading retailers Saks Fifth Avenue—who brings Gucci and Louis Vuitton to the project—and Barneys New York, including the iconic Freds at Barneys New York restaurant, bring their only New Jersey locations to American Dream. From national favorites Tiffany & Co. and Watches of Switzerland, to globally acclaimed luxury houses Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana and Moncler, designers will reveal completely new and unique retail concepts. The world’s three largest retailers, Zara, H&M and Uniqlo, will open expansive specialty stores at the property. Experiential retailer Fourpost, a shopping destination for today’s family that hosts frequently rotating selections of the best brands and interactive experiences, will open at American Dream. The shopping assortment will be broad and kinetic, from luxury tenants to a revolving and always fresh collective of dream drops.

American Dream celebrates dozens of curiosities and neighborhoods throughout its community. High design, ultra-modern interiors are juxtaposed with unexpected surprises of city gardens, site specific art, interactive sitting salons and more. Featuring six grand atriums flooded with natural light, each has a unique design perspective and overall experience. In one, guests will discover a sprawling garden with bird filled aviaries and bunny rabbit fields. Instagram moments are everywhere; over 75,000 LEDs and 25,000 “leaves” make up Albero dei Sogni, a unique tree-like sculpture that performs to a musical soundtrack several times per day. A 60-foot fashion fountain becomes a catwalk in a matter of seconds, located in the Koi Court. An entire 60-foot entertainment atrium will be a hub for live events and social gathering.

Museum-scale interiors will boast art from emerging New Jersey and Greater New York-area artists and renowned creatives from around the globe. Each nook, hall, area and archway serves as a place to mingle, relax, snap photos and discover something new. American Dream’s spaces are flexible and adaptable—the destination will keep a rotating, ever-evolving program of installations and activations. Though its footprint is large, American Dream is designed so that no two points of interest are more than a few minutes’ walk apart.

Diverse dining experiences, from fine to grab-n-go, are central to the destination. Featuring cuisines from South America, Asia, Italy, the Mediterranean, and more, our guests will experience an exceptional blend of cuisines each time they visit.

From 1-101, American Dream’s entertainment offering will appeal to the young and young at heart, 365 days a year. Big SNOW, the first indoor snowpark in North America, will include The Shops at Big SNOW, ski chalets and more, all kept at a brisk 26°F year-round. Our guests will experience DreamWorks Water Park, the largest indoor water park in North America—which will host a custom designed VIP lounge and cabanas —and ride the world’s steepest roller coaster at the fully enclosed Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, the largest indoor theme park in the Western Hemisphere. Additional offerings include: NHL-sized ice-skating rink, performing arts theater, KidZania, CMX Luxury Movie Theater, 300-foot observation wheel overlooking Manhattan, New Jersey Hall of Fame, Sea Life Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center, Climbzone, Mirror Maze and two 18-hole miniature golf courses.

Located at an easily accessible point adjacent to the Meadowlands Sports Complex (just five miles from Manhattan), American Dream is designed to capture the imagination of, and become a fixture for, the area’s catchment of over 20 million residents and 65 million tourists that visit annually.

The dream begins this Fall. Tenants will continue to open their doors through the Holiday 2019 and early 2020 seasons. By developing and evolving the property with a mindset of procuring something for everyone, American Dream delivers truly unique and memorable experiences for all guests.


Triple Five Group has successfully developed and managed a wide-range of mixed-use developments and large-scale ventures from shopping and entertainment centers, hospitality properties to industrial real estate and natural resource development. Most notably, Triple Five developed, owns and manages North America’s two largest tourism, retail and entertainment complexes: West Edmonton Mall and the Mall of America. Triple Five’s wide-ranging operations have successfully delivered mixed-use developments and activities worldwide that encompass the development, management and ownership of world-scale ventures in many fields.


Update (5/27) - New rendering images of Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream have been released!:

American Dream is hiring! See all the currently available jobs are at: https://jobs.apploi.com/profile/american-dream

Update (7/3) - Official American Dream press release via Globe Newswire:

American Dream Sets Opening for October 25, 2019

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., July 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Dream is pleased to announce and welcome the public to its opening on Friday, October 25, 2019 where we will feature the launch of the property’s unprecedented indoor Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and DreamWorks Water Park – 16 acres of fully enclosed family amusement experience; Big SNOW Ski and Snowboard Park – North America’s 1st indoor snow sports center; the Ice Rink – our NHL‐size skating and hockey facility; Angry Birds 18‐hole Miniature Golf experience, along with unparalleled experiential destination shopping.

“We know that the community has been eagerly awaiting the launch of this incredible global destination,” said Don Ghermezian, President of American Dream. “We have a one‐of‐a‐kind property that will reshape the way people think about entertainment, theme parks and shopping and we are so excited to reveal our incredible Nickelodeon Theme Park, DreamWorks Water Park and Big SNOW Ski and Snowboard Park.”

“American Dream brings its guests an unrivaled destination for style and fun. It’s unique mix of entertainment (55%) and experiential retail (45%) will welcome and entertain guests, embracing everyone in a new retail and entertainment revolution, where everything is possible,” said Ken Downing, Chief Creative Officer for Triple Five Group.

Totaling approximately 3 million square feet, American Dream will house hundreds of diverse retail, dining, entertainment and fashion experiences which have been carefully selected, curated and integrated into an architecturally stunning and vibrant guest experience including: the Coca‐Cola experience, featuring the Coca-Cola Social Lounge; Merlin Entertainments’ LEGOLAND Discovery Center & SEA LIFE Aquarium; CMX Luxury Movie Theatre; Munchies Food Hall; Kidzania – world‐renowned role‐playing experience for kids; American Dream Observation Wheel; Performing Art Center; and over 100 dining and specialty food offerings including over 20 full‐service restaurants, Coca‐Cola “Eats” Food Hall and Kosher Food Hall; and the Collections at American Dream – the ultimate luxury retail experience anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York and featuring Hermes, Tiffany & Company, Dolce Gabbana, Moncler, Watches of Switzerland among a who’s who list of luxury and fashion retailers.

Over the coming weeks, American Dream will be providing further insights to the property, its attractions, tenants and the exciting plans and events surrounding the opening and beyond.

American Dream, developed by Triple Five Group, will provide customers with an entirely unique experience. The property offers a curated mix of unparalleled entertainment, retail and dining options - all in one location. For more information, visit www.americandream.com or follow us on Instagram @americandream.


From WNYW:

Exclusive tour of the American Dream mega-mall

NEW JERSEY (FOX 5 NY) - The 'American Dream' mega-mall will soon become a reality.

After more than 15 years of starts and stops, the mall and entertainment space at the Meadowlands formerly known as Xanadu is scheduled to open to the public in October.

Good Day New York's Rosanna Scotto got an exclusive tour inside the new American Dream with owner Don Ghermezian.

The Nickelodeon amusement park and Dreamworks water park are all taking shape along with hundreds of retail stores and dozens of other experiences.

Sixteen years and several owners after Xanadu was first conceived, what makes this time different?

"We just took a different approach. We looked at it: where is the world headed? Where does retail need to be? What lacks in this market place?" said Ghermezian.

Not only can you experience a year-round summer at the indoor water park, but you can enjoy winter fun, 365 days a year on the ice rink or the ski slope. They will even make it snow down on skiers using snowmaking equipment.

There will also be 23 full-service restaurants, a food court, Kosher food hall, and about 300 stores and entertainment venues.

The first phase of the mega-mall is scheduled to open on Oct. 25, 2019. More areas of the mall are expected to open for the holiday shopping season.


More Nick: Nickelodeon Embarks on New Direction with its Biggest, Most Wide-Ranging Content Slate Ever!

Original source: NJ.com; Additional source: Attractions Magazine.

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