Screams won't be banned when Nickelodeon Universe opens its doors next week at the Mall of America, but they may be muffled as the indoor theme park reopens with mask requirements and occupancy restrictions.
After being closed for most of the first half of the year due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Nickelodeon Universe will reopen Aug. 10 to a limited capacity of 250 people at a time. Guests will be able to buy two-hour passes that will allow them to enjoy an unlimited amount of attractions during that time frame.
Tickets will go on sale for $19.99 for riders and $4.99 for nonriders before tax. Passes must be purchased on-site.
Guests ages 3 and up will be required to wear face masks in the park, including when they are on rides. Riders also will sanitize their hands before they get on each attraction. Sanitizing stations have been added to the entrance and exit of each ride.
Floor markers will also be in place to help guests maintain social distancing while in line. Riders will be assigned seats to help with safe social distancing as well. Attractions will be sanitized after each ride.
"Reopening Nickelodeon Universe — even with significantly reduced capacity — is a positive step forward," Jill Renslow, executive vice president of business development and marketing for Mall of America, said in a statement Monday. "This is a process, and we will continue to learn, evaluate, and if needed, enhance, this new Nickelodeon Universe experience in the coming weeks and months."
Some rides at the 7-acre amusement park will remain closed due to "limited staffing with the reduced capacity levels as well as the inability to safely social distance," mall representatives said. Unlike amusement parks in Japan that reopened earlier this summer, shouting or cheering won't be restricted on rides.
The Mall of America reopened about a month ago after being closed since March because of the pandemic. The mall, like many shopping centers nationwide, has been under financial pressure due to months of closure. According to a July report from real estate data firm Trepp, the mall was three months behind on its nearly $1.4 billion mortgage, and the loan was transferred to special servicing.
Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495