Feb 16 2010
We made the trek to Minneapolis yesterday to spend the day at Mall of America‘s Nickelodeon Universe amusement park. (Thanks, A&R & family, for the wristbands!) Throughout the day we rode on rides from the mild (Carousel and kiddie rides) to the wild (roller coasters and other thrill rides). As always, it was a fun day at the park. Spending the day at an indoor park was just what we needed after being cooped up for much of the winter.
I’m going to do something now that I very seldom do: write about something that I did not experience first-hand. My husband and three older kids (ages 6-9) tried the “Flying Dutchman Ghostly Gangplank” ropes course, but I did not. First of all, I’m afraid of heights. Secondly, someone needed to stay on the ground with our four-year-old. Thirdly . . . did I mention the heights thing? Yes, I stayed safely on the ground and I’m writing this from family reports.
The ropes course costs an additional $4 if you have a wristband for the day, and slightly more if you’re doing it on its own. The lines can be long, especially on holidays and weekends. My husband and kids waited in line for 30-45 minutes. (They didn’t realize the wait was this long until after they’d scanned their tickets, so ask the attendant for an estimate before going in). Once on the course, you can stay as long as it takes to go through the various levels. The attendant estimated 30-45 minutes for completing the course.
My six-year-old daughter stayed on the first level and did stairs up and down, tightrope, and wood blocks. My nine-year-old son walked across the big blocks, planks, and stairs up and down. These two decided that was enough for them and returned to the waiting area.
My seven-year-old and my husband, however, went through all four levels. My husband said it took him a while to get used to the fact that he was not on the ground, but once he got it figured out he really enjoyed it. My son loved everything about it. He went over and across, up and down, and even walked the gangplank to honk the horn.
My husband said this is something he’d pay to do with the kids again when we’re at Mall of America. He liked the challenge of it, and although not all the kids stayed on the course for long, he thinks they’d challenge themselves to go farther and higher each time they tried it. My husband is using it as a substitute for the contests on The Amazing Race, since he knows I’d never be able to do them.
Each person on the course is harnessed with safety ropes, and there are staff on each level to help with difficulties and maintain safety on the course.
The Ghostly Gangplank gets a thumbs-up from our family. It’s a nice addition to the rides at Nickelodeon Universe.
Disclosure: Mall of America provided complimentary admission to the ropes course for our family.
Nickelodeon Universe is located inside Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
More things to do in Bloomington, MN, via Uptake.