Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America Offers Character Meet-and-Greets
Nickelodeon Universe has two colored “spots” offering meet-and-greets with Nickelodeon characters. The Blue Spot is located across from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock and adjacent to Crazy Cars and Pineapple Poppers. The Green Spot is found directly across from the Log Chute exit. Signs at both spots provide the daily character appearance schedule. Guest Services should also be able to tell you the schedule, or you can check the website at nickelodeon universe. com/events/character-appearances.
The Blue Spot most recently tends to host the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because their beloved ride, Shell Shock, is across the walkway. SpongeBob and his friends also frequent this spot, which is no surprise, considering it’s adjacent to his pineapple house (Pineapple Poppers bounce house).
The Green Spot sees a lot of Dora and Friends, Backyardigans, Blue from Blues Clues, and Wonder Pets. The characters are “on the spot” for 30-minute increments. Employees keep the line moving quickly, so the wait is never miserable.
Because the roof of Nickelodeon Universe is glass, visiting characters midday in the summer will likely produce squinty-eyed photos. The sun doesn’t beat down on the spot for long, but when it does, you will know. Here’s a great thing about Nickelodeon Universe: The staff welcomes, if not encourages, parents to take their own pictures. However, professional photographers will snap some pictures for your viewing pleasure (and in the hope that you will purchase a collection of that sacred moment). Photos can be viewed and purchased upon exiting the spots. We have to give NU credit. We have never been pressured to purchase photos. The photographer will hand you the slip and that’s it.
No “come this way” antics to view photos. In our experience, the photo quality of the NU photographers is much better than what our iPhone produces (at the moment). Therefore, if you meet a favorite character, or don’t have your phone, the branded photos may be worth it, but be prepared to pay for it because the photos aren’t cheap.
Serendipitous appearances sometimes happen near the bronze SpongeBob Statue by the East Entrance, usually right in front of the Nickelodeon Universe sign. Warning: If SpongeBob disappears from this spot, there is a good chance the undersea gods (or Nickelodeon maintenance) took him for a deep sea cleaning. Also, sometimes movie releases will bring in guest characters.
Note: If you child is intent on meeting a certain character, line up before the start time, even if another character is already on the spot (simply let other families pass you if you move to the front of the line). If you wait and end up in the back of the line, you may miss the character you wanted to see and end up meeting a completely different character. Trust us—avoid meltdowns by arriving early.
Nickelodeon Universe Photo Passes
In 2016 Nickelodeon Universe introduced a new day photo pass ($19.95) and annual photo pass for local residents ($19.95). All images taken on rides, with characters, or by roving photographers are downloaded to the online account. Photos are accessible from your home computer, smartphone (via downloadable app), and can be shared on Twitter and Facebook. The images can also be turned into souvenirs via the online shop.
About the author: Beth Blair knows Mall of America inside and out. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, co-owner of the award-winning TheVacationGals.com, and lives in Lakeville, Minnesota.