Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Impression: Nickelodeon Universe

Does a park that I spent a whopping two hours at deserve a full-scale review? The obvious answer would be no, but when I think about my time at Nickelodeon Universe, I inevitably decide that it does. This was not my first visit to the park, having spent a day there just two years prior. The reason I came back is not very special. I has failed to realize that they had a kiddie coaster, and I needed the credit. Of course while that was the technical reason for my visit, the thought of more rides on Rock Bottom Plunge, Fairly Odd Coaster, and Log Flume was certainly enticing.

After having spent an hour over at Valleyfair for more pictures and another ride on Wild Thing, Nickelodeon Universe was our next stop. We started by grabbing lunch at The Nook in St. Paul, which was absolutely delicious. We then back-tracked to the Mall of America, struggled to find a parking space, and headed into the park.

I knew that we were short on time, what with our morning at Valleyfair and our plans for Como Town and other things in the afternoon. Despite this, my first stop was Spongebob Squarepants Rock Bottom Plunge, the Eurofighter. It certainly is very compact and a lot of fun; at least, that was how I remembered it. Unfortunately, this ride was not quite as good as my first. In two years, it has become quite rough and jerky, a coaster that I couldn't re-ride without taking a nice break. It's still fun, but I was unpleasantly surprised by Rock Bottom Plunge's deteriorating condition.

I procrastinated a bit further by riding Pepsi Orange Streak, which last time I had found to be quite long and rather boring. This time however, it was still long but not nearly as boring. I actually kind of enjoyed it; it wasn't particularly thrilling or forceful, but it was fun and I especially liked the view of the park as we traveled around above it.

The Back at the Barnyard Hayride Coaster was next, as I decided that it was important to get it out of the way. I was very lucky in that I would be allowed to ride alone, and was spared the humiliation of trying to find a kid to ride with. We went around way too many times - normally I wouldn't complain, but I was really crammed in that seat and the coaster was a little jerky anyway.

When I finally got off, I went straight to Fairly Odd Coaster. Seeing Avatar Airbender's line, I decided to skip it having just ridden practically the same thing at Elitch Gardens. Fairly Odd Coaster is easily my favorite coaster at Nick Universe. It's thrilling, fun, unique, and in no way uncomfortable. I would say it was a close race between this and Rock Bottom Plunge, but the latter was simply too rough. I love spinning coasters in general, and this one is definitely one of my favorites.

I only had a few more rides that I wanted to do before leaving: Danny Phantom something-or-other, and the Log Flume. I started out on Danny Phantom, which was a lot of fun and one of the better flat rides at the park. Log Flume was my next stop; this was a ride that I had absolutely loved last time. It didn't disappoint this time either. The theming was still great, the drops just as fun, and the whole ride was nice and long as well. Log Flume is easily my favorite ride in the park, ahead of even Fairly Odd Coaster and Rock Bottom Plunge.

More so than the rides, the thing I love the most about Nickelodeon Universe is the park's atmosphere. Everything fits into the small area perfectly, and I love how everything is practically on top of each other yet the park still somehow seems so big. Nickelodeon Universe is definitely one of my favorite parks; the rides and atmosphere together made it a very awesome day

Overall Park Rating: 8/10 Stars
Click here to view all Nickelodeon Universe photos.


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