With 16 years in the making, the new American Dream mall has finally opened its doors.
The five billion dollar project, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, consists of a Nickelodeon Universe theme park, a NHL regulation ice rink, a DreamWorks water park and the “Big SNOW,” an indoor ski slope. The building opened Friday, Oct. 25, with dining halls and over 500 retail stores.
Since its opening, only the theme park and ice rink are open to the public. Visitors can ride over 35 rides and roller coasters, as well as meet famous Nickelodeon characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora The Explorer.
The American Dream mall was developed by Triple Five Group, the owners of the two largest retail and entertainment centers in North America. The mall spans about three million square feet and is 55% entertainment facilities and 45% retail locations.
Some students are excited about the new entertainment complex and think it will be beneficial to the state.
Sophomore psychology major Sandrina Del Rosario Rijo believes the new establishment will boost New Jersey’s economy.
“I think it’ll be a positive addition to our community, as it will be opening many job opportunities for the residents of our area,” Del Rosario Rijo said.
Jasmine Garwood, a sophomore criminal justice and psychology major, looks forward to the many fun activities the mall provides.
“I think that the American Dream mall is another place to spend a great day at, between all the stores and rides within the mall,” Garwood said.
Tickets for Nickelodeon Universe are divided up into four categories: “All access” tickets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m, and “General admission” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“All access” tickets are recommended for those who are looking for the most thrilling experiences and cost $49.99. General admission is beneficial for those who want to play it safe and costs $39.99. Tickets for the ice rink cost $19 plus a $6 skate rental fee.
For some students, however, the announcement of the complex seems unnecessary and they think it won’t get as much attraction as predicted.
Pre-major sophomore Nikia Harris is skeptical of how long the mall will remain relevant and questions the name choice.
“A lot of outlet malls and department stores are closing down, so unless this mall does better than those, it may not be around too long,” Harris said. “Also the name is rather unfortunate. At the moment given everything that’s going on with Trump and the wall, the existence of the “American Dream” is definitely brought into question.”
American Dream still has a long way to go before it fully opens. The DreamWorks water park opens on Nov. 27, Big SNOW opens on Dec. 5 and the retail stores open in March of 2020. It is recommended to take public transportation as there is a parking fee at different rates, depending on the time spent there.
Garwood, Del Rosario Rijo and Harris plan to go to the new attraction when it is fully opened to enjoy and experience everything it has to offer.
The mall will be open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.