Amid the construction bringing Nickelodeon Universe to life, a 30-foot SpongeBob SquarePants sculpture was installed at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday at the entrance to the new ride, SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge.
Local Minnesota manufacture TivoliToo Inc. created the giant 3D sculpture.
Only three weeks away, the grand opening of Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America promises to offer family fun and excitement as 20 new rides whirl in motion.
Among the new Nickelodeon-themed rides being added to the seven-acre, indoor theme park include: the Avatar Airbender and SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge roller coasters; Splat-O-Sphere vertical drop; Rugrats Raptarmobiles bumper cars; and Blue's Skidoo, based on the preschool hit Blue's Clues, where kids can fly through the air in character-themed planes.
The two new thrill rides, SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge and Avatar Airbender, are the first rides of their kind to be built inside a mall.
Nickelodeon Universe marks the first-ever, stand-alone Nickelodeon theme park in the world.
More than 4,400 hours of labor from PCL Construction has gone into Nickelodeon Universe to install the new, branded rides.
Construction on Nickelodeon Universe is environmentally conscious, with nearly 85 percent of the construction demolition being recycled; totaling 2,179 tons of material or 5,000 cubic yards.
Nickelodeon Universe will feature new rides, live shows, attractions, retail, games and entertainment based on the network's top-ranking network properties including: SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS; DORA THE EXPLORER; GO, DIEGO, GO!; AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER; DANNY PHANTOM; JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS and THE BACKYARDIGANS.
Daily meet-and-greets with Nick costumed characters will also be a highlight when visiting Nickelodeon Universe.
Nickelodeon will also establish its largest retail presence in the world at Mall of America, with a Nick store occupying a 4,000 square foot space, offering consumers items such as branded tee-shirts, souvenirs and novelties.