Just a short ride from Manhattan is American Dream, a sprawling mega-attraction with theme parks, water parks, destination shopping and ski slopes.

Nickelodeon Rendering
Rendering of Nickelodeon Universe theme park at the American Dream. Image by American Dream

American Dream launched 25 October in East Rutherford, New Jersey - just seven miles from New York City and a short ride from Teterboro Airport. The three-million-square-foot complex has been dubbed a "mega-mall" with retailers like Barneys New York, Zara, Uniqlo and Hermes joining its roster of destination shopping. But it's much more than that. Think of the biggest mall you've seen, then double it, triple it, maybe even quadruple it (this isn't an exact math, you just need to know that it's big) and throw in a bunch of rollercoasters, rides and record-breaking amusements.

“We know that the community has been eagerly awaiting the launch of this incredible global destination” said Don Ghermezian, president of American Dream. “We have a one‐of‐a‐kind property that will reshape the way people think about entertainment, theme parks and shopping."

American Dream rendering
The massive complex will feature shops, sports, rides and amusements. Image by American Dream

The property’s owner, the Canadian real estate firm Triple Five Group, will introduce American Dream in “chapters.” The first chapter consists of an NHL-sized ice-skating rink (with three observation tiers) and a Nickelodeon amusement park that claims to have the world’s tallest and longest free-spinning roller coaster among its 25 rides. Before the end of the year, it will introduce its second chapter: a glass-domed DreamWorks-themed water park. Decked out with a wave pool and 35 water slides, it's the second largest water park in the world. 

It's been 16 years in the making and cost about $5 billion to get off the ground. While the finer details around pricing and transport are still being worked out, developers are ploughing ahead with more offerings to entice New York City tourists to New Jersey. Other American Dream attractions in the pipeline include a Legoland Discovery Center, a Ferris Wheel that overlooks the Manhattan skyline, two 18-hole miniature golf courses, and Big SNOW Ski and Snowboard Park, which is said to be America's first indoor snow park with an 800-ft-long ski slope. The shops and boutiques won't open until spring 2020.

It's a lot (we didn't even mention the aquarium or luxury movie theatre) but Triple Five Group, who also own the Mall of America in Minnesota, expect to bring 17,000 jobs in total to the area and up to 40 million visitors every year.

Currently all-access passes to Nickelodeon Universe are priced at $49.99 but from 15 November, prices will increase to $79.99.

This article was first published on 2 September, 2019 and updated on 29 October, 2019.

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