Thanks to Mall of America and Nickelodeon Universe for complimentary admission for my daughter and I. All opinions are our own.
We, a zip lining family, live 15 miles from the longest indoor zip line in North America, and we still hadn’t tried it. It was time to remedy that!
My husband and son were off on a grand adventure, backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail for the weekend with his scout troop. My daughter and I decided to embrace our mom-daughter weekend with some adventures of our own.
In the spirit of experiencing more fun in our own backyard, we thought a long-overdue day at Nickelodeon Universe, the indoor amusement park at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, was in order. We had our sights on the Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course, a ropes course that towers over Nick Universe, and the Barnacle Blast, the zip line that takes you soaring 55′ above the park.
Oh, and we wanted to ride all of Nick Universe’s roller coasters, too…I love that our kids love roller coasters as much as we do! You can read about our visit to Nick Universe in this post.
One of our family’s travel bucket list goals is to ride as many zip lines as possible during our journeys, and this one was really great. For more details about my zip line rating system, please see this page.
Date of Our Experience:
We enjoyed this zip line in May of 2019, but since it’s indoors, visitors can go any time the mood strikes! This is a really great indoor adventure option for when Minnesota’s outdoor weather is not so welcoming.
Cost, Location and Details:
All of the latest details on Nickelodeon Universe’s costs and location can be found here. Specific information about the Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course and the Barnacle Blast zip line can be found here. If you purchase an all-day wristband to Nick Universe, the entrance into the adventure course and zip line is reduced. I definitely recommend you take advantage of both options.
Type of Adventure:
Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course is a ropes course area that includes the The Barnacle Blast zip line and a couple multiple-story spiral slides at the end.
The Zip Line:
We started with the zip line, which is one ride out from the adventure course on a higher line, and a return trip back on a lower line. I took this picture below the launching point of the zip line ride to illustrate how it works. (No cameras are allowed on the adventure course or the zip line, so unfortunately I could not get pictures of the experience itself.)
The staff was very professional and highly safety conscious. The harnesses they used were some of the most secure I’ve seen. Only one rider was allowed on either line. So they were not sending out a new rider until the prior rider had made their return trip back to the adventure course.
The Adventure Course:
After the zip line, we were free to explore the adventure course, which had three levels on which you were free to navigate on your own. It was a great course especially for younger kids, as you could avoid any challenge. (I myself wasn’t a fan of the tightrope crossings, mostly because I looked kind of silly being so cautious on them. 🙂 )
When you were done with the ropes course, there were two different spiral slides. One was about two stories tall, and the second was about four stories tall. Beware of the low head room if you are taller. (It was not a problem for me, but I am definitely shorter than average.)
The cost of the experience is very modest compared to other outdoor zip lines you will find, so with that in mind, the experience is definitely worth the cost for any rider. I think this is an especially great first zip line for beginners. If you are an adrenaline junkie, the thrill might be a bit short-lived for you. Though zip lining over crowds of people does have a thrill factor, for sure.
If you are worried about whether you or your child would want to complete the zip line or the adventure course, we did see one child who was helped out of the area by staff because he was too scared of the heights. He was handled very professionally and discreetly.
Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course is just one of many fun attractions at Nickelodeon Universe. What’s not to love about a full-blown amusement park with real amusement park rides and coasters, right in the middle of a massive, beautiful mall?! Especially in Minnesota, so you can enjoy amusement park fun year-round. Here is a post from me about our mom/daughter adventure there!
This adventure course and zip line was a fun experience for my daughter and I, nestled within a larger amusement park that offers even more fun. I’m glad we can now say we’ve rode the longest indoor zip line in North America! We would recommend this experience to anyone, especially younger patrons or those newer to zip lines and adventure courses.
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