Its 16-story ski slope and water park are still under construction (ditto its 450 stores), but the American Dream complex in New Jersey’s Meadowlands unveiled its Nickelodeon Universe amusement park Friday. And boy, were kids ready to be amused.
“I’ve been waiting for this since I heard about it two years ago,” 9-year-old Angel Hernandez of East Rutherford, NJ, tells The Post. “I watch Nickelodeon a lot. I love ‘SpongeBob SquarePants.’ ”
Here he can hop on any of three SpongeBob-themed rides, including a Jellyfish Jam, whose chairs spin around like tentacles, and a coaster-like contraption called Sandy’s Blasting Bronco. He can even ride the Bikini Bottom Crosstown Express.
There are 35 cartoon-themed attractions in all, including a “PAW Patrol” Ferris wheel and a replica of the beloved thinking chair from “Blue’s Clues.”
What’s billed as “the largest indoor theme park in the Western Hemisphere” charges $39.99 for general admission for kids under 4-feet-tall who can’t ride the big rides, and $10 more for an “all-access pass” to the whole park.
The Shredder, named for the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” villain, inspired a ride here, as have a number of other Nickelodeon faves: There’s a Reptar merry-go-round for “Rugrats” fans, and a Timmy’s Half Pipe Havoc, inspired by “The Fairly OddParents.” Older kids will probably go for Jimmy Neutron’s Atom Smasher, which spins riders up and over, while roller-coaster lovers may test their stomachs with the steep Shellraiser: Named for the rehabbed subway car that served as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ getaway vehicle, this bad boy has a 121.5-degree vertical drop.
“It’s like an indoor Disney World,” says Amy Bulger, 14, a former “SpongeBob” fan who came to the grand opening with the rest of her East Rutherford high-school class. She says she can’t wait to come back with her friends and try the Shredder.
A newly designated New Jersey Transit bus, the 355, is up and running, shuttling NYC thrill-seekers from Midtown’s Port Authority to the Meadowlands location every 30 minutes. The fare is $9 each way.
“It’s amazing, and my daughter is so excited,” says Mirna Ortiz, 42, a medical administrator from Lodi, NJ. “We didn’t think it was going to be open today. But then when I heard we could get in, I had my kid take the day off of school to come.”
For more information and tickets, visit americandream.com.