Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Indicator # 2,862,431,097 that the Apocalpse is nigh...

Camp Snoopy becomes Camp SpongeBob/Dora The Explorer/Jimmy Neutron? Boo!

From the Star Tribune: It's official. The Mall of America is teaming up with Nickelodeon to be the face of its amusement park formerly known as Camp Snoopy.

Mall officials announced Wednesday morning that they have signed a branding-rights deal with Nickelodeon, a cable TV network for children. The deal means that popular characters from Nickelodeon cartoons, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and Jimmy Neutron, will replace Peanuts and the Gang as the mall's mascots.

Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest vacated the mall a year ago after the mall failed to reach an agreement with Cedar Fair, a Sandusky, Ohio, company that has exclusive rights to use the Peanuts characters at its theme parks. For the past year, the park, with its indoor roller coaster and flume ride, among others, has been named simply, "The Park at MOA."

The mall announced immediate plans for an additional ride: a freefall tower aimed at teens and adults. Plans are still being finalized, but the ride could drop passengers from up to 70 feet in the air.

I think it is safe to assume that the "Cedar Fair" company of Sandusky, Ohio that is mentioned in the article is the company behind Cedar Pointe, an amusement park also in Sandusky. I grew up going to Cedar Pointe ("Get to the Pointe", "America's Roller Coast"). Most amusement parks (heck, most State Fairs) put the Park at the Mall of America to shame. And Cedar Pointe? It puts most of those amusement parks to shame. So it is really no surprise that MOA lost their Charles Schultz contract to them. I mean, I'm supposed to get psyched about a free-fall ride that could go "up to 70 ft"?

Going to the Mall of America is already unpleasant, but is occasionally the best option for accomplishing certain tasks when living in the Twin Cities (it had the only movie theater where Fahrenheit 9/11 didn't sell-out on opening day, for example). I once called my mom as I was entering the Mall of America on December 23rd and said, "Just wanted to say 'I love you' in case I don't get out alive."

Snoopy and Charlie Brown were tolerable. But SpongeBob? Kill me now!


coryq said...

I can tell you didn't grow up here. That's not an insult, I'm just saying this MOA thing isn't that big of a deal. Most Minnesotans don't actually shop there. There is money to be made for both sides in this deal, so rock on for them.
The amusement park industry is very small management-wise. Even our beloved Valley Fair is owned by an outside company. So it goes. I think the point of the MOA is to be garrish in the style of who wants to pay for it. I mean c'mon, this park is in a mall.
I am disappointed that they didn't go with a more thrilling theme like an AVN themed park. Now that would bring out the adult crowd!

Smitty said...

I'll never be insulted when someone can tell I didn't grow up in Minnesota. :-)

Paige said...

Hmm what are you trying to say?