& Proposed Addition - MYSTERY COVE Waterpark
Mall of America, Minn.
Park & Mall News - (12/22/2023) A new walk-through attraction called Wink World has opened at the Mall of America. You can see more about what you’ll find inside in the video posted by the local news.
This is actually the second Wink World attraction, following the opening of the original inside Las Vegas’ Area 15 complex.
(10/4/2023) The Mall of America has now opened a large new 45,000 sqft haunted attraction experience in a partnership with “American Monsters”. The haunt is called, “American Monsters presents Onionhead’s Revenge”. Onionhead, a legendary creature “from the dark bayous of Louisiana’ is back from the dream and out for vengeance.
Late 2023 To Spring 2024 - Two New Rides - (8/31/2023) Two new attractions will be coming to Nickelodeon Universe over the coming months inside the Mall of America. Set to start construction this fall, the first will be “Boot’s Banana Swing”, themed to Dora’s sidekick, this will be a kid friendly sized swing attraction, set to open just in time for Christmas. The second attraction will be Fly with Appa (themed to sky bison from Avatar: The Last Airbender), set to open in Spring 2024, which appears to be a themed Dumbo style ride experience.
Word has it that these new attraction may replace two current attractions that may be on their way out: Swipers Sweepers (Kiddie Whip) and La Aventura de Azul (train ride).
???? - Mystery Cove / Indoor Waterpark - In Development - (5/6/2023) According to a local news update, the Mall of America is still working on the financing side of building the Mystery Cove waterpark expansion. The current price tag for the themed indoor waterpark experience is now at an estimated $345 million and so far the city has approved TIF (Tax Increment Financing) to help fund up to $95 million of it, a combination of higher interest rates and rapidly escalating construction costs, plus the tightening of lending by creditors is making the process of locking in the needed financing a more difficult and lengthy process.
Everyone is still on board to find a way to make it happen, but at this moment Mystery Cove is currently ‘paused’ until the financials are locked in. This is likely why the MOA is finally ready to release artworks and presentations for Mystery Cove, as it looks fantastic and would be the kind of attraction people would make travel plans just to see in person, which can only help their efforts to lock in things on the finance side. Once everything is approved, the construction timetable is said to be approximately 27 to 30 months.
(4/30/2023) For years now the Mall of America has been proposing to build a massive indoor waterpark as an expansion project. In Screamscape’s own coverage, we’ve mentioned it here since early 2018 already, but then things were likely delayed due to the pandemic. Earlier this year the project was finally updated with everyone seeming to be on-board and ready to go, along with a set of related project plans for a new parking garade, a skyway, room for a future hotel and to add another possible entertainment venue.
Now, thanks to Blooloop, we finally have an official name and details about what this new waterpark will be like. A plain indoor waterpark, essentially slides and wave pool inside a giant glass box wasn’t going to cut it for Triple 5 and the Mall of America, so they created Mystery Cove.
Early on in the development they faced the question of if they should purchase and use an existing IP brand, or if they should try to create their own IP. For example with Triple 5 was finishing up the American Dream project in New Jersey they went with the existing IP option to create the DreamWorks Water Park. In a bold move that I appreciate, the design team for the Mall of America project optioned to develop their very own IP, finding something that they could tie into a story from the past and then run with it in a massive ‘What if?’ concept to create a storyline and lore for the new Mystery Cove waterpark.
It all starts with a brother and sister pair, Evelyn and Arthur Siddy, aviator and mechanic, who took off back in 1936 in an attempt to break Howard Hughes’ record of flying coast-to-coast. According to the history books, the attempt too place during a massive heat-wave and at one point in mid-flight all communications was lost and it was presumed that they had crashed and died.
In the lore of Mystery Cove, the siblings crashed, but survived, and found themselves trapped on a strange island. “Over time, more lost souls arrived and came to call Mystery Cove their home. Each brought their own unique talents and culture to the growing community.” With this in mind, the design of the waterpark was created as a sort of multi-tier experience so that it wasn’t only enjoyable for the first time casual guest, but that there would be facets and mysteries to solve and uncover for guests who would return for future visits and invest time in digging deeper into the story built into the park.
I’m digging this idea heavily so far, as a sort of combination of “Gillian’s Island” with the “Swiss Family Robinson” along with a touch of “Lost”, as to why so many people and items have found themselves mysteriously trapped on this hidden island paradise. The park will be packed full with five different themed outposts (Fortune Falls, the Bizarboretum, the Cove, Eureka Reef and Peril Peak) and even many of the cabana’s will be themed as the homes of former residents of the island, including the Siddy siblings. Everything is there for a reason and all tied together, for example there will be a massive ship trapped in the cove, and Captain Vesuvio is always working on the engines of the ship to try and break it free. The moments when he fires up the boiler room and revs up the engine to escape, that will bring the wave-pool to life. The ship will interact with guests in many ways, as the lazy river will pass through two different parts of the ship, which is also home to Vesuvio’s Dive Bar for those seeking an adult beverage. This will be just one of many themed food and beverage locations located within Mystery Cove.
The park will be designed to feature a fun transition event that will change the environment from daytime into the night, as well as plans in place to enhance the experience and theme to celebrate the Halloween and Christmas holiday seasons. The group has also been working closely with the waterslide experts at WhiteWater to create the best attractions that would work within the space available, and with the design gurus at FORREC.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to make the jump over to the full reveal at Blooloop which is jam-packed with a ton of concept artwork and even more in-depth details about the creation of this awesome upcoming waterpark adventure. They don't’ mention an opening date however, and in a previous article I did see a 2024 date mentioned, but I think that is a bit too ambitious to be true.
In this update they do talk about the struggles of timing the construction in the area due to the harsh winters, so it is all going to come down to how fast they can build up and put the roof on the structure. Once they can box it in, then the workers will be free to work inside all throughout the cold winter months to create this amazing fantasy island. That said, I’m thinking we may be looking more at a 2025 opening at the earliest.
(3/19/22) It has been awhile since we’ve heard any updates about the waterpark planned as an addition to the Mall of America, but according to a local news report they are ready to move forward. The local city council and port authority approved a new ‘redevelopment agreement” that will include $30 million in tax increment financing for the project, $75 million for public improvements and $9.5 million to purchase the adjoining lands for the project. The total pricetag for this massive new indoor waterpark project is reported to be around $422 million, with $317 million to be privately funded.
According to the latest plans the waterpark will be build at the north side of the Mall of America next to the JW Marriott hotels, along with a new skyway attached to a 1,300 space parking garage. Room is being left to add a “water park hotel” along with another connected 1,100 space parking structure. Beyond that are plans for another ‘entertainment venue’, a hotel complex with an event center and a multi-level office space.
Beyond this, there is even an option for the Port Authority to buy the “adjoining land” in the event that the city is selected to host the Expo 2027 World Fair. Construction could begin on the first phases of the project as early as Late Summer 2022 for a late 2024 grand opening.
(11/2/21) These plans are in all likelihood delayed for an undetermined amount of time.
(12/18/19) According to the local news a couple of new renderings were released showing off the proposed $250 million indoor waterpark to be attached to the Mall of America. While an official opening date has not been set, construction could start sometime in 2020.
(4/26/19) The city of Bloomington has approved a $10.1 million contract to work with Triple Five to build a new $250 million indoor waterpark project to be attached to the Mall of America. They hope that the project, which would be one of the largest indoor waterparks in North America, can start construction in 2020 and be ready to open as early as 2022. Follow the link for more details.
(11/2/18) According to the local news plans are now moving forward to build a massive indoor waterpark at the Mall of America… one that could end up being the largest indoor waterpark in the USA. If they go ahead with it the project could cost up to $250 million to build and feature a 250,000 sqft indoor waterpark experience. Look for it to be placed by the MOA’s North entrance, east of IKEA in a space currently occupied by a parking lot, with construction possibly to begin by late 2019 in order to open by 2021.
(3/8/18) Triple 5, the owners of the Mall of America, say they are proposing a massive indoor waterpark project that the city of Bloomington could finance, own and collect profits from that would be built just east of the MoA. The site is on land owned by Triple 5 who would least the site to the city, and be hired by the city to operate the waterpark for them as part of the deal. According to the vision, the project would be one of the largest indoor waterparks built in North America, with Triple 5 using the huge indoor waterpark they run in the West Edmonton Mall they also own in Canada as an example.