After years of fits and starts, then another several months of fits during the COVID-19 pandemic, American Dream is beginning to look more like what its most recent developers intended. Retailers are opening. The Big SNOW ski slope opened Sept. 1. On Oct. 1, the Angry Birds Not So Mini Golf Club began operating. And executives of the Meadowlands megamall recently announced that a 25,000-square-foot aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center are on the way for spring 2021.
For duffers, the 18-hole golf course is laid out into six groups of three holes, mirroring themes from the Angry Birds franchise. The object of the game? To help get Angry Birds characters to Bird Island and Pig Island to save them.
This immersive mini golf experience is the first and only Angry Birds themed course in the country.
Guests navigate a series of 18 challenges (holes), launching (teeing) their “spheres” (balls) across obstacles toward a series of targets.
“Nothing excites us more at American Dream than being able to offer our guests completely new and fresh experiences,” said Mark Ghermezian, co-chief executive officer at American Dream, in a prepared statement. “Angry Birds Not So Mini Golf Club is the perfect addition to our one-of-a-kind destination, allowing our guests to ‘fly’ into the world of Angry Birds, an experience they won’t find anywhere else.”
Angry Birds is a video game developed by Rovio entertainment. “When it comes to the scale of this course, there’s certainly nothing mini about it,” said Ville Heijari, chief marketing officer at Rovio, in a statement. “We’re delighted at the level of detail invested in bringing the world of our avian (and piggy) friends to life, and can’t wait to hear what our fans think of the experience.”
The aquarium and Legloland will be operated by Merlin Entertainments Ltd., the second-largest attraction operator in the world. They’d been on track to debut in spring 2020, but opening dates were shifted due to the pandemic.
“The health of our guests, staff and sea creatures is of utmost importance and we are taking every step to prepare for a safe and exciting opening next year,” said General Manager Camille DePascale in a statement. “Our number one priority is to create fun and educational experiences for families at New Jersey Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center New Jersey, all within a safe and comfortable environment.”
Sea Life New Jersey aquarium’s “City Under the Sea” theme will feature interactive exhibits inspired by New York and New Jersey’s most memorable landmarks and experiences. Along with the ballet dancers of the ocean (the seahorse exhibit) and Wall Street wolves (the piranha exhibit), Sea Life will have an underwater tunnel with panoramic views of Manhattan landmarks set amid schools of tropical fish, sharks, rays and more.
The aquarium will be home to more than 3,000 creatures with approximately 75 to 100 different species of fish and invertebrates from local and international waters.
Through educational talks, feeding demonstrations and behind-the-scenes tours, guests will be able to interact directly with some of the resident creatures.
Legoland Discovery Center New Jersey will be an indoor Lego playground for families with children aged 3-10. Experiential offerings include a Lego-themed train ride, 4D cinema, Lego building classes hosted by the Master Model Builder, a Lego re-creation of New Jersey and New York City landmarks, and several themed interactive build and play zones.
Both Legoland and Sea Life will follow the local safety regulations in place when opening in the spring of 2021, including limited capacity, the enforcement of social distancing, and mask requirement.
Click here for more from American Dream’s opening in the Meadowlands, including a slideshow of its attractions, from stores to art and amusements!