When thinking about theme parks to visit this summer there is only one that I am thinking about, but it's probably not what you would think! The place I am dreaming about has a huge theme park with some amazing rides, an aquarium, a theater, bowling alley, Barbies Dream House, mini golf, rope course, tons of amazing food options and more! Can you guess what it is? If you guessed the Mall of America you would be right! Nope it's not Disneyland and that's ok because it's better! If you haven't checked out what the Mall of America has hurry over here to check them out and then come back here to read about my experience!
Cost is of course a huge factor in my summer vacation planning, but that's definitely not the only factor. I need something that will please every family member and we can all walk away from it knowing the money we spent was well worth it for everyone. The only option that fits that for our family is Mall of America. There really is something for everyone! The last time we visited my five year old couldn't wait to see the Barbie Dream House, my 3 year old wanted to see the amazing LEGO store, my husband wanted to see Spiderman 2 in 3D/D-box Motion seats and in all honesty I just wanted to see everything! For those that haven't been there before this is not your typical mall (as you can see) you can't just stop by for a little visit (this isn't your Grandma's mall!) you need to plan DAYS to see and do it all! It truly will be an amazing vacation.
We first decided to check out the theme park and all the rides. Right away I could see we wouldn't be able to get to everything and we had only planned one day. I knew we could spend the whole day on rides alone! I was really nervous about how long the lines would be, but the longest wait was 5 minutes tops and most of the rides we immediately got right on. That fact alone makes me want to go back! I can't stand waiting in a line for 40 minutes just to be on a ride for 2 minutes. They have a great range of rides as well for any age level. My 3 year old hates rides most of the time and will only ride calm rides, but my 5 year old loves roller coasters and they were both super happy with the rides available. The whole park has a Nickelodeon theme and is so cute and the kids loved it! You can find rides with all your favorite characters and even a crazy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ride!
When visiting other theme parks it's always a huge challenge to find affordable food options, luckily MOA has you covered with low cost options in their food court and they also have nicer restaurants for those looking for something more. The only negative? There was so many options I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to eat for lunch! We decided to use the awesome MOA coupon book and grab a really cheap lunch and then we had a nicer dinner.
Most theme parks are outdoors which is nice for about an hour and then you start to feel the heat beating down on you and you are desperately searching for a tree or the nearest sliver of shade! MOA was built with Minnesota winters in mind, the theme park is located below a huge atrium that lets the sun in but you still stay nice and cool and if you decide to visit in the winter it's one of the best places to get some vitamin D without freezing out in the snow! Sunlight without any harsh weather!
After the amazing rides my little girl couldn't wait any longer to see the Barbie Dream House so we headed off to that. Here are just a few things that this amazing attraction offers:
:: A dream kitchen including colorful appliances, interactive cupcake stations and more
:: The Dreamhouse™ living room includes a library, fireplace and even more interactive stations
:: An endless closet and shoe room where guests can virtually try on Barbie doll’s® outfits
:: Virtual elevators that transport guests from room to room
:: A make-up studio where guests are prepped for their own Barbie™ experience
:: A 6,500 square foot entertainment area where guests are the stars of the show. This area features costumes, The Pop Star Stage, The Fashion Runway and more!
And a whole lot of PINK! My daughter was in heaven! She really loved the cupcake making station in the kitchen and the virtual closet that lets you dress up in all of Barbies favorite outfits!
We didn't have quite enough time to check out the Aquarium, but our friends went through it and said it was pretty amazing. It was named "The World's Best Shark Encounter" by Discovery's travelchannel.com and "the best shark exhibit on the planet" by Animal Planet. Pretty AWESOME!
Which about sums MOA up! PRETTY AWESOME! You have everything you could possibly need for endless family fun all located in one spot! So when you start to plan your family vacation be sure to check out the option that gives you a ton more for a lot less, the Mall of America!