Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Nickelodeon deal saves New Orleans park

Nickelodeon Universe New Orleans will be a 65-acre theme park and waterpark incorporating Nickelodeon characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and Avatar.

Several new rides are planned, plus the renovation and retheming of existing attractions. Nickelodeon costumed characters, live entertainment, retail outlets, games and food will also be featured. Architectural plans are complete and construction is expected any day now, with the park targeted to be in service by the end of 2010.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nickelodeon will receive a licensing fee and the City of New Orleans will retain a leasing arrangement with Southern Star Amusement. The reconstruction of the park will be funded by a mix of private investors and GO Zone bonds (issued for the post-hurricane rebuilding of New Orleans). There will be no local public funding.

The new outlet in New Orleans will be the first outdoor Nickelodeon park in the US. The first Nickelodeon Universe, an indoor facility at Mall of America in Minneapolis, opened in 2008. Nickelodeon also has several branded lands and attractions in North American regional theme parks including Universal Studios in Orlando and Hollywood, plus Nick Land at Movie Park in Germany and Nick Central at Dreamworld in Australia.

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