TEA Connect Blog

02 May 2019

TEA goes behind the scenes at American Dream: Patrick Kling reports

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Eastern North American Division organized a behind-the-scenes panel and hard-hat tour of the American Dream project in Meadowlands, New Jersey in March 2019. More than 50 attended.

The American Dream complex has been on the radar of millions of commuters who have passed by the facility for several years, and it is slated to be completed in 2019. The event kicked off with a behind-the-scenes panel with representatives from Triple 5, PCL Construction, Nickelodeon and Ride Entertainment.

Photo at top: Hard-hat tour of Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park. Above, L-R: Panelists Gary Hanson, Triple 5; Wayne Melnyk, PCL; Trent Oliver, Blue Telescope; Ron Hines, Nickelodeon; Adam Sandy, Ride Entertainment with a dramatic view of the American Dream project as their backdrop.

Gary Hanson, VP of Attraction Development of Triple 5, discussed the extensive history of the project, along with the unique approach Triple 5 is taking to the retail experience. Rather than the more traditional 20 percent entertainment/80 percent retail, American Dream will have more than 50% of its space allocated to entertainment and attractions, to draw in visitors.

The entertainment mix will include a Nickelodeon Theme Park, DreamWorks Waterpark, Big Snow indoor Ski Slope, NHL regulation hockey rink and more.

The conversation continued with insights from Wayne Melnyk VP, Project Director of PCL who discussed how large and complex this project has been from the standpoint of labor, scope, and its sheer size.

Following, Ron Hines, SVP Creative Development Nickelodeon Experience Design provided a creative overview of the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, which is the first, ground-up park for Nickelodeon.

Adam Sandy, President: Business Development of Ride Entertainment, followed with an overview of several of the attractions in the park including what is billed as the world's steepest drop for “The Shellraiser,” a Gerstlauer Eurofighter; and “The Shredder,” said to be the world’s longest spinning coaster.   

Following the Q & A portion of the panel, attendees were taken over to the construction site for the hard-hat tour. Many thanks to the host Triple 5, along with PCL, Nickelodeon and Ride Entertainment, whose sponsorship and support made this event possible. This is a-once-in-a-decade scale project, and it was a unique and valuable opportunity for our TEA industry community to visit the site and learn about the project first-hand.

Attendees gather for a final farewell and photo of this expansive park


Special thanks to Patrick Kling of Nickelodeon Experience Design for providing the story and photos documenting this special gathering. It is a benefit of TEA membership to have the option to participate in events of this kind, organized by the TEA Divisions and furnishing opportunities for networking, education and professional development.




Posted by Judy Rubin



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