Experience the Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course, complete with slides and a zip line

Images courtesy of Nickelodeon Universe

By Aubrey Schield

I’m pretty afraid of heights, so it makes total sense that I would want to try my hand at a four-level ropes course, right? Lucky for me, Nickelodeon Universe, the massive, indoor amusement park located inside the Mall of America, is home to the Spongebob Squarepants-themed Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course. The ropes course features four levels of “elements”, as park staff calls them—think tight ropes and wobbly bridges.

After strapping into a harness attached to a metal track that allowed me to move about freely, I began exploring. My feet were unsteady at the start, but I slowly eased into it, getting as comfortable as anyone can when they’re standing on a platform 70 feet in the air. The attraction can have up to 20 people adventuring at once, and there are spotters looking out for everyone’s safety at all times. If you brave the course for yourself, don’t miss the Ghostly Gangplank and Anchor Drop slides, a thrilling, twisting drop to the ground level of the park. Check out some highlights from the course below.

The best part of the course? The Barnacle Blast Zip Line. Dutchman’s Deck added its 800-foot zip line in 2014, and guests have been enjoying the thrill of soaring above Nickelodeon Universe ever since. If you’re daring enough to try out the longest indoor zip line in North America, I highly recommend it. After a harness check, I jumped off the platform and flew across the park, getting spectacular views of the rides and people below. When I reached the opposite end, a second staff member guided me to another track for the return journey. It was equally exhilarating, and just as I got to the end, I thought to myself, “I wish zip lining were my permanent form of transportation.”

So whether you’re with a gang of kiddos or are spending a day on a shopping spree at the mall, I encourage you to check out this unique attraction within Nickelodeon Universe.


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