April 2016 – Bloomington, MN – Shredder’s Mutant Masher is shaking things up at Nickelodeon Universe. The new ride opened in the theme park at Mall of America and with the help of the architects and structural engineers at Krech, O’Brien, Mueller & Associates (KOMA) has people swirling, spinning, and swinging more than 60 feet in the air on a giant pendulum – cowabunga!
The 5,000 square foot attraction replaced the recently retired Danny Phantom’s Ghost Zone on the east side of the park and is the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed ride. After the Mutant Masher was purchased, KOMA placed the ride into a 3D program to ensure a precise fit in the existing space considering not only the ride’s movement but also the safety envelope. Space planning was the next phase – determining how guests enter the ride, where lines form, how to load the ride and where to exit once the ride is finished. Guests walk up a set of stairs to get on the ride, once they are in their seats the floor drops out from underneath their feet allowing the ride a full range of motion. “The structural detailing on the project was extensive” says principal structural engineer Matt Van Hoof. “We not only had to account for the ride itself but also mechanical rooms beneath the ride and the rollercoaster that surrounds the ride.”
Another part of the project involved renovating and rebranding an existing store that eventually became part of the attraction. This was done to ensure guests have an opportunity to take their photo with a life size sculpture of Rocksteady as well as pick up the latest and greatest TMNT merchandise. The ride and retail store provide an experience that is distinctive to the turtle brand. “We receive a pretty thorough interpretation of what Nickelodeon wants to convey,” says principal architect Steve Iaria. “They put together well thought out storyboards that help us bring their vision to life.” KOMA worked with Tivolitoo to help with this theming. They helped design the portal entrance to the ride as well as the decorative figures that stand on top of the ride.
“This was a really interesting project to work on because of all the coordination and the extreme attention to detail – there is no room for error,” says Van Hoof. “But in the end it is so fun to work on something so creative and to go to the mall and see kids having a great time!”