Black lines show where the MOA zip lines will go.
Like Superman leaping tall buildings in single bound, shoppers will soon be able to fly from store to store at Mall of America.
Well, not exactly store to store, but practically within swiping range of the food court. Mall of America plans to add zip lines above Nickelodeon Universe. The east-west cables will start 55 feet in the air, at the Dutchman's Deck ropes course. It's a clever way for the mall's land-locked amusement park to add a new attraction—and not one typical of an indoor shopping center. The zip lines are expected to open in July.
Of course, in MOA's unrelenting quest for newness, the zip lines mean the mall will feel pressure to scale even higher heights for its next act. Especially with the mall in expansion mode, here are a few of the attractions MOA might want to consider.
- Indoor sky diving. Well, zip lining is the gateway to more extreme mid-air pursuits. Indoor sky diving, in vertical wind tunnels, already exists. So shouldn't it be happening at Mall of America?
- Gondola rides. The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian in Las Vegas have waterways for gondola rides—shouldn't Mall of America? Floating from Nordstrom to Old Navy would make the journey a whole lot lovelier.
- Skating rink. The Houston Galleria has a rink (heck, so does the Coral Ridge Mall in the middle of Iowa cornfields)—shouldn't the largest mall, in the State of Hockey, offer ice skating? Or what about roller rink? Roller skating inside Mall of America could have national implications for an old-school activity that's been limping its way toward retro cool status for years.
- Ski slopes. In Dubai—where if you dream it, they will build it at a shopping mall—there's an indoor ski resort connected to Mall of the Emirates. Chair lifts, and everything.
All of this makes the idea of a museum or art gallery at the MOA—realities in some cities, as well as a growing trend as shopping centers try to diversify— sound oddly normal. Then again, sharks swimming beneath Barnes & Noble now seems normal, too.