Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ride to debut at Nickelodeon Universe

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The interactive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle thrill ride debuting at Minnesota’s Nickelodeon Universe will send riders spinning through the air like high-flying martial artists.

PHOTOS: TMNT Shell Shock ride at Nickelodeon Universe

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shell Shock, a first of its kind ride in the U.S., is scheduled to open on March 17 at the indoor amusement park inside the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN.


The Gerstlauer Sky Fly tower will lift riders 70 feet in the air aboard single-seat gondolas at the end of a cantilevered arm rotating around a central tower at 25 mph.

Riders will control the pitch of the gondola’s wings with their hands -- choosing to simply sit and spin, gently teeter-totter like a see-saw or wildly rotate like a plane propeller.

Sky Fly is based on an existing tower ride by German manufacturer known as the Sky Roller, which premiered at Belantis Leipzig in Germany. Sky Fly rides are also planned for France’s Nigloland and Legoland Germany.

Nickelodeon Universe visitors will enter through a queue themed to look the Ninja Turtles’ underground sewer headquarters before boarding a ride vehicle featuring a turtle shell on the back.

The debut of the Shell Shock ride coincides with the scheduled launch of Nickelodeon’s new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” animated television series this fall.

Based on the original 1984 comic book, the TMNT martial arts team of four teenage anthropomorphic turtles named after Renaissance artists battle crime from their secret hideout in New York City’s sewer system.

Nickelodeon acquired the Turtles franchise for $60 million with an eye toward rebooting the popular 1980s animated TV series and plans for an animated feature film in 2014.

The updated CGI-meets-anime look of the action-comedy show will maintain the core TMNT characters and story elements.

The new Turtles, which looked visually similar in previous incarnations, now have varying physical attributes that reflect their personalities: leader Leonardo is stronger and wiser, temperamental Raphael is brawnier, inventor Donatello is lankier while youngster Michelangelo is smaller than the others.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock ride replaces Tak Attack, a Zamperla Rotoshake thrill ride that closed in November at Nickelodeon Universe.