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Kid-Approved American Dream

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

My first mini-me, Riann, turned six! For her birthday we went to New York and New Jersey. She has tons of personality and New York is always one of her favorite places to visit.

When planning her birthday, I wanted to make sure we did something interactive. I then remembered American Dream. We passed it a ton of times on our way to New York, so I did more research. I’ve seen a few people go, but I mainly only saw a few pictures, so I decided to go through the website to see all they had to offer.

When I first started researching, I’ll admit I was a bit overwhelmed. There are a lot of attractions, and each have their own page full of information.

What You Need to Know:

  • American Dream is inside of a massive mall. There are shops, food courts, and more all within the same facility.

  • There are specific attractions and each attraction requires a ticket for each person.

  • You can easily spend a ton of money here, as there is not only attractions, but gift shops and other stores.

  • Make sure you read the information for each specific attraction you plan to visit.

  • This is a must-do trip for your kids!

While researching, I decided I wanted to do at least four attractions. The ones that caught my eye the most were: DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universal Theme Park, SEA LIFE Aquarium, and the TiLT museum.

DON’T: try to do everything at once. Based on our experience, you’ll spend hours at each attraction and it’ll be overwhelming and/or rushed to try to do it all.

DO: plan to break down attractions into multiple trips or over multiple days.

We purchased tickets in advance to the waterpark, then our plan was to buy tickets to the theme park.

We arrived at the mall and looked around, there was a lot to do.

TRIP TIP: If you are planning to go on Sunday, note that the most shopping stores in the mall are closed. They have a blue law and they are unable to sell clothing on Sundays. We talked to the staff and they said it’s not mentioned on the website, so some people drive hours to shop on Sundays and then are really disappointed to learn that the mall is closed.

When we arrived at the mall, we went into the Ulta to grab a few things and then grabbed pretzels and snacks. We also saw the skating rink which was really nice! I highly recommend it!

We then headed towards the waterpark.

TRIP TIP: You can save a ton of money by purchasing the twilight tickets instead. Twilight tickets for the waterpark are when you go the last three hours of the day instead of having full-day access. Just to give you an example, for four of us the full day price was approximately $330. However, because we bought twilight tickets, we paid $191! That’s a price savings of $139!

For twilight tickets, they suggest you get in line a bit early to maximize your time. We arrived and got in line at about 3:45pm. The doors open at 4 pm. There were a few people in line. But as the time got closer to 4pm, the line was longer. We purchased our tickets in advance, so once the doors opened, we quickly scanned our tickets and we were able to go in. The staff was really efficient and the process was super smooth.

The dressing rooms were super clean and dry. If you’ve been to a waterpark then you know how icky they can be.

TRIP TIP: Dress lightly or have your swim clothes underneath your dress clothes. This will help you be able to change quicker and get to the fun!

Since we went on a Sunday during the fall it wasn’t too crowded, which was great! We were able to easily enjoy rides and the water.

The waterpark is huge and the rides and slides were really fun! We loved that they have things for the entire family to enjoy. From a mini waterpark for our one-year old Rori, to huge waterslides for my husband.

We also enjoyed the large pool and waves. Another great point was the hot tubs.

In my opinion, the twilight tickets were perfect. Three hours is a great amount of time to spend there and I don’t really see anyone needing more time.

TRIP TIP: I suggest doing another activity during the day then heading to close out your day with the waterpark. Like for us, we went swimming at our hotel, had lunch, shopped at the mall, then went to the waterpark. It was a fun-filled day!

I asked Rashad his thoughts on the waterpark and he said he loved that everything was in one place. With most amusement parks, there’s a ton of walking to get to the next ride or activity and he loved that it was all in one space.

We ended up coming back to the mall the next day, but to shop since they were closed on Sunday. We didn’t end up making it to the theme park, but we have it on our list for the next visit!

We are already planning our next trip and plan to take multiple trips to enjoy each activity, since this is only about three hours away from us.

American Dream is kid-approved! We can’t wait to go back!

For more on my family travels and adventures (including videos), make sure to follow me on Instagram!

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