American Dream megamall opening day, photos from Nickelodeon Universe

  • The American Dream megamall opened on Friday in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
  • Only the Nickelodeon Universe theme park and skating rink were open to the public on opening day, as well as some Halloween pop-up activities.
  • When fully opened, the 3 million-square-foot center will have a theme park, ice rink, water park and indoor ski center in addition to over 450 stores and will be one of the largest malls in North America.
  • New Jersey Transit added an express bus service for transportation to and from the mall.
  • Here was what it was like to go there on opening day.
  • Visit the Business Insider website for more stories.

The American Dream is finally here.

The mega mall opened in New Jersey on Friday in a 20-year ceremony.

As one of the largest malls in the United States, the project had a slowed and often delayed evolution. Finally, Friday opened the first phase of the complex ̵[ads1]1; the Nickelodeon Universe theme park and an ice rink. Friends and family of some mall owners and employees were invited to experience the theme park on opening day.

Although tickets to the theme park sold out well in advance of opening day, the audience was invited to explore the unfinished complex and take part in various Halloween-themed pop-up activities and a skating rink in the mall.

New Jersey Transit added an express bus to transport guests to and from the mall to relieve traffic. The New York Waterway also runs a Manhattan Dream ferry service with dedicated shuttles to help travelers complete the journey.

I took the Express Jersey bus line to American Dream on opening day and found it almost completely empty. When I arrived at the mall, it was devoid of the large crowds that characterized Mall of America when it first opened in 1992. Still, the theme park and ice rink were in good shape.

"This is a great day for New Jersey and a whole lot of people," said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy at the opening day ceremony with representatives from the Triple Five Group, who have overseen the project since 2011.

Here's how was to go to American Dream on opening day.

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