Here’s Everything You Should Know About The New Nickelodeon Amusement Park Opening This Weekend

Nickelodeon might be the source of many millennials’ nostalgia-loving happiness. A lot of us grew up watching the children’s network classics, like ‘Rugrats’, ‘Doug’, ‘Hey Arnold!’ and everyone’s favorite, ‘SpongeBob Squarepants’ — sigh.

It should come as no surprise that loyal Nickelodeon watchers still retain an abiding passion for the network’s shows of our youth. Tapping into our fond childhood memories, Nickelodeon built a theme-park featuring all of your 90s faves and we’re ready to book a ticket to New Jersey for the sole purpose of visiting it.

Nickelodeon’s theme park is set to be the largest indoor amusement park in North America.

Nickelodeon Universe is opening in New Jersey this weekend, and at 8.5 acres, it’s set to be the biggest indoor theme park in North America.  On October 25, the park located at the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey will open its doors to excited Nickelodeon fans, kids of all ages are welcome — little ones and nostalgic grown-ass millennials alike.

‘Nickelodeon Universe’ will feature record-breaking rollercoasters and rides.

The park will feature more than 35 rides, roller coasters and attractions, and all your favorite characters will be there for you to meet. Among the thematic rides will be three record-breaking roller coasters —the world’s steepest rollercoaster, the tallest and longest spinning coaster, and the tallest indoor spinning drop tower.

Every 90s kid dream come true —meet your favorite characters and play with slime.

Visitors will be able to finally meet characters like SpongeBob, Arnold and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And since no Nickelodeon experience would be complete without slime, visitors to the park will be able to enjoy entertainment on the Nickelodeon Slime Stage.

Prices for the park are available, but if you were thinking of visiting this weekend, you’re out of luck.

According to American Dream’s website all tickets to Nickelodeon Universe are sold out for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. General tickets are priced at $39.99. For those interested in a more thrilling, VIP experience, there is an all-access ticket for $49.99 and children under 2 get in for free! —best try booking those tickets before they sell out again!

This week, only a fraction of the 3 million square foot mega mall will open.

Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and American Dream’s ice rink are the only two sections of the mega-mall opening this week. American Dream’s NHL-regulation size ice rink will offer space for skating, figure skating and hockey tournaments The rest of the mega retail and entertainment center will be opening in phases later this year and over 2020.

DreamWorks also has a mega theme park in the works; the worlds largest water park.

Later this year, in November, the studio behind films like; ‘Shrek’, ‘Madagascar’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’, is set to open a water park at the mall, featuring more than 40 waterslides and 15 attractions.  DreamWorks’ water park is billed to be the second largest indoor water park in the world. It will feature a whopping 35 water slides for kids and grown ups plus a few different swim up bars for adults.

The park’s focal point will be its 1.5 acre indoor wave pool —the largest in the world— which is about the size of a football field. Kids will even be able to practice their surfing skills there.

The park will also feature an engineering wonder.

The DreamWorks park will also have the world’s longest hydro-magnetic coaster, which —as it name aptly says it— is driven by magnets only. At 142ft long the body slide will feature a 50ft free-fall.

Snow lovers also get an attraction at American Dream.

For those who love snow adventures, there’s Big SNOW – an indoor snow park with a 16-story slope where anyone can learn to ski – in addition to the Ice Rink, which we described earlier.

Familiar attractions like SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center will also be joining the line up of attractions. Not to mention a role-playing experience for kids, a luxury cinema, a miniature golf course, a 300ft Ferris wheel, climbing centers and more. At the moment, American Dream hasn’t released how much these  attractions will cost. For shoppers, there’s a mall featuring 450 outlets with all your favorite brands. And in terms of food, there’s everything from upscale eateries to food halls, with some promising incredible views of Manhattan.

If you’re visiting Nickelodeon Universe this weekend, operating hours are: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and, and Saturday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post


America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi


This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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