Inside America’s busiest mall: Massive indoor roller coasters, shark-filled aquarium, 520 retail stores and even a wedding chapel bring visitors in droves to the nation’s most beloved megamall
The Mall of America attracts 40 million visitors each year, making the Bloomington, Minnesota destination a city unto itself.
More people play, shop, and eat there than in any other mall in the United States thanks to a breath-taking selection of family attractions, retail stores, dining, and even nightlife.
Within its cavernous 4.3 miles of store fronts, the Mall of America houses a theme park with 25 rides that include a full sized roller coaster and flume ride, 520 stores, and a choice of 50 restaurants and bars.
Around 12,000 employees man the megalithic mall, which also boasts a 1.2 million gallon aquarium.
Though the mall is the nation’s second largest, it remains America’s busiest as more shoppers than the combined populations of both both Dakotas, Iowa, and the entire nation of Canada pass through its doors annually.
While statistics can hint at the allure of America’s busiest mall, this dazzling series of photographs gets at the heart of what makes the Mall of America such a draw.
Busiest: The Mall of America sees around 40 million people come through its many entrances annually–that’s more than the population of the nation of Canada
Massive: In incredible selection of retail stores, family attractions, bars, restaurants, and even a world-class aquarium help make the Mall of America–while not the largest–the busiest mall in the country
Sprawling: The mall’s 4.3 miles of total storefront footage allow for more than enough room for its whopping 520 stores, which include high end retail spots like Chanel as well as youth brands like Abercrombie & Fitch
Attractions: Inside the mall is America’s largest indoor theme park. Dubbed Nickelodeon Universe, the park houses 25 rides and contains plants as tall as 35 feet
Choices: The Sponge Bob Square Pants themed Rock Bottom Plunge features loops and spirals and is one of 9 Nickelodeon themed thrill rides inside the mall
Thrilling: Here, a brave Nickelodeon Universe thrill seeker plummets down the 56-foot tall Anchor Drop slide, one of 25 attractions within the park
Small city: The Bloomington, Minnesota mall employees 13,000 people during peak season. Here, a maintenance worker inspects one of the indoor theme park’s thrill rides
Larger than life: The newly remodeled LEGO store in the Mall of America features a 34-foot LEGO man as its centerpiece and a ‘Pick-a-brick’ wall where LEGO enthusiasts may choose from over 180 building elements
Close encounters: Also housed within the mall is the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium which features a 300 foot Ocean Tunnel and one of the world’s premier shark exhibits
Inspiring: Dubbed the ‘The World’s Best Shark Encounter’ by travelchannel.com, SEA LIFE’s predators include the up tosand shark, a unique species that can grow to 9 feet
SEA LIFE’s species also include giant green and loggerhead sea turtles. The green sea turtle, named Seamour, was rescued from Florida after nearly dying from an unfortunate encounter with a boat propeller
Dolls only: Along with its retail store, American Girl Minneapolis features a bistro where girls can celebrate birthdays and other occasions, as well as a salon where they can see their American Girls get all dolled up Nature: The mall is kept at a balmy 70 degrees year round and receives plenty of natural sunlight throughout to help cultivate its thousands of indoor plants, some of which reach as high as 35 feet
Bright idea: To help nurture the thousands of plants inside the mall are 8 acres of skylights. Thanks to the windows, natural light makes up about 70 percent of the Mall of America’s lighting
Special day: Over 5,000 weddings have been performed at the Mall of America, which has its own wedding chapel called Chapel of Love
Never leave: The Mall of America boasts over 50 dining and drink destinations. Choices include everything from sit-down family style restaurants to bars open to the wee hours
Large: Like many suburban malls, the Mall of America features an open dining food court, but one big enough for America’s most popular mall
Stay awhile: For those worried about having to leave, worry to more. The Radisson Blu opened to guests in March and is connected to the mall, where all told it would take nearly four days to visit every shop for just 10 minute