With over 520 stores, an indoor theme park, an aquarium and more, the Mall of America® offers international groups endless activities and adventures
Since first opening in 1992, Mall of America has been a leader in retail and entertainment, attracting millions of visitors every year. It has grown into a top U.S. tourist destination over the years, bringing in guests from countries all over the world, such as Japan, Brazil, France, Australia and Canada, among others. Thousands of international tour groups visit Mall of America for a one-of-a-kind experience at the nation’s biggest mall.
Why International Groups Visit Mall of America
“Mall of America is the largest entertainment and shopping destination in North America,” said Maya Hua, senior manager of Tourism at Mall of America. “So, we stay true to the saying that there is really something for everyone here.”
Mall of America® boasts over 400 annual events, 520+ stores, record-breaking attractions, exciting entertainment, and elite dining, making it clear why so many international groups add it to their itineraries. “With over 5.6 million square feet, groups can stay together and go on attractions or split up for shopping and reconnect over dinner,” says Hua. The never-ending entertainment can keep groups busy for days, and the exclusive group experiences will have them talking about their Mall of America visit for years to come.
What can groups do at Mall of America?
Nickelodeon Universe is the nation’s largest indoor theme park, with seven acres of entertainment, including 28 rides and attractions. International visitors can soar above the park on the Barnacle Blast Zip Line, the longest indoor zip line in North America; or conquer Ghostly Gangplank, the Tallest Sky Trail ropes course in the world. They can take a spin on the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge or opt for the classic Log Chute ride.
One of the best ways for international guests to get a unique view of the United States is at FlyOver America. This flight simulation ride takes visitors on a 4D aerial tour through some of the country’s most incredible cities and landscapes. Groups of 15 or more receive a discounted rate when booked in advance.
Mystery-loving groups will want to try their hand at The Escape Game, where they can choose from four different rooms: Mission Mars, The Heist, Prison Break, and Gold Rush. No matter which storyline is selected, groups are in for 60 minutes of heart-pumping problem solving as they attempt to escape before time expires. Groups looking for Instagram-worthy shots won’t want to miss Candytopia, “a confectionary wonderland with larger-than-life interactive art installations,” said Hua. Or groups can get a behind-the-scenes tour at SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium that will give them a first-hand look at how the aquarium cares for thousands of sea creatures.
While Mall of America has dozens of exciting attractions, one of its main draws is, of course, the shopping. International groups can not only browse over 520 stores, but they can take advantage of some of the best prices because there is no sales tax on clothes or shoes in Minnesota. Plus, pre-registered groups can pick up a Mall of America coupon book free of charge (regularly $9.95 USD), which contains offers from more than 250 stores, restaurants, and attractions, allowing for even more savings. It’s the perfect place to freshen up a wardrobe or purchase a whole new one. In fact, it’s not uncommon for guests to purchase luggage at the Mall and fill it with purchases to take back home, said Hua.
Resources for International Groups
Groups who decide to make a trip to Mall of America have several helpful resources at their fingertips to make planning their visit simple and quick. They can get the lay of the land before even arriving when they download the mobile app, says Hua. Group trip planners can visit the Mall of America website to discover the unique group experiences available, and the tourism team will assist in planning out their itinerary for free.
Once groups step into Mall of America, they have even more tools to make their visit even easier. “One thing we always make a point to talk to our international guests about is our innovative digital directories,” said Hua. “These directories help guests find exactly what they are looking for, how to get there and the ability to send the directions from the directories straight to their cell phone.” In addition, the directories can be read in nine different languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Hmong, Chinese, Japanese, Somali and Arabic.
Getting to and Staying at Mall of America
The central location of Mall of America makes it easy to reach from pretty much anywhere in the U.S., and its proximity to MSP International Airport allows international guests to access it quickly and seamlessly via the light rail transit system. Once there, guests can stay at one of two hotels connected directly to the Mall, Radisson Blu or JW Marriott, or at one of the other 50 hotels located within 10 minutes of the Mall. For groups visiting for the day, there’s a convenient drop-off and pick-up location for coach buses and plenty of daily lockers for rent where guests can store their items. Hua recommends going hands free to experience Mall of America to the fullest.
Mall of America welcomes over 12,000 groups every year, and many of those are from countries other than the U.S. “It’s not uncommon to walk around the main corridors of the mall and to see three groups of people all speaking different languages,” says Hua. Mall of America has a diverse collection of attractions, stores, and restaurants, making it a huge draw for people all over the world. No matter what international groups are looking for, they’ll find it at Mall of America.