While I was at the Mall of America the other day, I was rudely reminded that Camp Snoopy no longer exists — or at least, not as I knew and loved it. For several years, when I was little, my parents would take several of my friends and me to Camp Snoopy for my birthday. We’d get wristbands and run around the park all day, riding all the rides. It was glorious. Camp Snoopy has a very special place in my heart. And now, that timeless, lovable Camp Snoopy has been replaced by Nickelodeon Universe.
Garish orange and yellow cover the park. The Kite-Eating Tree is no longer a tree. There are several big, orange roller coaster monstrosities.
I didn’t know it was even possible to cram so much into one already rather full, not especially large, space.
I’m aware that I’m overreacting. The roller coasters are likely a lot of fun. It could all be far more obnoxiously orange. Nickelodeon is better than it could be (I suppose it could be Barbie, or Bratz dolls, or something even worse). And I do generally try not to insult things that aren’t actually problematic, oppressive, or offensive. (To the best of my current knowledge) Nickelodeon Universe is simply not part of my beloved childhood memories. It really doesn’t deserve the negativity I’m aiming at it.
Still, it’s a little saddening to have such indisputable, obvious evidence in front of me that the Camp Snoopy of my childhood no longer exists. Yes, I’m (ostensibly) an adult, and I haven’t actually been to Camp Snoopy in years. But it really was great, and I can’t help but feel that children are missing out on something by not having Camp Snoopy. Peanuts — with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest — is a classic. Nickelodeon is clearly popular, but will SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and the like be able to stand the test of time?