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OTR – Ep 3 – Ken Takes A Chance On Nick

Nick Hotel is a massive resort. With 24 acres, 777 suites and half a million guest per year this resort sits in its own category.

We were recently invited to come and stay at Nick Hotel. While on our mini-staycation we had a party in the room with a few other bloggers and recorded a special segment for Orlando Tourism Report.  Shelly from On the Go in the MCO and Teresa from Making It All Work plus CFLTop5’s Jen Vargas join Kyle and Ken for an in-depth discussion.

Then after our stay Ken and Kyle are joined by the rest of the OTR crew for some final thoughts on the hotel.

Show Info


Bob from Pixels at the Parks
Kyle Gary
Jay and Richie

Special Guests-

Shelly from On the Go in MCO
Teresa from Making It All Work
Jen Vargas From Central Florida Top 5 and Glass For Good

Show Notes

  • Shelly Recommends- The Nick After Dark kids club (for ages 5-12). Parents can even leave property if they leave a phone number.
  • Teresa Recommends- If you don’t like chocolate bring your own marshmallows instead of buying the S’more kits for sale there.
  • Ken Recommends- Starbucks
  • Shelly Recommends- Buy foot-long subs at the Subway, put half in the motel fridge for a snack later on.
  • Shelly Recommends- Check out the Gift Shop for some nice quality Nick T-Shirts
  • Kyle Recommends- Buy your Universal tickets in The Mall for peace of mind.
  • 70% of kids who stay at Nick Hotel are 5-13 yrs old.
  • Shelly recommends- the Nick Hotel adult beds.
  • Nick Hotel is an all-suite resort
  • Nick Hotel room corridors (hallways) are outside.
  • Shelly- The pools at Nick are better than the All-Star resort pools
  • Teresa Recommends- The discount specials at Nick Hotel. They have a great Girl Scout special!
  • Over 15,000 Girl Scouts and their families have stayed at Nick Hotel.
  • Shelly Recommends- Listening underwater at The Big Blue pool at Art of Animation to hear Mr Ray heckle Jimmy Buffet during the song Fins
  • Each day the Nick Hotel bars have a specialty drinks for adults and a non-alcoholic one for kids.
  • The time capsule is located at the main entrance just outside the Lobby entrance.
  • The Nick Hotel is the only one in the world.
  • Top 10 Feeder Markets for the Nick Hotel- FL, NY, GA, NJ, IL, TX, PA, MA, MI, CA
  • 98% of guests visit Nick Hotel for personal/leisure reasons, 99% are families. Average size of group staying the hotel is 3.9
  • Average length of stay is just under 3 nights.
  • Teresa Recommends- The Nick Hotel shuttle service.
  • The Nick Hotel shuttle service is ran by Maingate Transportation. During June, 2014 has shuttles to all area theme parks, plus Downtown Disney, Wet ‘n Wild and Aquatica. The resort shuttle services Magic Kingdom the most with 6 daily shuttles to the park.
  • The Nick Hotel has a $17 daily parking fee. Parking is a bit hard to find at the hotel during busy times.
  • Kyle Recommends- The OTR podcast on transport and SWO
  • Kyle Recommends- SWO area hotels for conventions. Palm Parkway for off-site. Nick Hotel is great for families.
  • Teresa Recommends- Bring some cereal to help cut down on vacation costs.
  • The hotel goes through 250,000 gallons of slime and 10,0000 whip cream pies each year.
  • The largest daily sliming takes place in the afternoon at the Lagoon Pool when the 400-gallon dump tank is filled with slime.
  • Shelly and Teresa Recommend- Plan to spend time at Nick Hotel, at least a day to taken in the resort.
  • – Post Nick Hotel Stay with the OTR Crew –
  • Ken Recommends- Planning ahead when getting to the resort. It’s not a pedestrian friendly area.
  • Ken and Kyle both say the hotel is loud.
  • Nick Hotel opened in 2005. The majority of the Nick Hotel was built in 1999. Most buildings with hotel rooms are pre-cast concrete panel construction.
  • Ken Recommends- Not Staying at the Nick Hotel if you’re not into water.
  • The kid friendly in-room themeing is subtle in most places.
  • Portofino Bay Despicable Me Kids Suites has more kid themeing inside the rooms. Nick Hotel has more kid themeing outside the suites.
  • Kyle- “The Nickelodeon Hotel is very in your face with Nickelodeon. It’s kind of like walking around a theme park itself.”
  • The Nick Hotel is all suite resort. 777 Suites.
  • Ken Recommends- Don’t plan to use the living room while kids are napping, the kids rooms have no door.
  • Richie Recommends- The 4D Theater at the Nick Hotel
  • Ken Recommends- Plan to have your nice meal off site.
  • The dinner buffet seems a bit pricey, the breakfast buffet is cheaper and has SpongeBob.
  • Richie Recommends- The dinner buffet because of the ‘show’ that is included and the more personal feel of it.
  • Ken Recommends- Plan to spend some time checking-in. It can time a few minutes.  The lobby can be a bit boring.
  • Kyle Recommends- Don’t expect a grand reveal in the lobby.
  • Unlike the rest of the resort the lobby seemed small and out of character with the rest of the hotel.
  • The Mall seems like the newest area.  Built in 2005, it is the only building to be built after the resort received the Nick Hotel overlay.
  • Richie Recommends- Parkscope Sean in his starring role in Journey 2.
  • The Lagoon pool has 13 slides and flumes, a 400 gallon dump tank, and a daily mass sliming.
  • Ken Recommends- Don’t plan to stay in the rooms overlooking the Lagoon Pool during the pool side activities.
  • Studio Nick
  • Ken Recommends- The Dive-in movie. Says it’s the most popular dive-in movie he’s seen in Orlando.
  • Richie Recommends- The Nick Hotel shows.  The hotel shows include Double Dare LIVE!, Dora’s Friendship Fiesta, Family Karaoke and poolside entertainment throughout the day.
  • Kyle Recommends- Nick Hotel hiring a few more staff.
  • Bob Recommends- The extensive room service menu
  • The beer seems cheap but the bars seem right in the middle of the family friendly action.
  • Kyle and Ken Recommend- Don’t plan to escape from the Nick theming.
  • Ken Recommends- Plan to spend a few minutes finding parking.
  • Ken- “It felt very claustrophobic in parts of the resort. They definitely needed to stretch out a bit.”
  • Kyle Recommends- adding some place to sit down.
  • Ken missed a jogging trail or fitness center.
  • Richie- “The good thing about Nick Hotel is that it really is built for families. It’s hard to grab that family hotel, you don’t really have that and Nick Hotel is very personable to kids.  Grabbing that audience is really valuable.”
  • Ken- “It is a very easy hotel to navigate.” All the walkways are covered.
  • Ken Recommends- Spend a few minutes enjoying the pond area with the swans.
  • Kyle- “I would love to spend a whole day there, I would not want to sleep there. I like it as a theme park.” Ken agrees.
  • Ken- “Everything is a bit off. It’s a bit dirty, it’s a bit loud.”
  • Richie- “You’re in a mini-waterpark.”
  • Bob reminds Ken he’s getting old and tells Ken to be specific.
  • Ken- “It’s good for families. It’s good for groups.”
  • Ken- “There wasn’t that corner of silence…There wasn’t that place to escape too.”
  • Richie Recommends- Stay on the back side of the resort or in a room overlooking the parking lot for a quieter option.
  • Kyle- “It’s a hotel geared towards kids.”
  • Ken- “It’s not for little little kids and it’s not for older kids.”
  • Neutron Revival’s analysis of Nickelodeon viewer demographics
  • Ken Recommends- Stay at the Nick Hotel with kids 5-10 yrs old. Not a lot for toddlers though.
  • Richie- Stay at the hotel if you’re a Nick fan, it may not be the best for those who aren’t hardcore Nick fans.
  • Ken- “This was a bit much for me… This was very animation heavy.” No acknowledgement of the live action shows that are Nickelodeon.
  • SpongeBob Movie 2- Sponge Out of the Water
  • Nick GAS is gone
  • Ken Recommends- Add Legends of the Hidden Temple to Nick Hotel
  • Richie Recommends- Keep listening for more Nickelodeon.
  • Richie Pulls a Parkscope and hints at future Nick things coming to Orlando…
  • (Parkscope says Kids Zone is closing soon)
  • Ken takes a chance on Nick and enjoys it.  Now it’s your turn to take a chance on Nick Hotel!

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ‘Summer of Shell’ celebration includes:

  • 10 newly designed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed guest suites, debuting in June.
  • An all new ‘Turtle Power’ poolside show at the Lagoon Pool.
  • Poolside glow parties, games, “dive-in” movies and other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle encounters.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed dinner shows where guests can dine with their favorite heroes.
  • A Guinness World Record “Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” event on August 9.
  • Brand new art of The Turtles on the Nickelodeon wall of characters at the Lagoon Pool.

“The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are incredibly popular with kids of all ages and we are thrilled that they are taking over the Nick Hotel for our ‘Summer of Shell’,” said Tony Aslanian, director of sales and marketing for Nickelodeon Suites Resort. “We can’t wait to unveil everything from our new poolside and Studio Nick shows to our TMNT-themed suites. Our guests are going to be yelling ‘booyakasha’ the moment they arrive.”

Special rates and stay packages will be available during the ‘Summer of Shell’ and the Retro Turtles Weekend. For more information and a complete listing of the events happening throughout the year, visit


Ken Storey has been blogging about life in Central Florida for the past 12 years. As a 2nd generation Central Floridian he has a passion for and connection with the region. In his spare time he enjoys visiting low budget roadside attractions, Taco Bell, and typically plans road trips with as little interstate time as possible.

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