If you were a kid in the 90s to early 2000s, you probably remember the height of Nickelodeon’s popularity in Orlando. From 1990 to 2005, Nickelodeon Studios had taken up residence in Universal Studios Orlando.
This studio, dubbed the “World’s First Headquarters for Kids”, was an active filming location for some of Nickelodeon’s popular shows such as Kenan & Kel, Figure It Out, and All That.
Image: (Mikerajchel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)The location also played host to the Kids’ Choice Awards in 1999 and 2000. Along with live filmings, Nickelodeon Studios also boasted an erupting green slime geyser and the location of the Nickelodeon time capsule. During this time of production and popularity, Universal Studios was not the only location to visit for fans of the television network. 
What was the Nickelodeon Hotel?
Image: NickelodeonJust down the street was the impressive Nick Hotel, a Nickelodeon-themed resort where fans could shop for official Nickelodeon merchandise, dine with their favorite Nicktoons or enjoy the pool and waterpark branded with familiar Nickelodeon characters such as Spongebob and Jimmy Neutron. The Nick Hotel was a partnership between Nickelodeon and the local Holiday Inn.
Upon arriving at the hotel, guests would be greeted by Spongebob, Danny Phantom, Dora, and other popular walk around Nickelodeon characters. Guests had the choice between a single bedroom suite, a two-bedroom kids suite, three-bedroom kids suite, or a honeymoon suite (which were only available during the first few years of operation). The kids’ rooms were themed to popular Nickelodeon shows such as Danny Phantom, Spongebob, The Fairly Odd Parents, or Jimmy Neutron.
Along with the Nickelodeon-related activities, there was also a large arcade, two pools, a basketball court, and a fitness center. The most impressive offering, however, was a Nickelodeon themed water park. This was the primary attraction for younger audiences and contained a number of water slides, sprinklers, and a large water bucket that would gradually fill and eventually tip, dousing all underneath in a large wave of water. Occasionally, the water that filled the bucket was colored green to simulate Nickelodeon slime. The resort also offered a spa, an adult bar, and numerous dining options.
At its peak, the hotel could accommodate guests in 777 available suites.
What led to its decline?
Nickelodeon Suites Resort, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia CommonsFor a time, the Nick Hotel’s popularity was assured due to its proximity to both Universal Studios and Disney World. Its themed entertainment made it appealing for younger guests for a relatively affordable price. Including meals, room prices, all access wristbands, and other potential expenses, families would be looking at an average price tag of $700 for a weekend at the resort. Unlike the hotels of the local theme parks, the Nick hotel was designed with enough activities in mind the keep families on site for the duration of their stay instead of requiring the purchase of an additional park ticket to add to the cost of a family’s vacation. 
After only a month of the Nick Hotel’s opening, the local Nickelodeon Studios at the Universal Orlando Resort was closed due to declining popularity and the growing disinterest in live filmings at the location. Once Nickelodeon Studios was closed, the time capsule that was buried outside was dug up and moved to the Nick Hotel where it remained for another decade. 
In 2015, the resort celebrated its 10th anniversary. Not long after this grand celebration, however, things took a turn for the worse for the resort…

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