Katie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full time work-from-home parent. Feel free to pitch guest post ideas or just drop her a line at katie@mumblingmommy.com.

We recently stayed at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando and it ended up being the perfect little getaway.

When we tell people that we live in the greater Orlando area, we get a lot of questions about how often we visit the theme parks. In truth? Our combined family has never gone to Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Legoland or the lesser-known Gatorland together. A few of us have gone at a time when other friends had free passes, or on field trips for school (yes, that part IS cool). The expense of going to the theme parks for our family of 7 is just too high to make it a regular part of our routine. We spend our free time in friends’ pools or hitting our local beach instead.

That being said, since our great family road trip last year, we’ve been looking for short getaways that our family could take. With 7 of us in one house, and 2 parents that work in that same house, sometimes we just have to get out of here. This is where being a Florida resident has really come in handy. Nearly every attraction and hotel offers a “Florida resident” discount that generally is available most of the year, with the exception of very busy periods like spring break or the winter holiday season.

Back in February, I went online to see if there were any reasonable kid-friendly hotels over my kids’ spring break in March. We couldn’t afford to take a full-blown trip and my husband couldn’t get much time off of work. Most hotels were going for $250 per night+ (a favorite of ours was over $350), but when I typed in the Florida resident discount for Nickelodeon Hotel I got a two-bedroom suite rate for $120.

There was also a $35 “resort fee” to use all the fun activities (see below) but after emailing with someone in marketing there and assuring her that I would write this review, she waived that fee for us. That fee is charged once per stay, per room, regardless of the number of people.

Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando

In the end, we paid for two days of fun and accommodations for seven people at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando for about $40 more than the price of ONE Disney World daily ticket — so I walked away feeling like we got a heck of a deal.

Interested in staying at Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando? Here’s a little more information:

Where is it located?

The Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando hotel is about as close to the Walt Disney World parks as you are going to get without actually staying in a Disney property. Just off of I-4, it is nestled on Continental Gateway. It offers free shuttles to Walt Disney World parks and Downtown Disney.

As the name implies, Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando offers more than just a standard room. There is a mini-fridge, kitchen sink, table and chairs and a living room area. We were a little surprised at how small the room actually was (yes, it technically had two bedrooms, a bathroom and the other items I just mentioned — but it was all very cramped). Luckily we didn’t spend much time in the rooms — and your family won’t either.

What is there to do?

The Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando is an experience in and of itself. If you have plans to visit the theme parks, the Nick hotel is a great “day off” place to stay. Here’s a list of the main activities it has to offer:

  • Character photo opportunities. We saw Dora, SpongeBob and Blue (from Blue’s Clues) while we were there. We also saw two of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at a character photo spot near the pool.
  • Character meals. You can enjoy a breakfast buffet alongside the same characters mentioned above and a few other Nickelodeon staples. The website says that the character breakfast buffet is $25 for those 11 and up, and $14 for ages 4 to 10, but a big sign outside the meal hall listed an $8.95/adult price when we were there. We brought our own breakfast so didn’t go, but the lower price struck me as being pretty affordable. There is also a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pizza dinner that is $33/adult, and $17 for kids ages 4 to 10. We bought a pizza to eat in the room because our night was full and none of our kids are really into TMNT — so there was no reason to spend that much to see the heroes in a half-shell.
  • Live shows. Through my marketing email exchange, we snagged some front row tickets to see the Double Dare Live stage show (yes, THAT Double Dare — with plenty of slime). It is a free show, but a small theater, so having reserved seats was nice. Plus the kids thought I was super-bad because we had an area roped off for us right up front. The half-hour show was a lot of fun and the contestants were actual guest families staying at the hotel. There is also a 4-D Theater experience (that we didn’t do because it costs extra and our little ones just weren’t ready for that sort of thing).
  • The pools. OH.MY.WORD. THE POOLS! If I was a little annoyed at the cramped “suites,” that all went out the window when I took my kids to the two pool areas. Our room overlooked the Lagoon pool area, the larger of the two, that had a shallow gradual-slope area that was perfect for my toddler and a few big water slides that was perfect for my 8-year-old boy who kept telling us (prior to the slides) that he was “too old” for this baby hotel. Every day at noon there is a poolside mass “sliming” which was a ton of fun to watch, though none of mine were brave enough to get doused in the green. A family needing a break from the theme parks could definitely spend an entire day just hanging out at the pools and have a blast doing it.

What food is there?

You can bring as much of your own food as you’d like, but keep in mind that there is only a mini-fridge and no food prep capabilities (besides a microwave). There are no pots, pans, dishes, etc. Since I know the area, I know there is a large super Wal-Mart nearby which I would recommend for families arriving in town and staying for several days. I’ve linked to the location of that Wal-Mart right here (just click).

If you decide to buy on property, there is a food court with a pizza place, a sandwich shop and a Starbucks (parents need caffeine at this resort). There is also a Tiki Bar though I’m not actually sure who frequents it since feasibly most guests have kids with them (I didn’t see a babysitting area). Still, if you need a stiff drink, you can buy one on the hotel grounds (and at the poolside bars).

What age range is recommended?

My kids range in age from 6 months to 8 years old, and I’d say anyone in this age range would enjoy this hotel. My oldest will probably like it for another two or three years, thanks to that awesome pool and waterpark-like atmosphere and the 4-D movie experience. Any kids ‘tween year or higher will probably not get much out of this hotel.

If you visit

The Nickelodeon hotel is open 365 days per year, and prices range from $100 – $400+ based on the type of room you want, and the time of year. There are several discounts available on the resort’s website, including 20 percent off for “early bookers.” You can see all those discounts by clicking here.

Nickelodeon Suites Resort offers a few options for rooms:

  • One-bedroom suites
  • Two-bedroom suites
  • Three-bedroom suites

All come with a pull-out sofa. The pool areas are open every day, barring lightning and other dangerous weather conditions, but the water slide doesn’t open until noon. Check the website and other hotel brochures to find times for shows and other on-property activities.

If you are looking for a 5-star hotel experience, you aren’t going to find it at the Nickelodeon Suites. If you want the convenience of being by Disney in a kid-friendly atmosphere (and you love pools), this hotel will be just fine for your family. I know we can’t wait to go back!

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Category: Family Free Time

Tags: Family Trip Tuesday