Tested by Jen Reynolds & Family
If you had told me before I had a kid that I would be taking a vacation to a character-themed hotel that drops green “slime” on its willing patrons several times a day, I would have dismissed you as crazy (after all, I survived months of backpacking through India on $2 per day). Times sure have changed — we had a blast! My son James (now four but he was three at the time) and I were there for four days and on the last day, my parents, who were vacationing nearby, spent the day with us. The thing that’s different about this place is that it’s a destination hotel that’s on a highway, not a beach. In a nutshell, it’s a giant (like out-of-this-world huge) water park where everything is branded with Nickelodeon characters such as Dora & Diego, the Backyardigans, the Wonder Pets, Blue’s Clues and SpongeBob Square Pants.
Why it’s family friendly
Orlando is the world’s playground for kids of all ages and Nick Hotel is conveniently located on the highway, within driving distance (they also have scheduled shuttles) to attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and Wet ‘n Wild.
$1,500 US, Ultimate Nick Package, four nights (no airfare), 2 bedroom suite (with waterpark access, breakfasts).