IMG 3379Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? If your kids are SpongeBob SquarePants fanatics – or just enjoy getting slimed – then the Nick Hotel delivers.

Checking in to the Nickelodeon Suites Hotel
The five-story hotel is located eight miles from Orlando International Airport (MCO) and offers 777 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. My daughter and I stayed in a two-bedroom suite, with a SpongeBob roomIMG 3367 with two twin beds and a grown-up room with a more sophisticated décor and a queen bed. My daughter’s a little young for SpongeBob, but the room would have been great for school-aged kids – and the separate adults’ bedroom was an extra treat. All rooms have a kitchenette or a small kitchen with a fridge and sink, allowing family vacationers to bring their own food or have a place to store drinks, snacks, and leftovers.

Fun in the Sun at the Waterpark
The 24-acre property includes several pools and two waterparks, one of which offers a “mass sliming,” where select guests get to sit up on a platform and have the famous green slime poured over their heads. For less messy fun, poolside games and crafts are offered, as well as mini golf, a wading pool and other games. We didn’t get a chance to experience the water activities but saw several families and kids having fun.

Meeting Dora the Explorer and Other Characters
The hotel offers guests free character meetings several times a day, each time with different Nick favorites. We arrived in time to meet Dora the Explorer and Diego on our first day, and Ming-Ming and Pablo the second day. The line moves fairly fast, so get there on time or you might end up missing out. In addition, the meetings are quick – sometimes a little too quick. My daughter forgot to say goodbye to Pablo during their encounter and was disappointed that she couldn’t get back in line again.
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There’s a professional photographer snapping photos but you can bring your camera and video camera as well (it helps if you’re traveling with another adult – each of you can have a camera going) and be sure to move quickly to capture the moment.

A character breakfast is also offered, which provides a more relaxed setting where the characters visit each table.

Overall my daughter and I enjoyed our stay at the Nick Hotel. The outdoor corridors of the hotel offer a peaceful walk from building to building and we both enjoyed the little nooks between buildings where birds, squirrels and the occasional Nickelodeon character figure could be spotted from the benches.

Disclosure: Our stay was sponsored by Nickelodeon Suites Resort. All opinions expressed are my own.

Teresa J. Shaw is editor of the Free in 50 States section and also writes about Southeast Michigan for Traveling Mom. Visit her blog and follow her on Twitter at @TeresaShaw.