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Liliane Opsomer, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids, recently stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suite Waterpark. Here is her report.
Following a $30 million renovation, the hotel formerly known as Nickelodeon Suites Resort is now the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites Waterpark. Sadly, all of the Nickelodeon experiences are gone: No Double Dare, no getting slimed. What has remained, however, is still an impressive—and newly renovated—resort.
The 777 suites come in one- , two- , and three-bedroom varieties, and each suite contains a mini-fridge, microwave, small cooking stove, flat-panel TV in each room, and high-speed Internet.
An open-space living room connects to the kitchen. There is a separate sink outside the bathroom/shower.
The Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites Waterpark features a 400-gallon water dump tank spilling water at random, seven slides and water flumes, climbing nets and water jets, a kids’ play area with 5-foot slide, two soothing whirlpools, and a zero-entry pool.
The Lagoon Pool of the resort is home to daily activities, such as messy challenges and competitions or DJ dance parties.
Some of the games include adult participation, and that is how I ended up as one of the judges of the cannonball contest. It was a lot of fun!
And while nobody gets slimed anymore, winners of the pool games do get doused when a giant water balloon (filled with colored blue water) is popped over their heads. It is a miniature version of the Blue Wave that tumbles down the giant water bucket in the water park section every day at 5 p.m.
The Oasis Pool offers adults-only hours from 8 to 10 a.m. daily and is generally much more quiet than the Lagoon Pool.
Other outdoor activities include a basketball court with multi-height hoops, a giant checkers game, and a nine-hole miniature golf course. At night, full-length movies are shown under the stars.
Kids will enjoy the 4-D Experience and the Batman Laser Challenge. For $19.95 plus tax, you can purchase an unlimited wristband for all-you-can-play laser challenge and all-you-can-watch 4-D Experience films for the length of your stay. In addition to this, there is a 3,000-square-foot arcade (fees apply).
Every evening the Celebration Theater is home to activities such as family Bingo, Karaoke, a magic show, or a family challenge game show. Best of all, these activities are free of charge. An activity schedule is given to guests upon arrival. It is also available online here and includes opening hours for all restaurants, bars, pools, and theme park shuttles.
All these experiences are located inside the Marketplace, a hub that’s also home to the dining options and situated in between the two main sections of the park.
Lakeside Café is a full-service restaurant where you can dine à la carte or from a buffet. Kids will eat free from the kids menu or the buffet (up to four kids per family).
Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 am. until 11:00 a.m., Lakeside Café hosts the Good Morning Breakfast with Captain Holiday & Pals, where the Captain and his friends visit guests at their tables for a chat/photo op.
In a food court setting, you can find Antonio’s Pizzeria and subway sandwiches; fresh-brewed coffee and pastries are found at Cravings
The Hideaway Lounge at Marketplace and the Lagoon Bar at the pool serve small fare and drinks.
The park is huge, and I recommend you request a room that is close to the Marketplace. Shuttles to Disney, Universal, Volcano Bay, SeaWorld, and Disney Springs are available free of charge but require reservations and do not run frequently. They leave from outside Marketplace.
The Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites Waterpark is located at 14500 Continental Gateway, Orlando. Rooms start at $159-$179, plus a $30 daily resort fee, per day. For more information, call 407-387-5437 or visit their website.
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