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Universal Studios Florida - Production Central:
Nickelodeon Studios Game Lab

Rating: * * *
Type: Interactive theater show
Time: 10-15 minutes
Kelly says: For kids 10 and under

Nickelodeon (or Nick, as it likes to be called) is a 24-hour cable TV network that bills itself as “the first network for kids.” It maintains a presence on the Universal lot, but it is otherwise a separate entity. Even its location, at the end of Nickelodeon Way, sets it apart from the rest of the park.

The show goes on according to a schedule printed in the Studio Guide. While you wait in the outdoor, shaded queue, you can watch from a comfortable distance as the 17-foot-tall Green Slime Geyser in the plaza outside the studio rumbles to life. According to well-informed sources, this green Rube Goldberg-esque oddity is the world’s only source of the green goo that features so prominently in Nickelodeon lore. (If you don’t know what slime is, ask your kid.) Every ten minutes or so, it erupts with a roar, spewing gallons of bubbling lime-green goop.

Photo Op: The Green Slime Geyser in full roar makes a fabulous backdrop for yet another photo of the kids. The Nickelodeon folks have also thoughtfully provided a number of other photo backdrops in the plaza.

When the queue moves inside it takes you quickly inside the 260-seat Game Lab, where adults and kids are separated and herded into separate bleachers for the show. Ostensibly, Nickelodeon tries out new stunt ideas for its game shows here, although if that was ever the case it was a long time ago. This is audience participation that pits the red bleachers against the blue bleachers to often amusing effect. There’s a host (or hostess) and a staff of young and cheery assistants. Volunteers are picked out of the peanut gallery to play silly games that sometimes involve adults dragooned from the safety of their seating sections. One kid is pre-selected to be “slimed” with the green goo that has become something of a corporate logo for Nickelodeon.

Although the host points out that the kids’ bleachers are for those 16 and under, this show appeals primarily to much younger kids. The show has a rushed quality, and while children seem to enjoy it, adults may feel shoveled in and shoveled out.

Tip: Near Nickelodeon Studios, just past the Slime Geyser, is a little-known park exit that takes you directly to the Hard Rock Cafe. You can also use this exit as an entrance.

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Universal Orlando 2011

 

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