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Nickelodeon Studios
Nick Studios Logo.JPG
Universal Studios Florida
Area Production Central
Theme Nickelodeon Shows
Opening date June 7, 1990
Closing date April 30, 2005
Ride duration 40 minutes
Universal Express yes
Replaced By Blue Man Group Sharp Aquos Theatre

Nickelodeon Studios (opened June 7, 1990 – closed April 30, 2005) was an operating television taping studio as well as an attraction at Universal Studios Florida. The studio experienced a revival of sorts, as Studio 23 and 24 were being used to program My Family's Got GUTS that premiered September 2008, ending in the same month that same year.

Contents

History

Nickelodeon Studios as viewed from the Hard Rock Cafe in March 2004.
Nickelodeon Studios after the sign and markings were removed.

In November 1988, Nickelodeon joined the USF team to make its very first studio. In June 1989, Nickelodeon filmed its first show there, that show was Super Sloppy Double Dare. On June 7, 1990, the studio (along with the park) officially opened. The facility was a working studio where many Nickelodeon and Nickelodeon GAS shows were produced, with the first being Double Dare. It consisted of soundstages 18 and 19, along with a central building between them that housed both Nickelodeon production offices, dressing rooms, makeup rooms, the Gak Kitchen and the Game Lab live show located on Stage 17 for guests of Universal Studios Florida. Soundstage 21, located directly behind Stages 17 and 18, was also part of the production facility in the early 1990s when a larger sound stage was needed for the taping of Nickelodeon GUTS and Global GUTS. Stage 21 was not "owned" or part of the studio contract Nickelodeon had with Universal, but was leased separately for the duration of Nickelodeon Productions on the stage.

While Nick Studios was in production there were many orange benches scattered around the facility, incorporating shapes like a human footprint, carrot, finger, cruise ship, wave, cloud, etc., reflecting the network's station IDs. Some of these benches have been moved to the "Control Room" at Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast. Also scattered around the property were Nicktoons cutouts for photo opportunities. A gift shop was also located near the slime geyser, featuring then-popular Nickelodeon characters on the front of the building.

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Closure

The facility, which had been experiencing a steady decline of visitors each year since 2000, and had an even bigger decline after a hurricane damaged the studio in 2004, permanently closed its doors on April 30, 2005, after Nickelodeon had gradually moved its administration to the MTV Networks headquarters in Santa Monica, California, and One Astor Plaza in New York City and its live-action production arm to the Nickelodeon On Sunset complex on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The final program taped at Nickelodeon Studios was Nickelodeon SPLAT! on August 17, 2004.

The Slime Truck and the Nick at Nite taxi were both removed in 1998

The Slime Geyser in front of Soundstage 18 was removed in May 2005.

The trademark "Nickelodeon" sign above the facility was removed in January 2006.

A time capsule buried by the network in 1992 in front of Sound stage 18 was removed in August 2006 and was replaced with concrete. The time capsule contained items deemed important to the children of 1992 as voted upon by Nickelodeon viewers, including a new Nintendo Game Boy, an issue of Nickelodeon Magazine, a Home Alone VHS tape, clips of Nickelodeon station IDs and various other toys. The time capsule was scheduled to be opened on April 30, 2042, 50 years after its burial. The capsule was later reburied at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando.

At this time, Stage 19, as well as the second floor control room in the center building between stage 18 and 19, is home to FSN and Sun Sports Network. It is also being used as a storage area for Universal Orlando parade floats, and to train sporting events for My Family's Got GUTS, which is a revival of the classic Nickelodeon game show GUTS. The green room at Nickelodeon Studios is even being used as a green room for My Family's Got GUTS, and has remained exactly the same as it did when earlier Nickelodeon productions used it, albeit with new furniture. Much of the Nickelodeon signage is still visible in the second floor hallways including multiple Ren and Stimpy murals. Currently, the Tube that runs above Soundstage 19 that was part of the Nickelodeon tour, is now used for storage of several old props and A/V equipment, along with storage for the Blue Man Group. Additionally, the Gak Kitchen is used as the break room for the Front of House staff of the Blue Man Group and the space that formerly housed Game Lab is now a special event room for Universal Studios and the Blue Man Group.

On November 9, 2006, Universal Orlando announced that sound stage 18 would be redesigned to become a 1,000 seat permanent venue for Blue Man Group. The new venue opened on June 1, 2007. During the construction phase of new theater, no cosmetic changes were made, with the exception of the addition of the new Box Office in the Pavilion. The sound stage was painted black with three giant blue heads, the main building was painted white with black and blue trim, and the side of Stage 18 was painted black with blue, yellow, and red paint splats. The facility was renamed the Sharp Aquos Theatre. Additionally, inside the building the dressing room signs remain the same that were used during the time of Nickelodeon, as well as the "Production Crew Only" orange splat signs which have not been changed. Overall, areas not accessible to guests have remained the same as they were during the time of Nickelodeon, including the wall murals in the Main Hallway (a blurred picture of a Double Dare taping), 2nd Floor Tube (Blue's Clues), 2nd floor hallway by the elevator (SpongeBob SquarePants), 2nd floor hallway (original Nickelodeon Studios Mural) and the guest escalator: now closed off by storage and a temporary wall that makes a rehearsal area (The Wild Thornberrys).

The queue for Nickelodeon Studios was used by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling for queueing up audiences for its production of TNA Impact! in Stage 21 prior to the opening of the Sharp Aquos Theatre. The gate beside the new venue is now a meeting point for non-park audience members to enter the Universal Studios production facilities.

Summary

Nickelodeon Studios featured a tour for visitors of the Universal Studios theme park. As visitors entered the building, the tour would take them up an escalator to the second floor, where they would enter a Blue's Clues themed room. From there, the tour would enter the Soundstage 19 viewing tube, in which the tour guide would tell guests about the production taking place on that soundstage. Then, the tour would enter the Control Room viewing area, which showed a video about Nickelodeon, and allowed guests to see into the Nickelodeon Control Room. From there, the tour entered the Soundstage 18 viewing tube, where guests would again learn about the production going on below. The tour would then go down another escalator into the Game Lab area, and bypass it to the hallway with the Wardrobe, Makeup, and Gak Kitchen departments, where visitors would get a hands on experience tasting Nickelodeon Gak and slime, and trying on different items for a Nickelodeon production. Then, the tour would conclude in the Game Lab, where lucky guests would have the chance to participate in testing possible games for upcoming Nickelodeon shows, and even have the chance to get slimed. The entire experience lasted around 40 minutes. It operated from June 7, 1990 until June 15, 2001, when staffing cuts were made at the studio. Game Lab itself continued to operate until the complex closed on April 30, 2005.

Shows taped at Nickelodeon Studios

Live-action

Game shows

Variety

Nick Jr. series

Other

External links

Coordinates: 28°28′28″N 81°28′7″W / 28.47444°N 81.46861°W / 28.47444; -81.46861


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