Long before the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando, Florida became the one place you could meet and get your picture taken with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there was one other place, just down the road in fact, that you had that opportunity to do so.
In 1984 Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created one of the most unstoppable comic book franchises in history, and a few years later they appeared live every day from 1990 until 1996 to meet shell-heads and have your picture taken with them. Where? Disney’s-MGM Studios in the “New York” section.
The four brothers, along with friend April O’Neil, would come out in the Party Van and put on a show for the audience. While April sang the Teenage Mutant Ninja theme song, the Turtles would dance and show off their martial arts skills. After being introduced one by one, Michelangelo too busy ordering a pizza to hear his cue, the Turtles would then spread out amongst the crowd for autographs and pictures before heading back to their off-stage sewer, only to come out later on and perform again. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles even would have a chance to join the Walt Disney World Christmas Parade along side Alan Thicke as they sang their own twist to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” while April filmed.
In 1996 the Turtles said good-bye to Disney and four years later so too would co-creator Kevin Eastman as he sold his share of the Turtles to Peter Laird. Laird would control the Ninja Turtle Empire until Nickelodeon approached him with an offer to buy, which resulted in a sale of $60 million. The sale included the global rights to the characters as well as the merchandising rights.
Today Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo can be found at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort. Here you can have special meet and greets, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dinner Experience and find exclusive turtles merchandise.
Until next time,