It’s not everyday you can visit a theme park and make money, but with the NBC Media Center at Universal Studios Florida you can do just that! In exchange for your opinion and some time you’ll be able to enjoy the dual benefit of previewing a hot new TV show and getting some Universal gift cards.
It can be a bit of a time suck, so make sure you’re aware of the park’s hours the day you’re visiting. But if the opportunity presents itself and you have an hour or two to kill, participating in the NBC Media Center is a fun experience to be had.
What is it?
Have you ever wondered how a show makes it to tv? Audience testing is just one of the many factors at play. At the NBC Media Center, guests watch either a TV show or a commercial and share their opinion through a series of multiple choice and short answer questions.
If you love sharing your opinion, or like being the first to know of a new show coming to television, then you’ll love participating in an NBC Media Center research project. We recently got a chance to view two episodes of a new show, Titan Games starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Where is it?
As you head toward KidZone from the Hollywood section of Universal Studios Florida, the NBC Media Center is on the right hand side in the Gardens of Allah Villas. The surveys are done seasonally, so you’ll know if they’re on if you see workers wearing white shirts and clipboards. As you walk by, they will ask if you want to participate followed by simple demographic questions.
Since this is a research project, demographics play a huge role in determining if you can actually qualify. There is a set quota for the day for factors like age, gender or race. You’ll have the best chances of qualifying if you go early, so we recommend taking a look late morning or just before lunchtime. Going that early also guarantees you’ll still get the most out of your day.
What do you do?
If you see the workers out with your clipboards, you can walk up to them to see if you qualify. They’ll ask you a series of questions and then let you know what the project is. The longer or more involved of the project, the more you’ll get compensated.
One time Jessica watched a program and had to give her feedback in Spanish. The whole experience took about 90 minutes and she received $75. Other times, we’ve both had to watch variations of the same commercial. It was about half an hour and we received $15 Universal gift card, good to use in the parks, at City Walk or at the hotels. It’s a great way to pay for a snack or souvenir you’ve been eyeing.
Is it Worth it?
If you are only visiting Universal Orlando Resort for the day, then we wouldn’t recommend taking time out of your day to take part in the NBC Media Center survey. Time is precious at a theme park and losing even a half hour can mean a lot. If, however, you are visiting for multiple days, on a return trip or are a Universal Annual Passholder, then you should definitely take a look and see if surveys are running on your next visit.
It’s pretty fun to watch a show before it hits the air and then see if any of your opinions were taken to heart with the final product. If you are fan of television production, this is a cool behind-the-scenes experience. And, obviously, you get paid!
While we don’t advocate breaking the rules and skirting the system, here are some tips we’ve picked up:
- You are technically only allowed to participate in a research project once per year, however there really isn’t a way they police this, so there are opportunities to do this multiple times during the year.
- Many times the research projects call for non-Florida residents, however they do not check for IDs so as long as you know the zip code for a city outside of Florida you’re good to go.