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The universal appeal of the Sesame Street children’s television show is underlined by the opening of two new themed areas within marine parks at opposite ends of the globe.
Australia’s very first Sesame Street attraction opened September 29 at Sea World on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The multi-million dollar Sesame Street Beach (pictured) is home to the popular characters Bert and Ernie, Big Bird, Zoe, Grover, Cookie Monster and Elmo.
Themed attractions include themed including Bert and Ernie’s Big Dive, Oscar’s Sweep the Beach, Elmo’s Sea Safari, Big Bird Bouncer, Zoe’s Sub Splash and The Cookie Monster Cup Carousel. Guests can also experience a brand new live stage show, Bert and Ernie’s Island Holiday, featuring a full cast of characters singing and dancing.
“Sea World is the number one theme park for Australian pre-school aged children, so it was important for us to choose a brand that would appeal to that age group,” says John Menzies, CEO for Warner Village Theme Parks. “Sesame Street is a perfect fit for Sea World; it’s an ‘evergreen’ brand. It’s something we all grew up with and yet is still relevant to today’s kids. The launch of Sesame Street Beach is an exciting time for Sea World.”
Menzies also highlights Sea World’s aim to educate through entertainment as another reason for choosing the licence. “Sesame Street’s educational background was one of the deciding factors, it is the largest educator of children worldwide, broadcasts to 120 countries, and has won 107 Emmy Awards.”
Sea World is one of a number of attractions operated by Warner Village Theme Parks on the Gold Coast. Together with parks like Warner Bros Movie World and Wet ’n’ Wild Water World, the group attracts millions of visitors to the area, consolidating its position as the entertainment capital of Australia.
For more than three decades Sesame Street has been engaging audiences around the world and soon they’ll be dropping anchor at SeaWorld San Diego. The new area will be called Sesame Street Bay of Play, featuring three kid-friendly rides including a gentle swimming journey through an imaginary ocean, a 36-passenger teacup-type ride and a rocking ride that spins and slides from side to side.
The two-acre area is slated to open in late May of 2008 and will also feature Sesame Street character meet-and-greets, photo opportunities, and an aquatic-themed show production. Big Bird’s Beach Party, which will debut ahead of the rest of the attractions in the spring, will be staged inside SeaWorld’s Pets’ Playhouse stadium. Also scheduled to run 2008 will be a 4D movie featuring Elmo, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster and Big Bird swimming through the ocean and flying through the sky.
The creation of SeaWorld’s Sesame Street-themed play area is part of a long-term relationship announced last year between the non-profit Sesame Workshop and Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks. When Sesame Street arrives in 2008, we’ll have one of the best mixes of children’s-themed attractions anywhere,” believes Andy Fichthorn, SeaWorld San Diego general manager.
Some of the park’s existing play elements were moved to another area of the park when construction began this September.