Sesame Place refreshes water attractions with Sesame Street IP

AT: Tim Baldwin

LANGHORNE, Pa. — In 1981, Sesame Place opened its gates, and families with young children have since been entertained with activities just their size. For more than four decades, the park has evolved and seen major growth.

The property offers a variety of amusement attractions, as well as shows. Rides come in the form of both water park offerings and dry rides. Since the Sesame StreetIP has become part of SeaWorld Entertainment, Elmo, Big Bird, Abby Cadabby and the various characters have been seen more prominently.

At the Pennsylvania property, Sesame Street characters are giving an entirely fresh look to established areas in the park. A major transformation now themes an area as Big Bird’s Beach.

“The slides and pools that are now a part of Big Bird’s Beach were previously themed as Twiddlebug Land, giving guests the unique perspective of a twiddlebug,” said Meagan Passero, communication manager, Sesame Place. “As a result, everything was made to look larger than life. While Twiddlebug Land will always hold a place in our hearts, Sesame Place strives to remain current and provide new, exciting experiences to guests. Our water rides and play areas are among our most popular attractions, and we know these new areas will be excellent additions to our already world-class offerings.”

One of the partners on the project was 3dxScenic, a fabrication division of L!VE, which creates immersive, three-dimensional design for events and experiences.

“Big Bird’s Beach is the new land that resides on the former location of Twiddlebug Land,” said Brittany Frosio, 3dx’s project manager for Big Bird Beach. “The old land, while having well-served the park, was looking a bit dated, and management wanted to provide a larger footprint from some of Sesame Street’s better-known characters. Now Elmo, Rosita and Abby have their own attractions named for them.” 

“The new Sesame Place marquee sign atop Elmo’s Surf and Slide sits where the iconic Rubber Ducky once resided and serves well as a roadside billboard both for guests inside and approaching the park, said Mark Rosenzweig, senior account executive, 3dxScenic. “For Rubber Ducky afficionados, fear not — the rubber ducky is now placed on ground level near the Sesame Street neighborhood and serves as a fantastic photo op. The mural wall behind the wave pool was the largest single element in this project.”

“Our fans have always been passionate about the park, and while they were at first surprised to hear about the update, they have since celebrated the transformation and new attractions with us,” Passero told Amusement Today.

3dx worked around some wrinkles to make the project a success.

“Installing the wave pool mural was particularly challenging as the pool had already been filled with water, so our teams had to rig the segments from the service road behind the pool,” said Frosio. 

3dx had worked at Sesame Place’s sister park in San Diego when it was transformed from the former Aquatica in 2022.

“This was retheming of a land of the park rather than the entire park but still makes up a considerable footprint in the water park area,” Rosenzweig said. “The new land gives a more immersive beach-like feel with palm trees and sculpted sand — the latter used as bases for signage. The land also has over 25 surfboards serving as décor on Elmo’s Surf and Slide tower.”

“We always work closely to exchange ideas with our sister park, Sesame Place San Diego, and we’re pleased to see that our fans on the West Coast enjoy the park as much as they do on the East Coast!” said Passero.

“The most rewarding aspect of transformative projects like Big Bird’s Beach is watching the park guests enjoy and interact with the new land,” said Rosenzweig. “Big Bird’s Beach truly is a park within a park as it is home to the property’s rebranded family raft slide, tube slides, wave pool and splashpad. This truly was a perfect collaboration between 3dx, Sea World Parks and Sesame Workshop that has added new layers of color and immersion to one of the most popular areas of the park.”  

Updated attractions in Big Bird’s Beach include Elmo’s Surf ‘n’ Slide, a six-person raft slide; Abby’s Splash & Spray Garden, a water oasis with a giant water can sprinkler; Rosita’s Seaside Slides (single or double tube); and Little Bird’s Bay, a 10,000-square-foot family wave pool with a maximum depth of 18 inches.

At the all-new water play area, Bert & Ernie’s Splashy Shores, kids can interact with tipping buckets, spraying jets, a water curtain, a water bobble and a spraying water tower. 

“The Sea World and Sesame Place teams were a joy to collaborate with,” said Frosio. “They were amazing partners through the entire process of the project from concept to installation. 3dx is proud to have partnered with Sesame Place on yet another fantastic scenic install.”

This article appears in the  JULY 2023 issue of Amusement Today.
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