Sesame Place (Pennsylvania)

(Redirected from Sesame Place (Philadelphia))

Sesame Place is a children's theme park and water park, located on the outskirts of Philadelphia in Middletown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania (Langhorne postal address).[1][2] It is one of two theme parks in the United States based entirely on the children's educational television program Sesame Street and includes a variety of rides, shows and water attractions suited to young children. It is also the first theme park in the world to become a certified autism center.

Sesame Place
Sesame place logo.png
LocationMiddletown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States
Coordinates40°11′06″N 74°52′19″W / 40.18500°N 74.87194°W / 40.18500; -74.87194Coordinates: 40°11′06″N 74°52′19″W / 40.18500°N 74.87194°W / 40.18500; -74.87194
StatusOperating
OpenedJuly 30, 1980; 42 years ago (1980-07-30)
OwnerSeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (under a license from Sesame Workshop)
Operated bySeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
ThemeSesame Street
SloganGo Before They Grow
Operating seasonYear Round
Area14 acres (5.7 ha)
Attractions
Total27
Roller coasters2
Water rides9
WebsiteSesame Place Home Page

Sesame Place is one of the twelve theme parks owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which operates the park under an exclusive license from Sesame Workshop, the non-profit owner of Sesame Street.

OverviewEdit

Sesame Place first opened in 1980 near the Oxford Valley Mall and initiated the expansion of the commercial complex in the vicinity. It was designed by Eric McMillan, a Canadian designer, Sandra Hanna of Lambertville, New Jersey and several other designers.

The park is open from early May through Halloween for The Count's Halloween "Spooktacular", and mid-November through December for "A Very Furry Christmas". The original park was 3 acres (1.2 ha) and featured play areas and large computer labs where kids could color their favorite Sesame Street characters. Since then, it has expanded to 14 acres (5.7 ha) with rides and water attractions. The expansions included the construction of Cookie's Monster Land in 2014 - the park's largest renovation to date.

The theme park is described as having implemented features to make it accessible to children with autism, and on World Autism Awareness Day in 2018 was announced to be the first theme park that is a Certified Autism Center.[3] Certified Autism Centers "[help] businesses better serve guests and clients with cognitive disorders, including autism".[4]

In 2007, it became the first theme park in Pennsylvania to become completely smoke-free.[5]

Beginning in January 2021, the park began its year-round operation.[6] The park's previous operating season ran from April through early January; however, 2021 was the first time the park has ever been open during the winter months. Each weekend was a limited capacity event that featured rides, dance parties, and a parade.

In July 2022, the park faced criticism after a family claimed in an Instagram post that the character Rosita snubbed their two young black children by ignoring them as they waved to her.[7] The video went viral as other users posted similar incidents of costumed characters and black children, with those on social media calling for a boycott of the park.[8] The park released a statement that the costume had made it difficult for the performer to see the girls. They later followed with another statement that the performer had not intentionally snubbed the girls, but instead rejected a request "from someone in the crowd who asked Rosita to hold their child for a photo which is not permitted."[9] On July 19, Sesame Place Pennsylvania formally apologized to the family and invited the family back for a personal meet-and-greet with the characters. They also announced that their employees will undergo racial bias training to ensure park guests have an "inclusive, equitable and entertaining" experience.[10]

Related parksEdit

Sesame Place is one of 13 parks operated by SeaWorld Entertainment. Others include its sister park Sesame Place San Diego, alongside SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Discovery Cove, Aquatica Orlando, Aquatica San Antonio, Adventure Island and Water Country USA.

Anheuser-Busch was the park's original owner, operating it under its Busch Entertainment subsidiary. In 2008, Anheuser-Busch was purchased by InBev to form Anheuser-Busch InBev, which then sold its theme park division to The Blackstone Group in 2009. Under new ownership, from 2009 into 2010, children's areas in Busch Gardens and SeaWorld parks were converted to Sesame Street-themed areas. SeaWorld Orlando, however, was the lone holdout until its Shamu's Happy Harbor area was converted into, and reopened as, "Sesame Street Land" in 2019.[11]

Sesame Place (Texas)Edit

A second Sesame Place park opened in Irving, Texas in June 1982. The $10 million Texas park was located on 30.3 acres (12.26 ha) near State Highway 183, and differed from the Pennsylvania location in that most attractions were indoors. The Texas park never reopened after the fall season ended in October 1984 and was shut down permanently in January 1985 due to unprofitability and declining attendance.[12][13]

Tokyo Sesame PlaceEdit

A third park in Tokyo, Japan was open from 1990 until December 31, 2006.

Sesame Place San DiegoEdit

In 2017, a fourth location was announced, to open "no later than" mid-2021.[14] In 2019, it was announced that Aquatica San Diego near San Diego, California would be replaced by a new Sesame Place theme park by Spring 2021. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing construction to pause, the park wouldn't open until the following year in March 2022.

Other Sesame Street related parks and areasEdit

In 1994, a Sesame Street themed amusement park called Parque Plaza Sesamo (based on the Mexican co-production Plaza Sésamo) was opened in Monterrey, Mexico. According to TEA's Global Attractions Attendance Report, Parque Plaza Sésamo is one of Latin America's highest ranking theme parks by attendance, with 1.2 million visitors per year.[15] On May 18, 2022, the park announced that it would rebrand as Parque Fiesta Aventuras for the 2022 season following a two-year period of closure. The reason for the rebranding was not classified by the park, but is likely that the park's terminated its license to use the Plaza Sésamo branding and characters.[16]

Universal Studios Japan has a Sesame Street themed section in their Universal Wonderland themed area.

In Salou, Spain, the PortAventura Park has a Sesame Street themed area called Sésamo Aventura, which opened in 2011.[17]

AttractionsEdit

Each attraction is split into a category. Dry rides are open during Elmo's Springtacular, the summer season, The Count's Halloween Spooktacular and A Very Furry Christmas. Water rides are open only in the summer season (Memorial Day-Labor Day). Other rides are only operated during Elmo's Springtacular, The Count's Halloween Spooktacular, or A Very Furry Christmas.

Sesame PlazaEdit

The front entrance.

Name Manufacturer Opened Description
Vapor Trail Vekoma 1998 a Super Grover-themed custom Vekoma family roller coaster with several helixes.

Sesame CityEdit

An area themed to mass transit and a big city.

Name Manufacturer Opened Description
Oscar's Wacky Taxi The Gravity Group 2018 a Gravity Group family wooden roller coaster featuring a crazy taxi ride with Oscar, it is located near the front gate.[18]
Big Bird's Tour Bus Zamperla 2022 a crazy bus ride themed to a tour around the city with Big Bird.
Slimey's Square 2021 a children's play area designated for children 5 and under.

Twiddlebug LandEdit

An area themed to the Twiddlebug characters.

Name Opened Description
Mix n' Match Twiddle Tracks 1993 a children's railroad. Its trains were removed after the 2021 season however the rest of Twiddle Tracks still remains.
Sky Splash 1995 a large raft water slide that stands more than six stories high, it is designed to look like it is made out of giant toys.
Slimey's Chutes 1993 two spiral tube water slides. Single and double tubes are used.
Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave 1993 a 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) wave pool formed from Ernie's wild garden hose.

Sesame IslandEdit

 
Ernie's Waterworks in 2005.

An area featuring water-based attractions.

Name Opened Description
Abby's Paradise Theater a covered outdoor theater that currently shows Let's Play Together, as well as Meet and Greets with Snuffy.
Big Bird's Rambling River 1990 a slow-moving, 1,000 ft (300 m) waterway winding through Sesame Island.
Ernie's Waterworks 1990 a small water play area.
Sand Castle Beach 1990 a giant beach-like sandbox and playground.

Sesame NeighborhoodEdit

A full-scale replica of Sesame Street. Opened in 1988.

Name Opened Description
Sunny Day Carousel 2008 a carousel with Sesame Street-designed horses. Its location was formerly the home of the Big Bird Steps.
Sesame Studio 1980 an indoor theater currently is occasionally used for special events as there is no set show here at the time.
Sesame Place Neighborhood Theater 1980 a large outdoor theater that currently shows The Magic of Art.

The Count's CourtEdit

Themed after Count von Count and features water rides. The special Count-themed dry attractions only operate during special events and are listed below.

Name Opened Description
The Count's Splash Castle 2009 a multi-level, water park attraction features over 90 play elements, including a 1000-gallon tipping bucket.
Sesame Streak a pair of tube water slides, one for single riders and the other for double riders. This water slide is currently Standing but not Operating as of 2022.
Abby's Fairy Falls four short vertical water slides that drop into a three-foot pool. (Formerly known as Slippery Slopes until Mid-July 2021).

Elmo's WorldEdit

Themed after Elmo, more specifically the Elmo's World segment.

Name Opened Description
Elmo's Silly Splashy Slides 1985 two intertwining body flumes that empty into a splash pool. (Formerly known as Bert & Ernie's Slip & Slide until Mid-July 2021)
Peek-A-Bug 2006 a Rock 'n Tug themed to a bug in a garden.
Blast Off 2006 a tower drop ride in which riders travel to Planet Elmo.
Elmo's Cloud Chaser 2011 riders fly around in swings.
Flyin' Fish 2006 an aerial carousel ride, similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant.
Snuffy's Slides 1980 two long dry tube slides for children 12 and under. This is the last vestige of the Big Bird Bridge system.

Cookie's Monster LandEdit

Named after Cookie Monster. Opened in 2014.

Name Opened Description
Captain Cookie's High C's Adventure 2014 pirate ships circle a rising and falling track.
Oscar's Rusty Rotten Rockets 2014 a whip-like ride, but with hanging garbage can-shaped rockets as vehicles.
Honker Dinger Derby 2014 a Tivoli Orbiter. Formerly operated at Busch Gardens Tampa as Sandstorm.
Monster Mix-Up 2002 a teacup ride. Formerly known as Grover's World Twirl.
Flying Cookie Jars 2002 a 40 ft (12 m) high tower ride that affords a view of the park. Formerly known as Big Bird's Balloon Race.
Monster Clubhouse 2014 a net-climbing attraction.
Mini Monster Clubhouse 2014 a play area for smaller children.

Special Event RidesEdit

These rides only operate during specific seasonal events.

Name Description
The Castle Swing a swing ride.[19]
The Count's Fly By a smaller version of Elmo's Cloud Chaser, themed after the Count.[20]
The Count Around a ferris wheel.[21]
The Count's Cruisers a carousel-type attraction with 4x4 cars.
Sesame Place Furry Express a locomotive train.
Twiddlebug Gingerbread Factory a retheme to Twiddlebug Land.

Former attractionsEdit

Name Opened Closed Description
Adult's Oasis Unknown Unknown An area for adults.
The Amazing Mumford's Water Maze 1980 2004 A maze attraction consisting of tubes with water sprays. The spot where the attraction once stood is empty, being used as a simple pathway.
Anti-Gravity Mirror Mirrors for children.
Balancing Buoys 1981 Circa 1982
Bert's Balance Beams 1980 Unknown Balance Beams.
Big Bird Bridge/Steps 1980 2007 The original park icon, consisting of a large Big Bird head and a long bridge, which led to various slides, although near the end of its life it only led to the tube slides. The bridge was removed in the Late-90's and Big Bird's mouth was closed up, which left the steps for photo ops. The steps and head were fully removed in 2007 to make way for the Sunny Day Carousel.
Big Bird's Court 1980 2013 A small play area featuring large padded grounds and blocks. Only children under 5 were permitted inside the attraction. It was removed to make way for Cookie's Monster Land.
Chat Lag A place to chat.
Cheshire Cat Unknown.
Circle Theatre 1983 Unknown A theatre that presented an animal show. The theatre's building later became home to the 1, 2, 3, Smile with Me! Photo-op.
Circus Mirrors Mirrors for children but circus themed.
The Computer Gallery/The Games Gallery 1980 2001 This attraction housed an area featuring many computers, allowing attendees to play simple educational games featuring Sesame Street characters. In 1993, the area became The Games Gallery, with arcade games replacing computers. In 2001, the attraction was converted into a quick-service restaurant, known as Cookie's Cafe.
Cookie Mountain 1980 2013 An inflatable mountain where children could climb on their own. Only children under seven were permitted at this attraction.Children under eight were not allowed. It was removed to make way for Cookie's Monster Land.
The Count's Ballroom 1980 2006 A large ball pit containing over 80,000 balls. It was removed to make way for Elmo's World, with this attraction replaced with Blast Off.
The Count's Fount 1985 2008 A water play area. It was demolished to make way for the larger Count's Splash Castle.
Create a Muppet Show 1980's Unknown Create Muppets Show!
Crystal Climb 1982 Unknown A set of geodesic climbing mazes. It was soon relocated to another area, before being removed entirely and permanently. The original location later became home to Adult's Oasis, while the relocated version became home to the Sesame Slab Slides.
Elmo's World Live 2001 2016 A live show based on the segment of the same name. It was replaced with Elmo: the Musical - LIVE!.
Ernie's Bed Bounce 1980 2013 An inflatable, springy air mattress. For two years in 1981, a second mattress was also added in the spot where the Circle Theater later stood. The main Bed was removed to make way for Cookie's Monster Land in 2013, with Honker Ginger Derby sitting where this once stood.
Everyone is You and Me 1983 1990's Unknown
Foot Notes Notes for people.
Grover's Rubber Band Bounce Bounce House possibly.
Herry's Hand Over Water 1980 1984 A playground set over a pool of water. It was later replaced with the Sesame Construction Company attraction.
Kaliedoscope
Little Bird's Birdbath 1990's 2008 A sprinkler play area made for young children. It was demolished alongside its sister attraction Little Bird's Rapids to make way for The Count's Splash Castle.
Little Bird's Court 1980 2001 A sand-focused playground. It was later moved to Sesame Island. The spot where the original version stood was replaced with Grover's World Twirl.
Little Bird's Rapids Unknown 2008 A junior water slide. It was demolished alongside its sister attraction Little Bird's Birdbath to make way for The Count's Splash Castle.
Mirror Mirage
Mix and Match Muppet Totem Poles
Monster Maze 1980 2013 A small, sand bottom pit with large "monster" bags children can run around in. It was removed in 2013 to make way for Cookie's Monster Land.
Multiscopes
Nets & Climbs 1980 2013 Hundreds of yards of cargo netting connected by 200 ft (61 m) of suspended net tunnels. It was removed in 2013 to make way for Cookie's Monster Land.
Oscar's Balance Beams A set of balance beams.
Oscar's Obstacle Course 1980 Unknown A twisty maze in a sand box.
Pedal Power and Cycles 1980 1999
Pin Tables
Pitch Switch
Rainbow Room 1980 1999
Rainbow Pyramid 1980 2001 An attraction that taught children about air pressure. It was replaced with Sesame Playhouse.[22]
Rubber Duckie Pond 1980 Unknown A giant water bed that kids could jump on. It was later redeveloped into a water play area under the same name.[23]
Rubber Duckie Pond Unknown 2010 A water play area that replaced the above water bed. It was demolished in 2010 to make way for Elmo's Cloud Chaser.
Runaway Rapids 1984 2008 A tube water slide. It was demolished to make way for The Count's Splash Castle.
Sesame Beach 1980 2006 A sandbox area. It was demolished in 2006 to make way for the Elmo's World area, with this attraction replaced with Peek a Bug.
Sesame Construction Company 1985 2001 A play area featuring giant building blocks that can be used to create structures. It was removed to make way for Big Bird's Balloon Race.
Sesame Dream Network
Sesame Garden 1981 1980's A flower garden.
Sesame Slab Slides A set of slides that go from the top of the Nets & Climbs to the bottom.
Sesame Production Company
Shadow Room 1980 2001
Silly Sand Slides 1993 2019 Three giant slides modeled after; A large watch, a spoon on a bag of marbles and a dumped bucket of sand. The attraction was removed in 2019.
Slippery Slopes 1980 1985 A set of foam-covered slides. It has no connection with the water slide Abby's Fairy Falls which formerly had the same name as this water slide. It was later replaced with Sesame Streak.
The Snake Tube 1981
Snuffle Ball 1981
Super Grover's Cable Glides 1980 1986 A set of rope swings.
Talking Picture Show
Teleidoscope Temple 1980 1999
Touch of Spring 1983 Unknown
Tunnels of Fun 1980 2013 A set of tunnels. Removed in 2013 to make way for Cookie's Monster Land.
Twiddlebug Hop 1980 1986 A large rope swing. It was later replaced with a garden area.
Twiddlebug Tunnel 1980 unknown A tunnel for kids to crawl through where "mysterious colors and sounds await".
Whisper Walls 1980 2013 It was removed in 2013 to make way for Cookie's Monster Land.
Zoetrope
Zoom Flume 1983 1986 A water slide. It was demolished in 1986 due to low capacity and the additions of other water attractions, with its spot being replaced with Little Bird's Birdbath.

EntertainmentEdit

  • Neighborhood Street Party Parade - A parade with all costume characters and has dance stops throughout the parade route. (2011–present, anniversary: 2015, 2020)
  • Elmo the Musical! - Magic, mayhem, and music add up in Elmo the Musical - Live at Sesame Place! Join Elmo as it's time to raise the curtain and light the lights, when this brand-new show takes over the Sesame Studio at Sesame Place.[24] (2014–present)
  • The Magic of Art - Abby Cadabby is getting ready for the art show on Sesame Street. Abby isn't sure what to create. Abby asks for help from Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover and Telly. She then learns art comes in all shapes and sized, with paintings and sculptures. They inspire Abby to use imagination and create your own masterpiece.
  • Our Street is Sesame Street -Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Big Bird! Sing, dance, and clap along as you watch the show at the Sesame Street Neighborhood.
  • ALL-NEW Sesame Place 40th Birthday Drive-Thru

Holiday shows and paradesEdit

The Count's Halloween Spooktacular Shows/Parades:

  • The Not Too Spooky Howl-Ween Radio Show! - A show starring the "Sesame Street" characters that they performed at the WSME theater and our Halloween broadcast. Located in "Abby's Paradise Theater".[25] (2010–present)
  • Who Said Boo?! - A show at Sesame Place where Sesame Street characters went to the Count's Halloween Party but they hear an eerie BOO! Shows in the "Sesame Street Neighborhood Theater" (formerly "Monster Rock Theater").[26] (2014–present)
  • Elmo the Musical- A Halloween Adventure! - Magic, mayhem and music add up in Elmo the Musical - Live at Sesame Place! Join Elmo as it's time to raise the curtain and light the lights, when this brand-new show takes over the Sesame Studio at Sesame Place.[24] (2014–present)
  • Neighborhood Halloween Street Party
  • Not-Too Spooky Halloween Drive-Thru

A Very Furry Christmas Shows/Parades:

  • Christmas Storytime - Enjoy a Christmas story in Mr. Hooper's Emporium.
  • Elmo the Musical- A Christmas Adventure! - Magic, mayhem and music add up in Elmo the Musical - Live at Sesame Place! Join Elmo as it's time to raise the curtain and light the lights, when this brand-new show takes over the Sesame Studio at Sesame Place.[24] (2014–present)
  • A Sesame Street Christmas - Visitors can join their Sesame Street friends to help Abby Caddaby learn about the December holidays.
  • Neighborhood Christmas Street Party
  • Elmo's Christmas Wish
  • 1-2-3 Christmas Tree
  • All-New Furry & Bright Drive-Thru

Costume charactersEdit

Families can dine with some characters at Dine with Elmo and friends (or one of its seasonal variations). This is not included in the regular admission price and takes place at varying times depending on season. The characters at the dine change seasonally. Many of the Sesame Place characters strut down "Sesame Street" in the "Neighborhood Street Party" parade (or one of its seasonal variations). This features 15 Sesame Place characters, large floats, dancers and music. The park also features character meet and greets that vary through the year. During the holiday season, characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer appear in the park, thanks to a licensing agreement between Seaworld Parks and Entertainment, and Character Arts LLC. The characters that feature in the park include:

Current charactersEdit

Sesame StreetEdit

OtherEdit

Former charactersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Zoning Map". Middletown Township. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  2. ^ "Directions". Sesame Place. Retrieved April 5, 2021. GPS Address: 100 Sesame Rd Langhorne, PA 19047 - Compare the address to the map. The facility is not in the Langhorne borough limits.
  3. ^ Katz, Brigit. "Sesame Place Becomes First Theme Park to Be Designated a Certified Autism Center". Smithsonian Magazine.
  4. ^ "Certified Autism Center | Autism Certification for Business Locations".
  5. ^ "SESAME PLACE – FIRST THEME PARK IN PENNSYLVANIA TO BE 100 PERCENT SMOKE-FREE" (Press release). Sesame Place. March 21, 2007. Archived from the original on June 9, 2008. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  6. ^ "Elmo's Furry Fun Fest | Mommy Poppins - Things to Do with Kids". mommypoppins.com. January 15, 2021.
  7. ^ __jodiii__ (July 16, 2022). "I'm going to keep posting this, because this had me hot. We were on our way out of sesame place and the kids wanted to stop to see the characters. THIS DISGUSTING person blatantly told our kids NO then proceeded to hug the little white girl next to us! ..." Instagram. Archived from the original on July 19, 2022. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  8. ^ Alfonseca, Kiara; Ross, Kendall (July 20, 2022). "Family calls for Sesame Place performer to be fired". ABC News. Archived from the original on July 26, 2022. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  9. ^ Bella, Timothy (July 19, 2022). "Sesame Place apologizes after Muppet seems to snub Black girls in video". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 19, 2022.
  10. ^ Davis, Wynne (July 19, 2022). "Sesame Place apologizes after video shows 2 Black girls being passed over at a parade". National Public Radio. Archived from the original on July 20, 2022.
  11. ^ Kleiman, Joe (March 11, 2019). ""Sunny Days" ahead as Sesame Street opens at SeaWorld Orlando March 27". InPark Magazine. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  12. ^ "Sesame Place, a seven-acre theme park based on the..." UPI. January 11, 1985. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  13. ^ Keomoungkhoun, Nataly (August 19, 2020). "What happened to D-FW's theme parks? Curious Texas straps in to investigate". The Dallas Morning News. Dallas, Texas. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  14. ^ "Press Releases | Sesame Workshop". www.sesameworkshop.org.
  15. ^ "TEA Global Attractions Attendance Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).
  16. ^ https://www.facebook.com/Parquefiestaaventuras/photos/a.160542600667377/5178923278829259[user-generated source]
  17. ^ "Far West - PortAventura World". www.portaventura.es. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  18. ^ "New Roller Coaster | Oscar's Wacky Taxi | Sesame Place Philadelphia".
  19. ^ Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. "The Castle Swing". sesameplace.com. Archived from the original on November 8, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  20. ^ Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. "The Count's Fly By". sesameplace.com. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  21. ^ Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. "The Count Around". sesameplace.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  22. ^ Hutchinson, Guy (June 27, 2012). "Big Bird Bridge: Rainbow Pyramid".
  23. ^ Hutchinson, Guy (November 26, 2012). "Big Bird Bridge: The "boat slide" at Rubber Duckie Pond (version 2)".
  24. ^ a b c Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. "Elmo the Musical - Live at Sesame Place". sesameplace.com. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  25. ^ Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. "Let's Play Together!". sesameplace.com. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  26. ^ Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. "The Magic of Art™". Retrieved June 4, 2016.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit