Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Sesame Place San Diego opens, bringing a theme park’s worth of the beloved Sesame Street characters to the West Coast

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a leading theme park and entertainment company, and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, have officially opened Sesame Place San Diego, the newest theme park in California and the first Sesame Place on the West Coast. The all-new theme park is full of immersive experiences and admission provides access to all water attractions and family-friendly dry rides, plus entertainment offerings likes shows and a parade. Sesame Place is the second theme park of its kind in the United States.

Sesame Place offers 18 Sesame Street-themed rides and water attractions, including a family-friendly rollercoaster, wave pool and lazy river, plus rides and water slides. Located just 20 minutes from San Diego and 2.5 hours from Los Angeles, park-goers on the West Coast will finally be able to take a stroll through the Sesame Street neighborhood. Kids will get the chance to play in a world that plays back through immersive physical and digital character experiences, including an unforgettable immersive experience at the Sesame Street Neighborhood.

Sunny Day Carousel. Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

“This is a great time for the company as we open the doors to sunny days at Sesame Place and welcome guests from all over to experience this new theme park,” said Marc Swanson, Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “We are extremely grateful for our partnership with Sesame Workshop. We are continuing the legacy we started 42 years ago together by creating a second theme park in the United States where children and guests can laugh, learn and enjoy playing in a fun and meaningful way. This park is part of a big year for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment as we have opened new attractions already in 2022 across multiple parks as part of our overall business strategy and will continue to expand our offerings in the coming years with exciting experiences for our guests.”

Adventures wait throughout the park including a Sesame Street parade, an engaging musical play area, one-of-a-kind photo opportunities and a never-before-seen live character show. “Welcome To Our Street” stars beloved characters Elmo, Abby, Grover, Rosita and Cookie Monster as they all work together to find the perfect way to welcome their friends to Sesame Street. Offered a few times a day, the award-winning Sesame Street Party Parade is filled with contemporary tunes, Sesame Street favorites plus performers jumping rope, hula hooping, and moving & grooving with their Sesame Street friends.

“This moment has been over 40 years in the making,” said Ed Wells, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Media and Education, Sesame Workshop. “Since the first Sesame Place launched in 1980, it has been one of the best ways for kids and families to interact with the Sesame brand and their favorite characters, up close and in person. We are thrilled to continue expanding our partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment with the introduction of Sesame Place San Diego, the West Coast’s only standalone theme park based entirely on Sesame Street. This park is full of new interactive, entertaining and playful learning experiences for families and continues our mission of helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder.”

The Count’s Splash Castle. Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

Guests will splash through 11 water attractions including Big Bird’s Beach with a 500,000-gallon wave pool — one of the largest in Southern California. The little ones will splish and splash in areas made just for their size at Elmo’s Silly Sand Slides, a colorful, hands-on water adventure with six slides, or spend time at The Count’s Splash Castle, a multi-level, interactive, water-play attraction with a 500-gallon water bucket drop. The fun continues throughout the year at Sesame Place with family-friendly events such as The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular and A Very Furry Christmas.

Sesame Place San Diego opens as a Certified Autism Center (CAC) as designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Sesame Place San Diego mirrors Sesame Place Philadelphia, which was the first theme park in the world to achieve this designation. Staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training was completed prior to the park’s opening and robust pre-visit planning resources, including a park-specific sensory guide are featured on its website, making it easier for parents to plan activities that satisfy their child’s specific needs and accommodations. Designated quiet rooms with comfortable seating are located in the park near Sesame Souvenirs.

Sesame Street Party Parade. Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has been Sesame Workshop’s exclusive theme park partner in the United States since the 1980 opening of Sesame Place in Philadelphia. The partnership has grown to provide entertainment and fun for all ages at each SeaWorld and Busch Gardens park. SeaWorld San Diego expanded offerings in its children’s area and opened Sesame Street Bay of Play in 2008 followed by Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Sesame Street Forest of Fun in 2009, Busch Gardens Tampa’s Sesame Street Safari of Fun in 2010, SeaWorld San Antonio’s Sesame Street Bay of Play in 2011 and most recently in 2019, SeaWorld Orlando opened Sesame Street Land, a 6-acre land with over 30 ways to play, including six themed rides, wet and dry play areas, an interactive neighborhood, and the park’s first-ever award-winning Sesame Street parade.

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