America's first West Coast theme park, Sesame Street, will open next month in San Diego.

America’s first West Coast theme park, Sesame Street, will open next month in San Diego.

The first Sesame Street theme park on the US West Coast is due to open next month, offering a boost to the San Diego travel market as it recovers from the pandemic’s blow to the industry and restrictions ease.

Sesame Place San Diego, a 17-acre, year-round theme park with Big Birds Beach, rotten Oscar rafts, and Cookie Monster towers in Chula Vista, south of the city of San Diego, will open March 26 for season pass holders. The first theme park, Sesame Place, opened over 40 years ago outside of Philadelphia.

Sesame Place San Diego is the first theme park in nine years opened by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which has a longstanding relationship with Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the popular educational show that airs in over 150 countries.

Sesame Place San Diego (rendered above) will feature kid-friendly chutes, slides and a lazy river, as well as one of the largest wave pools in Southern California.

Sesame Place San Diego (rendered above) will feature kid-friendly chutes, slides and a lazy river, as well as one of the largest wave pools in Southern California.

The new park will feature 18 Sesame Street-themed rides, including a children's roller coaster, a Cookie Monster-themed ride, and Elmo's Choo Choo Train (rendered above).

The new park will feature 18 Sesame Street-themed rides, including a children’s roller coaster, a Cookie Monster-themed ride, and Elmo’s Choo Choo Train (rendered above).

Sesame Place San Diego, owned by SeaWorld (rendered above), is the company's latest attempt to phase out live animal shows, drawing criticism worldwide for its treatment of whales following the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish.

Sesame Place San Diego, owned by SeaWorld (rendered above), is the company’s latest attempt to phase out live animal shows, drawing criticism worldwide for its treatment of whales following the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish.

The park is the latest move by Florida-based SeaWorld to phase out the live animal show, which has drawn criticism around the world for its impact on whales and caused profits to plummet, especially at the San Diego park. SeaWorld Orlando opened its Sesame Street section in 2019.

And San Diego Park is opening up at a time when people are emerging from pandemic boredom and craving new experiences, said Dennis Spiegel, owner of International Theme Park Services Inc, a global industry consultant.

“2021 has been a year of incredible recovery for theme parks,” he said. “People were coming back in droves.”

According to Spiegel, “Sesame Street” is also experiencing a resurgence in its popularity among families.

Visitors will enter an interactive Sesame Street District, a replica of the one featured on the TV show 123 Stoop. It will include Elmo’s Window, where Elmo’s bedroom window comes to life so children can play, dance and sing with him and his friends.

The park will also feature 18 Sesame Street-themed rides. They include the Cookie Climb which leads to the top of the Cookie Monster style towers; Elmo’s Rockin’ Rockets flying on an imaginary journey into outer space; and Super Grover’s Box Car Derby, a roller coaster suitable for children. It also has a 500,000-gallon wave pool, one of the largest in Southern California.

The theme park's street food area (pictured above) will offer Sesame Street-themed snacks, including sweet treats for any visiting cookie monsters.

The theme park’s street food area (pictured above) will offer Sesame Street-themed snacks, including sweet treats for any visiting cookie monsters.

Visitors will enter an interactive replica of the Sesame Street area (pictured above), which will include Elmo's bedroom window where children can play, dance and sing with a furry red doll.

Visitors will enter an interactive replica of the Sesame Street area (pictured above), which will include Elmo’s bedroom window where children can play, dance and sing with a furry red doll.

Staff will be specially trained to work with children with autism and other special needs. In recent years, SeaWorld has offered specialized services at its parks for visitors with autism.

SeaWorld announced the end of its breeding program in March 2016 after years of pressure from animal rights activists and changing public opinion about captive killer whales.

The protests intensified after the 2013 documentary Black Fish, which chronicles the life of Tilikum, the killer whale responsible for killing a trainer when he dragged her into a pool in front of shocked patrons in 2010.

CEO Mark Swanson, who took over in 2020, is taking steps to rebuild the company. He previously worked at the original Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. He said he looks forward to families creating similar “memories of a lifetime” in California.

“We’re thrilled to introduce this new park and add a first-class family-friendly destination to California,” Swanson said in a statement.

Pre-opening season passes are now on sale for $129 (£95) and the SeaWorld Pass can be added for $84 (£62). The park was built on the site of the former SeaWorld Aquatica San Diego, which closed in 2020.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.