It was a rainy start to a day of celebration at SeaWorld Orlando on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. But strong winds and heavy thunderstorms didn’t postpone what many have been anticipating for the past 18 months – the opening of Sesame Street!
The famed street, a new 6-acre land which replaced Shamu’s Happy Harbour, officially opened to the public at 9am despite the weather.
Walking along Sesame Street at SeaWorld visitors encounter Hooper’s Store, Abby’s Garden, the famed 123 stoop which is sure to be a hot photo spot, Big Bird’s nest, and more.
One thing that will stand out once you enter Sesame Street is the attention to detail and the remarkable job designers did theming the area. Small details such as items and Easter eggs in windows, sounds that occasionally come from buildings, and the interactive experiences that abound put this on par with something Disney or Universal’s creative team would have designed.
Here are just a few of the interactive activities visitors can do while visiting Sesame Street:
- Bike Shop Tricycle Challenge – outside the Bike Shop stop and play this motion-sensing digital game. Your body controls a virtual tricycle as you collect numbers before time runs out.
- Two-Headed Monster Pipe Telephone – speak into one end of the pipe telephone at the Ivy Building, then listen as your voice transforms into that of a friendly monster.
- Elmo’s Window – Elmo’s bedroom window comes to life with Elmo and guests encouraging “watchers” to play, dance, and sing. (This is *really* cool, so be sure to check it out!)
- Bert and Ernie’s Doorbell – ring the doorbell at Bert and Ernie’s apartment and wait for some funny responses from the Street’s famous friends.
- Yip Yip’s Mail Slot – lift the handle of the mail slot to see the Yip Yip Martians on the beach, at a disco, and more.
- Sesame Street Apartment Intercom – press the apartment number buttons in the correct order to hear a response from Grover, Rosita, Abby Cadabby, and more.
- Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck Challenge – whip up some delicious meals with Cookie Monster and Gonger by following along with video instructions and pressing the correct buttons containing the recipe ingredients.
- Laundromat – touchscreens on the washing machines allow you to pop digital bubbles and figure out what kind of items are washing inside.
- Oscar’s Trash Can – knock on Oscar’s Trash Can… just do it.
- Backstage Queue Warm-Up – while waiting in line to meet and greet Sesame Street characters, keep busy by interacting with six non-digital activities inspired by theatrical performer warm-ups.
- Create-A-Monster – create your own digital monster by choosing eyes, noses, mouths, hair, clothes, and more! When finished, find your monster on the Community Center windows.
If you’re familiar with SeaWorld Orlando and have been through Shamu’s Happy Harbour before it closed to make way for Sesame Street, you may recognize some of the rides that have been kept and rethemed. The return of these attractions is welcome, as there hasn’t been a children’s area in the park during the land’s construction.
Here are the attractions that the little ones can enjoy while visiting Sesame Street:
- Abby’s Flower Tower – colorful flower pots aboard Abby’s Flower Tower allow kids and parents to get a bird’s eye view of Sesame Street as they soar and turn atop this family ride.
- Big Bird’s Twirl -n- Whirl – a toned down version of a teacup ride, guests sit in nests that twirl around Big Bird.
- Cookie Drop – bounce up and down on Cookie Monster’s Cookie Drop in this mini drop tower ride.
- Count Around Playground – this playground is a great sport for little ones to exert some of that pent up energy.
- Elmo’s Choo Choo Train – hop aboard for a quick ride on Elmo’s train as you keep alert for butterflies, caterpillars and maybe even a Twiddlebug!
- Rubber Duckie Water Works – watery blasts, fountains, and pop jets will you cool off on a hot central Florida day in this splash pad.
- Slimey’s Slider – climb into Slimey’s Slider for a ride through Oscar the Grouch’s compost collection!
- Grover’s Box Car Derby – a family-friendly coaster full of fun hills, turns, and mini-dives! This action-packed race is the perfect first steel roller coaster for kids and adults!
When it’s time to eat, head over to the food trucks where specialty grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken dishes are served up along with some refreshing soft drinks and slushes. No alcohol is served on Sesame Street, by the way.
If you’re looking to take home some Sesame merch, Hooper’s Store is the place for that! This megastore is chock full of Sesame Street plush characters, phone cases, trinkets, toys, clothing and more. Be sure to pick up one of the Elmo Interactive Bubble Wand! In addition to blowing bubbles, there are spots throughout Sesame Street where you can tap the wand on to reveal even more interactive fun.
For those who want to meet some of their favorite Sesame Street friends, there’s a large meet and greet area that’s accessible from the street and also through Hooper’s Store. Characters appear here throughout the day so watch the marquis out front to see who’s inside.
Finally, the biggest bird in town, Big Bird has his own nest where he not only poses for photos with the kids but also hosts Story Time, where a SeaWorld Ambassador reads stories to the kids and Big Bird. You can also pose for photos inside Big Bird’s nest when he’s not there.
This new area is a great addition to SeaWorld, and if it is any indication of the creative direction the park is moving to, I’m really excited to see what additions are planned moving forward.
To take a video walkthrough of Sesame Street at SeaWorld, check out the video below:
Have you visited Sesame Street? If so, let me know what you thought of the area in the comments below!