This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at SESAME STREET in SeaWorld Orlando! While we normally find ourselves at Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando, occasionally we venture outside “the bubble” to visit other family friendly locations in Florida including Legoland, Busch Gardens, and SeaWorld. While we’re all watching Universal and The Mouse continue their theme park arms race, all of their competitors have also elevated their game as well. This past week SeaWorld unveiled their latest park addition based around the popular Sesame Street brand, so we went to check it out and see if it was worth bringing your imaginary friend to. Here’s what we found….
# 6 – The Rides
Similar to how Disney California Adventure opened Pixar Pier with a re-themed California Screamin’ ride now branded to the Incredicoaster, all the rides in Sesame Street have been retrofitted from the area’s former resident: Shamu’s Happy Harbor. The good news is that they all look adorable, and – even better – there are a whole bunch of them! With rides based around popular characters including Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo, Abby Cadabby and more, the little ones in your party will have a blast enjoying all that there is to offer.
On the attraction signs there is also a Sensory Guide. SeaWorld is Orlando’s most progressive theme park when it comes to Autism Awareness, with both Aquatica and Discovery Cove being officially certified autism centers. For Sesame Street at SeaWorld, the autism education signage outlines the stimulation levels for each particular attraction.
# 5 – The food and drink options
The dining options at Sesame Street come via food trucks, and the results are surprisingly good. ABC Eats offers grilled and crispy chicken tenders along with chicken tempura, while the Yummy Yummy Nom Noms truck offers a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches. The Sesame Sips drink stand serves must-try smoothies, icees, and to-go snacks.
The smoothies at Sesame Street are seemingly half fruit. They were a huge hit with our gang.
# 4 – The merchandise
Have to admit we didn’t see this coming, as the merchandise offered at Sesame Street rivals the quality that you’ll find at either Disney or Universal, with the t-shirt game being especially strong. There are sections of items dedicated to all the major characters, including Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo and Abby, but also a wide selection of Sesame Street merchandise too. SeaWorld annual pass discounts are available for all merchandise purchases as well as the food trucks.
# 3 – The interactive elements
Throughout Sesame Street there is a ton of interactivity. Guests are encouraged to touch, tap, and play with things throughout the land. There are games such as the Bike Shop Tricycle Challenge and Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck Challenge along with neat Create-A-Monster feature where kids can create their own digital character. There are many window displays in Sesame Street that are screen based that are just plain fun to watch as there’s something to be said about the cuteness and humor of Sesame Street muppets that appeals to both kids and adults. Our favorite was Yip Yip’s Mail Slot, where guests lift the handle of a mail slot to see various scenes of the Yip Yip martians in different locations that was completely bonkers.
While many of the interactions in Sesame Street can be accessed by everyone, there are some other special ones that can only be discovered by using SeaWorld’s version of a interactive Wizarding World wand from Ollivanders. The Elmo-themed wand also doubles as a regular bubble wands, another item kids love.
# 2 – SeaWorld’s FIRST EVER daily parade
That’s right, with the debut of the Sesame Street Party Parade, SeaWorld Orlando now features just as many daily parades as Walt Disney World. Featuring all the major characters and catchy music, guests get to watch various floats themed to the Sesame Street universe pass by. Like Universal’s Superstar parade, the SeaWorld parade stops to allow characters to interact with guests and lets kids play in the party.
# 1 – The Details!
For both kids and adults who grew up with Sesame Street, the land brings this world to life in a wonderful way. All the areas that you want to see recreated are done faithfully, including Hooper’s Store, Big Bird’s nest, and Bert & Ernie’s building. Besides the nostalgia, what makes the area great to walk around in for adults are all the fantastic details found in every nook and cranny. The Broadway-style posters are all mashups of Sesame Street characters and actual Broadway productions like Hairspray, Les Miserables, and Jersey Boys. Be sure to look at all the names on the subway maps. The newsstand has themed papers and snacks. SeaWorld Orlando hit it out of the park with this one, as this is the Sesame Street we always wanted to visit.
One of the attractions at Sesame Street is Storytime with Big Bird. This takes place at Bird’s nest, which offers some great photo-ops for guests.
Honorable Mention – Meet the characters
After Storytime with with Big Bird, guests get to meet Big Bird himself. They can also go to a dedicated meet and greet area for one-on-one time with Elmo and Cookie Monster. The photos themselves are taken in front of a green screen, which allows for a lot of customization for those who want to purchase photos (but you can also take photos with your own camera.)
So there you have it: Six Reasons We Love Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).
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Special Thanks to The Elite Brandon Glover, Captain Cruiseline Scott Sanders of the world famous Disney Cruise Line Blog and his wonderful wife Emily, the bio-est of all reconstructs @bioreconstruct, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and Nick, and Hermione Granger’s tutor Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.
FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2019 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it?That’s right, ANOTHER NEW ONE EXCLUSIVE TO THIS EDITION!Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now!