54ºF

SeaWorld Orlando guests will get to explore 'Sesame Street' this spring

Attraction includes Abby Cadabby's garden, Big Bird's nest

ORLANDO, Fla. – Theme park designers gave News 6 a behind-the-scenes look at the progress on "Sesame Street" area at SeaWorld Orlando, its newest addition.

Construction for the 6-acre area, formally known as Happy Harbor, began in 2018.

On Tuesday, officials said the buildings for the neighborhood have been built, but work continues on the facade and interior portions of the themed area.

"I think the biggest thing that kids are going to take away is to just really see these things they've seen as they've grown up with 'Sesame Street,'" creative designer Amanda Trauger said.

When complete, the area will allow guests to explore the beloved neighborhood as they stroll through Abby Cadabby's garden, visit Mr. Hooper's store, spend some time in Big Bird's nest and sit on the well-known 123 stoop.

"Now, what we're bringing to life here is a moment where you can walk down and point out those things you see on the show," Trauger said.

[TAKE QUIZ BELOW: Which Sesame Street character are you?]

The attraction also brings a daily parade to SeaWorld for the first time, which will feature several of the show's characters.

Trauger said the area will continue to feature family-friendly rides, but each ride has been upgraded to reflect the "Sesame Street" theme.

"We've given them all a character overlay, so you're going to see Cookie Monster as part of the drop tower," Trauger said. "You're also going to see Super Grover's Box Car Derby Race is what our roller coaster has transformed to."

The new area comes as SeaWorld has been shifting focus toward park attractions. The theme park has struggled in recent years with falling attendance and loss of revenue in the wake of protests over treatment of its killer whales, as highlighted in the 2013 documentary, "Blackfish."

n Tuesday, SeaWorld officials didn't comment on the theme park's recent attendance numbers but said they're focused on a successful opening of the "Sesame Street." area.

"What SeaWorld is known for is that family moment that you can get. It's taking home that moment and that memory," Trauger said.

The new attraction is expected to make its debut in spring 2019.


About the Author: