A Difference A Decade Makes
By Lindsay Tobias
The last time I was at Sesame Place, I was 9 years old and the most recent addition was The Count’s, Splash Castle. Since then, the park has added and discontinued 5 shows (4 regular season, 1 Halloween), replaced Rock Around the Block with Neighborhood Street Party, added 5 year-round rides (Elmo’s Cloud Chaser-2011, Oscar’s Rusty Rocket’s, Cookie’s High C’s Adventure, Honker Dinger Derby, Oscar’s Wacky Taxi-New for 2018; rest 2014), 3 seasonal rides (Count’s Flyby, Count’s Cruisers, and The Castle Swing), rethemed two rides (Grover’s World Twirl to Monster Mix-up and Big Bird’s Balloon Race to Flying Cookie Jars), and had said farewell to the original Nets and Climbs from 1980 (which was replaced by Monster Clubhouse in 2014). The park has also added A Very Furry Christmas and Elmo’s Eggstravaganza, now extending the season from Early April to New Year’s Day from the last weekend in April/first of May to the last weekend of October.
However, the changes to the street might be very interesting for those who haven’t been in a while. According to old ads from the late ’80s, it seems that the neighborhood expansion continued the interactive aspects set forth during the park’s inception at the start of the decade with being firefighters and Hooper’s Store. This retheming not have the street better match how the buildings on Sesame Street look today. This includes a different Neighborhood side. Instead of the fire station with the engine as the first building, it is now a subway station, is set in New York. Instead of being covered by doors at the end of the street, Big Bird’s nest is now out in the open to the left of the 123 stoop and is home to Our Street is Sesame Street, the new for 2019 show!
On the back side, there are some cool details as well now. Before, this part of the park was dead, aged, and gained the theming of a Warf with Sesame Island within Big Bird’s Rambling River. They also moved the fire station to the back, but the engine is now “inside” and is used for meet and greets (Bert and Ernie were meeting there when I was in the area). Although the buildings at SeaWorld Orlando have a greater purpose with interactivity and shops, it is a shame that Sesame Place did not add that back with this renovation, maybe next year for the big Four-O?
It was also awesome to finally ride a coaster with Gravity Group Timberlines (I rode Voyage in 2016), but I honestly have no idea which feeling is better, get flung into the breaks or flung and getting airtime on the drop?
For those coming from the South and West, it would be a good park to combine with Clementon Park as both can be done in a few hours to do without doing the water park stuff (just an hour+ drive). Six Flags Great Adventure is also a good choice, being 35 minutes away up 95/195.
Vapor Trail was my first credit, and it still considers Pluto a planet. Guess some stuff does not change with the decade.