Monday, January 13, 2014

Sesame Place

On KEN P.D. SNYDECAST #208: Boobknobs And Breadsticks the boys talked about Sesame Place.

Sesame Place is a amusement/water park in Langhorne Pennsylvania (about an hour outside of Philadelphia.)

Ken remembers getting his photo taken in Ernie's bathtub. Here is a photo (that's not Lil' Kenny) of the bathtub:

 It was an area where you could get a souvenir photo next to a replica of Sesame Street.

Dana mentions seeing the animatronic Cookie Monster and Oscar:

Dana mentions the history of the site. Here's a timeline I put together of the early history of the park:

June 1960: Jim Henson visits Disneyland and is interested in the way theme parks can bring characters to life. 

April 1978: Jim and CTW discuss the idea of a theme park based on Sesame Street. The goals were to promote exercise, healthy eating and learning in a fun way. 

June 27, 1979: A formal groundbreaking takes place in Middletown PA (just outside of Langhorne) with a group of children, from the New Approach Method day care. 

July 30, 1980: Sesame Place opens to the public. Admission is $3.95. 

August 12, 1980: The Middletown township supervisors vote 5-0 to seek a declaratory judgement from Bucks County Court against the operators of Sesame Place. The township wanted Sesame Place to collect an "amusement tax" from patrons. Sesame Place contended that it was not an amusement park. 

1982: Sesame Place adds "Automated Muppets," animatronic versions of the Sesame Street characters that tell jokes sing and laugh. (THIS IS WHAT DANA MENTIONS SEEING)

1983: The first walk around characters: Ernie and Bert and The Honkers debut at Sesame Place. 

You can read the full timeline I put together here and many more articles about the park's history I have written here

Dana mentioned that I go there often, which is true... I should note I take my pre school age son with me. Dana also says that he believes that everything is pretty much the same as it was in the 1980s there. This is most definitely not true.

Almost none of the features from the 1980s (including the animatronic Muppets) have been removed from the park.

Dana mentioned the restaurant he ate at. It was a super sleek restaurant called The Food Factory. Today it's re-themed as Elmo's Eatery (this answers Ken's "Is it all Elmo now" question.)

The park has been totally redone and expanded many many times over from the 1980s.

This was actually why I ended up blogging about the history of the park. I was fascinated by how different it was and unable to find good info online.

If you want more info check out the blog I put together:

It's not updated often, but it's the most comprehensive historical look at Sesame Place online.

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