Logo by Chris Mercaldo

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Reading Eagle article July 17, 1983

Here is a July 17, 1983 article titled Sesame Place: Everything is really (rubber) ducky at the (cookie) monster of a children's attraction:
Let's take a closer look at the article:

Ernie (as well as Bert and the Honkers) had debuted in 1983.

Another great old photo with the Herry's Hand Over Water "element".

Nice shot of the Computer Gallery:

This must be the Cookie Monster "Automated Muppet" that debuted in 1982:

Here's a great shot of the (still standing) Monster Maze:
It's a real blast from the past!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Old Cars

Here is a photo of old cars kids could play on at Sesame Place. You can also see many colorfully painted doors behind the cars. You can also see a faux gas pump with the words "sub standard" on it:

Today that area (behind Oscar's Garage) is home to picnic tables. 
Image from Google Earth

The gas pump is now in front of Oscar's Garage:

Image from Flickr

The pole with the Sub Standard sign is a little further in front of the garage, by the street:

Image from Flickr

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1980 Park Brochure

Image from Henson

Here is a single page from the 1980 park brochure (page 6) that mentions a few "play elements" including Little Bird's Birdie Ride.

Inside Elmo's Eatery

Elmo's Eatery is the current name of a restaurant in Sesame Place. When the park opened it was called The Sesame Food Factory. The restaurant still has many of the design elements that were there on opening day. 

Gone are the glass walls separating the customers from the kitchen, but the area is still open and kids can watch food prepared right in front of them.

There was a faux topiary of Oscar the Grouch hanging from the ceiling earlier this year:

He has been removed recently. The topiary showed up (in a different can) outside the First Aid station at Halloween time as part of a Halloween display.

Currently the area is decorated for Christmas and Oscar hasn't returned.

Upstairs there are some great painted murals of Sesame Street characters:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bob McGrath performing at Sesame Place

Actor Bob McGrath has been on Sesame Street since the very first episode. Today, at age 80, he still appears on the show. He has also appeared at Sesame Place:

 Image from WebShots

These images are circa 1998 and show Bob singing before a packed house at the Big Bird Theater (now Monster Rock Theater).
  Image from WebShots

  Image from WebShots
Behind him you can see the backdrops for 'Big Bird's Beach Party', the stage show that occupied the theater at that time.
 Image from Blogger

 Bob is a talented singer and has recorded many albums with (and without) Sesame Street.

Bob's Wikipedia photo was taken on a different day at Sesame Place:
Image from Wikipedia

Here are a few more images of Bob performing at Sesame Place: 

Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

Saturday, December 1, 2012

First Aid

Here is a neat look at the changes that have taken place at Sesame Place over the years. Here are two shots, one take in the early 1980s and one take about 25 years later:

 Image from YouTube

Image from Google Street Views

We can see that the landscaped area has been removed (along with the bench and trash can) and the buildings have changed color.

First Aid is still in the same location. It's attached to Cookie's Cafe (previously Sesame Cafe) which was The Computer Gallery in the 1980s.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Big Bird's Beach Party

Big Bird's Beach Party was a stage show at Sesame Place that performed at the "Big Bird Theater" (now "Monster Rock Theater") from 2004 until 2009.

Image from Blogger

The show and has played at Sea World and is currently playing at Beaches resort.

Image from TravelWeekly

The show opened with a human character named Gabby warming up the crowd, teaching them some Spanish words that would be used in the show's opening number:

All images from YouTube
Then Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Telly, Zoe and Elmo take the stage:
The perform a version of the Sesame Street song "¡Hace Calor! (It Sure is Hot!)" written by Paul Jacobs & Sarah Durkee.

Big Bird complains about the heat, Bert comments that his debarment isn't working and Elmo wishes they had a beach right on Sesame Street.

They take turns suggesting how they could get to the beach (Bert suggests a monorail.)
Gabby polls the audience and they decide to go by car. Elmo produces a steering wheel and they break into song.
The cast performs a rendition of "Let's Go Driving" a 1982 Sesame Street song written by Jeff Moss. They leave the stage and travel through the audience.

At this point the Sesame Street backdrop (a painted curtain) opens revealing a beach scene and surfboards:

The gang celebrates their arrival at the beach, all except Telly who has a fear of water.
Soon the cast sings a Beach Boys medley that includes Surfin USA and Fun, Fun, Fun.

Ernie tells us he is going to hide a sea shell so Bert can  try and find it. Bert thinks of sea shells as "the paper clips of the ocean."

Bert looks for the seashell as the audience yells "hot" or "cold" depending on how close he is.

This leads to the hula dance portion of the show. Three dads from the audience are asked to come forward and put on hula skirts.
The cast sings the hula song "Pearly Shells" as the dads dance with the cast.

Telly returns with an inner-tube to help him with his fear of the ocean:
Still, Telly is afraid and runs off stage. Big Bird spots a flying fish and then imagines what it would be like to be a fish.
Big Bird sings the Christopher Cerf 1992 Sesame Street song "In Your Imagination" as the cast joins him onstage with fish puppets.
Telly returns and Ernie helps him with his fear by getting him to pretend the ocean is "a giant bathtub filled with rubber duckies."
The cast sings the Bobby Darin song "Splish Splash" as they realize the day is coming to an end.

For the final number (a reprise of "Splish Splash") the cast is joined by The Count, Grover, Cookie Monster, Baby Bear, Rosita, Abby Cadabby and Prairie Dawn.

This was the largest cast ever for a Sesame Place stage show.

The show ended with paper streamers shot at the audience:

Monday, November 26, 2012

The "boat slide" at Rubber Duckie Pond (version 2)

Wow. That's a crazy looking title for this post: The "boat slide" at Rubber Duckie Pond (version 2).

Let me give you a quick explanation.

When Sesame Place opened in 1980 it featured a play element that was essentially a giant water bed:
 Image from CardCow.com

It was eventually re themed to be a splash pond (with the same name):

Image from Google Street Views

I did a post about both versions of this attraction covering cute details of what the statues of Bert and Ernie "caught" as they fished. You can read that here.

One detail that I didn't cover was the slide to the left of the statue:

Image from Webshots

The slide was designed to look like a boat that was washed up on some rocks. A ladder entered at the top where a hunk of the boat was missing. Kids then slid down to the bottom where another piece of the boat was open, letting them slide right into the pool.