SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment announced Thursday that it plans to develop a new Sesame Place theme park in Orlando by 2022.
Orlando provides a prime opportunity for the family-friendly addition, which will be a renovation of Shamu’s Happy Harbor play area. SeaWorld admission and revenues have been on the decline since the release of the documentary “Blackfish,” which criticized the park’s care of its animals. The new land is an attempt to boost those numbers.
“We share Sesame’s goal of educating and entertaining generations of children, and the extension of our partnership furthers SeaWorld’s mission to provide guests with experiences that matter,” said Joel Manby, president and CEO of SeaWorld, in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled to be able to grow the presence of Sesame Place theme parks in the U.S. and help our company diversify its brand portfolio and expand into new areas.”
An existing Sesame Place theme park near Philadelphia features a variety of rides, water slides, live character shows, a daily parade and seasonal events.
The new license agreement extends SeaWorld’s 37-year partnership as Sesame Workshop‘s exclusive theme park partner in the United States through 2031, with a second Sesame Place theme park scheduled to open no later than mid 2021 in the U.S. After the opening of the second Sesame Place, SeaWorld will have the option to build additional Sesame Place theme parks.
The agreement also makes it possible for Sesame Street characters to continue to appear at existing Sesame Street lands inside the company’s two Busch Gardens theme parks and SeaWorld theme parks in San Diego and San Antonio, as well as a new Sesame Street land to be built in SeaWorld Orlando.