SeaWorld San Diego announced this morning that it will convert its Aquatica water park in Chula Vista into the west coast's first Sesame Place theme park.
The Aquatica water rides will stay, and SeaWorld will expand the park with new attractions, providing a Sesame Street overlay to the entire property. Sesame Place San Diego will open in spring 2021.
The original Sesame Place opened in Langhorne, Pennsylvania - just north of Philadelphia - in 1980. That park also offers a mix of water and dry attractions, adding the Oscar's Wacky Taxi wooden coaster from The Gravity Group this year. Like many of the SeaWorld/Busch Gardens parks, SeaWorld San Diego includes a Sesame Street-themed land in the Sesame Street Bay of Play children's play area.
But water parks traditionally have not had the IP presence that theme parks have offered, which should help make the soon-to-be-former Aquatica a more attractive location for families in the San Diego area. SeaWorld's big competition for that market in the community comes from Legoland, which offers a water park as part of the Legoland California Resort.
The San Diego Aquatica park was built as White Water Canyon then later known as Knott's Soak City. SeaWorld bought the park in 2012 and rebranded it the next year.
"We share Sesame Workshop's goal of educating and entertaining generations of children, and the opening of a second park, the only one of its kind on the West Coast, furthers our company mission to provide guests with extraordinary experiences," Marc Swanson, Interim Chief Executive Officer, SeaWorld Entertainment, said. "We are thrilled to be able to grow the presence of Sesame Place theme parks in the United States, and San Diego is the perfect complement to our Philadelphia location."
The renovated and rebranded park will feature "family rides, water slides, live character shows, parades and interactive experiences," according to SeaWorld and will reopen as a Certified Autism Center, like the original Sesame Place. That means park staff will undergo autism sensitivity and awareness training and park locations will include designated quiet spaces with adjustable lighting and comfortable seating.
Aquatica San Diego will remain open next year during the conversation to Sesame Place. It will open for its final season on Memorial Day weekend in 2020.Tweet
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