SeaWorld San Diego says goodbye to Big Bird, Elmo and the Sesame Street gang

Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch are saying farewell to SeaWorld San Diego as the children’s television characters make the move south to their new permanent home at Sesame Place San Diego.

The Rescue Jr. kids play area will replace the former Sesame Street Bay of Play when the new themed land opens later this spring at SeaWorld San Diego.

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SEE ALSO: SeaWorld looks to ride more coasters to a better future

The new play area for young children will combine fun and education as kids learn about SeaWorld’s animal rescue and rehabilitation efforts while enjoying rescue-themed rides, climbing structures and splash pad play areas.

The new Rescue Jr. kiddie land at SeaWorld San Diego will include:

Rescue Bay Splash Zone – Splash pad water play area with the Rescue 1 boat docked in a shallow-water rescue training ground.
Rescue Training Obstacle Course – Dry play area including the Nautical Net Climb with swaying net bridges and suspended tunnels, Breakwater Bounce with an inflated airbag floor and Tadpole Play soft play area.
Rescue Jr. Play Yard – Obstacle course with sea life-themed climbing and crawling elements, mazes and puzzles.
Mini Rescuer Training Zone – Ocean-themed play area for younger children with a rescue boat, plane, sandcastle and pier.
Rescue Garage – Kids learn about real-life animal rescue missions alongside a former rescue boat and pickup truck.
Rescue Jr. Stage – Animal Conservation Ambassadors lead hands-on experiences with rescued marsupials, primates and reptiles.

Concept art of the new Rescue Riders jet ski ride coming to SeaWorld San Diego. (SeaWorld)

Three former Sesame Street Bay of Play carnival rides will be renamed with a Rescue Jr. theme.

Tidepool Twist – Spin through a colorful tide pool (former Abby’s Sea Star Spin)
Rescue Riders – Soar through the air on a Rescue Jr. jet ski (former Elmo’s Flying Fish)
Rescue Rafter – Ride the waves on a rescue boat aboard this swaying ride (former Oscar’s Rockin’ Eel)

The Rescue Jr. themed land will offer a kids-sized complement to the new Arctic Rescue roller coaster also debuting later this Spring at SeaWorld San Diego. The snowmobile-themed straddle coaster will take over the former Wild Arctic flight simulator attraction space.

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The closing of the Sesame Street Bay of Play and the opening of the Rescue Jr. themed land at SeaWorld means kids and their families will have to head to Sesame Place to see Big Bird and his friends.

SEE ALSO: Disneyland puts ‘Fantasmic’ on hiatus throughout the summer after dragon inferno

The new Sesame Place San Diego theme park/water park hybrid combo debuted in 2022 at the former location of the Aquatica water park in Chula Vista about 20 minutes south of SeaWorld.

Sesame Place features about 20 Sesame Street-themed rides, water slides, shows and parades along with a faithful recreation of the “Sesame Street” television set and meet-and-greet opportunities with characters from the show.

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