Interactive Play at Sesame Street Land is a brand-new experience at SeaWorld, Orlando, with twelve interactive opportunities for kids to explore the show’s iconic neighborhood like never before. For many families, a day at a theme park is usually spent trying to corral children from touching everything. At Sesame Street Land it’s not only encouraged, but kids are at the heart of the land’s design.
The approach to the interactives reflects the diverse ways in which children engage the world. Throughout the neighborhood, kids experience a wide variety of engagement modes, from tactile exploration, creativity and self-expression, to singalongs and opportunities to play with Sesame Street friends. The interactive experiences are woven so naturally into the neighborhood that it’s not uncommon to come upon one unexpectedly. These moments of discovery and delight, coupled with our team’s ability to sense guests’ input and presence, brings Sesame Street and its characters to life in a way that is truly unique to a live setting.
All of the interactives are placed specifically at eye-level and within reach of even the youngest children, empowering kids to lead the day’s adventures. Each experience is designed to be compliant with ADA standards for children in our core age range, such as height, reach range and assisted mobility, encouraging play with respect to all levels of ability. An important design goal for the project was to ensure that kids understood how to start and play with everything without the aid of an adult. For a pre-reading audience these instructions needed to show, rather than tell what to do and how. With Sesame Workshop, we developed a graphic instructional language with easy-to-understand symbols and a brand-new Sesame Street “signage monster,” who demonstrates how to get started. This signage was extensively play tested alongside the interactives, to ensure that each experience was intuitive and rewarding for all kids.
With kid empowerment as a goal, we also upgraded a beloved toy at the SeaWorld parks to put some magic directly in young ones’ hands. The new Elmo Interactive Light-Up Bubble Wand, is a magical tool that lets kids unlock special content and exciting changes at designated locations throughout the neighborhood. For guests playing with the interactives and others using the bubble wand to enhance them, these small moments create a unique opportunity for cooperative play that makes the day feel both communal and personalized.
The focus at Sesame Street Land is always on fun (we are in a theme park, after all!), but in true Sesame Street fashion, early learning goals are subtly hidden behind each interactive. Starting with over 30 original interactive concepts, our team worked closely with Early Learning expert, Dr. Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, and the Sesame Workshop curriculum team, to better understand how children learn and grow through play. Just like on the show, all of this playful learning is cleverly disguised by the characters’ trademark humor, reinforcing the brand’s core values of inspiring kids to be smarter, stronger, and kinder with each visit to Sesame Street Land.