Sesame Place® and Sesame Workshop Celebrate the Grand Opening of New Sesame Street Neighborhood

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Sesame Street® Stars Sonia Manzano and Alan Muraoka Bring Neighborhood to Life in Special Performance

PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 31, 2019) – Sesame Place®, the only theme park in the U.S. based entirely on Sesame Street® and the first theme park in the world to become a Certified Autism Center, today celebrated the official grand opening of their all-new Sesame Street Neighborhood. The Sesame Street Neighborhood at Sesame Place reflects the show’s vibrant set of today, offering a truly authentic experience and making guests feel as though they’ve stepped right onto the street they know so well.

The celebration kicked off with a lively performance featuring two stars of the iconic children’s program: Sonia Manzano (who portrayed Maria for 44 years) and Alan Muraoka, who joined the Sesame Street ensemble 20 years ago. The park is also taking part in a season-long celebration honoring Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary with several fun and festive photo spots throughout the park. This season sees the debut of a new live show and the addition of Snuffy and Gonger to cast of characters at Sesame Place.

“It was incredible to see the looks on our guests’ faces as the Neighborhood came to life,” said Cathy Valeriano, Sesame Place Park President. “Sesame Street has touched so many lives over the past five decades; it’s an honor to have even a small part in helping to bring that special magic to all those who visit Sesame Place each season.”

“As Sesame Street celebrates its golden anniversary, we’re thrilled to continue working with dedicated partners like Sesame Place who share our commitment to creating engaging and joyful experiences for families,” said Scott Chambers, Senior Vice President/General Manager, North America Media and Licensing, Sesame Workshop (the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street). “The new Sesame Street Neighborhood allows children and families to have a closer connection with the Sesame Street characters they love, while helping the Workshop sustain its mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.”

All-new interactive character elements and famous spots including Hooper’s Store, the 123 Stoop, Abby Cadabby’s Garden, and Big Bird’s Nest are among the new photo opportunities to capture lifelong memories. The new live show, “Our Street is Sesame Street,” featuring Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Big Bird can now be seen several times daily, in addition to other live shows and a larger-than-life daily parade that are always guest favorites.

For the first time ever, visitors can also meet and take photos with Mr. Snuffleupagus and his best pal Big Bird in Abby’s Paradise Theater! And even Cookie Monster’s trusty cooking companion, Gonger, has joined in on the fun at Sesame Place this season—guests will be able to take photos with Cookie Monster and Gonger in their chef outfits. 

More amenities have been added throughout the park this year to enhance guest visits, including:

Culinary Enhancements

  • An ALL-NEW Marketplace at Mr. Hooper’s Emporium will offer grab-and-go options including hoagies, wraps, salads, fruit, and more.
  • The character dining facility is getting a BRAND-NEW look and enhanced, kid-friendly menu!

Additional Conveniences

  • Adult changing tables will be added in the men and women’s restrooms near Sesame Studio.
  • The women’s restroom near Big Bird’s Rambling River will be renovated and will include toddler-size toilets.
  • For nursing moms, the Family Care Center has four private nursing areas, bottle warmers, and changing stations.
  • Two quiet rooms are also available for guests in need of some quiet time and relief from sensory stimulation. Quiet rooms are located next to the men’s restroom near Big Bird’s Rambling River. Guests who would like to use the Quiet Rooms can visit the Welcome Center to receive the code needed to enter.
  • The safety of guests is always a top concern.  As such, the park is implementing non-invasive metal detectors to enhance security measures. This will also speed up security lines and allow guests to enter the park faster.
  • Be sure to download the Sesame Place App to have the park at your fingertips. The app will be updated with important information for your visit, including the park map, daily show times, and more!
An artist's rendering of Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. Big Bird stands next to a street sign greeting kids and adults. Elmo and Abby wave from windows in buildings along the street.

Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit

About Sesame Place®

Sesame Place®, the only theme park in the U.S. based entirely on the award-winning show, Sesame Street®, is ideal for families and kids of all ages.  Sesame Place is the first theme park in the world to become Certified Autism Center as distinguished by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).   Conveniently located just 30 minutes from Philadelphia and 90 minutes from New York City, the park has over 25 attractions, three live shows, a daily parade and of course, everyone’s favorite furry friends.  Before little kids become big kids, go before they grow® to the nation’s only theme park based entirely on Sesame Street®.  For more information, visit or call 1-215-752-ELMO. 

Media Contact

Dana Ryan, Manager Public Relations, Sesame Place
609.203.0394 (C)