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"M" is for Major Busch Gardens Announcement

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From dailypress.com:


Busch Gardens wants to expand

The theme park has a building and attraction expansion in the works, but not a roller coaster.




12:31 PM EST, March 4, 2008


Busch Gardens Europe has submitted preliminary plans to James City County's planning department to expand the park by five buildings and "various guest attractions and theming."


No details have been released. But Busch officials have told planning staff that nothing in the expansion will exceed 60 feet in height, so the expansion would not likely include a roller coaster. The Big Bad Wolf has the shortest drop of the current roller coasters at 99 feet, and the new Griffon ride drops 205 feet at 75 miles-per-hour.


Busch's application did not indicate the height or number of stories for the buildings, and the planning department has asked for that information.


If Busch is adding a new country, it would be the first since Ireland was added in 2001. Before that, there hadn't been a new country since Italy was added in 1980. Busch Gardens, which closes for the winter months, re-opens to the public for its 2008 season on March 21st.


I wonder if this will be the rumored new "country" taking over Drachen Fire's spot, or if this will be some kind of Sesame Street section (like a mini Sesame Place)?

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Looks like it will be a Sesame Street addition. The area being developed is the 1 1/2 acres that used to be the petting zoo, which will mean it's out of the way visually so they don't spoil the look of the rest of the park. At the same time, it will mean a Holiday Event will have more things for kids near the front of the park.

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  • 5 months later...

Press Release from Busch Gardens Europe:




New Sesame Street Area Debuts in 2009, Expands Park's Boundaries and Kid Offerings


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Aug. 8, 2008) - "Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?" Just follow the signs to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., as the park expands its children's offerings with a new home for Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby and Big Bird.


The new Sesame Street attraction opens spring 2009, adding an all-new village adjacent to the England section of the park. Four new anchor rides offer kid-size versions of popular attractions, including a junior roller coaster and log flume themed after Sesame's beloved characters and designed for parents and children to share together. This new European-themed Sesame Street village will feature wet and dry play areas with net-and-rope climbs, retail and food outlets, including character dining, a 4-D movie, several stage performances by some of Sesame Street's most beloved characters, and a "1, 2, 3 Smile With Me" photo studio so families can capture memorable moments of their children interacting with Sesame Street's characters.


England's 900-seat Globe Theatre will be taken over by Sesame Street's biggest stars in a new 4-D movie that is as fun as it is imaginative. "Sesame Street presents Lights, Camera, Imagination!" features Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and others trying to save the Sesame Street Film Festival. Guests will not only see and hear the action - they will be immersed in it through state-of-the art visual effects and sensory surprises.


Families that want even more Sesame Street interaction can dine with Elmo and mingle with the cast of characters over breakfast or lunch at a Sesame Street-themed, indoor dining facility. Parents and children can pose for pictures with the furry red monster and his Sesame Street friends, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


"Sesame Street and Busch Gardens are both brands known for their unwavering commitment to quality. Combining the familiarity of Sesame Street's characters and Busch Gardens' family-friendly atmosphere makes for a natural partnership between these two iconic brands," said John Reilly, general manager and executive vice president of Busch Gardens. "The new Sesame Street attraction provides our youngest guests with kid-size versions of our grown-up rides, offering them an introduction to the park that only Busch Gardens and Sesame Workshop can offer."


The Sesame Street-themed area expands Busch Gardens' kid-focused attractions. The park's current lineup of kid friendly rides and attractions will remain, including the popular Land of the Dragons play area and junior rides throughout the park.


For nearly 40 years, Sesame Street has been engaging audiences around the world. The creation of Sesame Street-themed attractions is part of a long-term relationship announced in 2006 between the non-profit educational organization Sesame Workshop, and the Worlds of Discovery® parks.


Click to visit the Busch Gardens Website for renderings and video!

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