Busch Entertainment Corp & Sesame Workshop expand partnership

MUMBAI: Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC), the family entertainment subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., has signed a long-term agreement with nonprofit educational organisation Sesame Workshop to create fixed Sesame Street-themed attractions in four of its U.S. parks -- SeaWorld California in San Diego, SeaWorld Texas in San Antonio, Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Fla., and Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Va.

Also as part of this agreement, Sesame Workshop has agreed to extend BEC's license to feature Sesame Street characters in Sesame Place, the company's Langhorne, Pa. park. Sesame Place, is a theme park based on Sesame Street that was opened in 1980. Most recently, Sesame Place opened 'Elmo's World,'an all-new land with three new rides themed after the popular red furry monster.

In addition, the Sesame Street characters will make periodic appearances at SeaWorld Florida in Orlando beginning in 2007, informs an official release.

"Sesame Workshop and Busch Entertainment both aim to bring families fun and interactive experiences. We commend Busch Entertainment for their 26 years of partnership with Sesame Place and we look forward to extending this commitment through new Sesame Street locations in SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks that will transform the entertaining and educational features of the television series into memorable experiences for families across the country," said Sesame Workshop president and CEO Gary E. Knell.

BEC president and chairman of the Board Keith M. Kasen said, "Over the past 26 years we have come to appreciate just how well known and loved the Sesame characters are and the kind of connection guests can make with them in a theme park setting like Sesame Place. The deal we are announcing today allows us to offer these kinds of experiences at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. These parks combined play host to more than 19 million people each year."

Kasen also added that the partnership with Sesame Workshop will enhance BEC's long tradition of delivering high-quality family entertainment to its guests with attractions at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens that will include family rides, water elements, live character shows, 4-D film attractions or character dining programs. These Sesame-themed attractions will begin in the next several months as part of the deal, which establishes BEC as the exclusive U.S. theme park partner of Sesame Workshop.

"We will provide our guests with attractions that showcase wonderful characters like Ernie and Bert, Big Bird, Elmo and Oscar the Grouch, and do it in a way that fits with the unique themes of our SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks." Kasen said.

Plans call for the first Sesame-themed attraction to open in 2008. However, the terms of the agreement were not disclosed, adds the release.

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