Recently our friend Tom Stroud visited the Beaches resort in Turks and Cacaos. Beaches, of course, is a huge sponsor of Sesame Street on PBS and, in turn, Sesame provides their characters to Beaches for family entertainment at the resort.
Sesame Street at Beaches Family Resort - Turks and Cacaos
Tom Stroud - It would be hard to ignore Sesame Street’s presence at Beaches Turks and Cacaos. From the Elmo “You must be this tall to ride” signs on the water slides, to the Sesame Street backdrop on the main stage for the majority of the day, to the Sesame Street music that sometimes plays over the speakers, the Street is almost everywhere. Over my school’s April vacation, I was lucky enough to go to Beaches and enjoy some of the Sesame Street activities going on.
The kid’s club is named after the show, and Camp Sesame has activities open for kids ages 3-5. These activities include Bird Watching With Big Bird, Story Time With Elmo, Bake with Cookie Monster, Discover Treasures with Abby Cadabby, Music with Bert and Ernie, Dance with Zoe, Explore with Grover, and Make Number Magic with the Count. Everyday they had a letter of the day, introduced to the kids by one of the characters.
Unfortunately, I could not go to most of them (AGE DISCRIMINATION!!), however, I did get to see Bake with Cookie Monster, located in Bobby Dee’s, the kid oriented diner. The kids go into a different section of the diner, where there are several tables set up with cookie dough and cookie cutters. The entire time, Sesame Street music is playing, including the theme song, "Sing," and, oddly enough, "Rainbow Connection" (no, I’m not going crazy). After everyone is done, Cookie Monster walks in, complete with a chef outfit on. Using “magic cookie dough from Abby Cadabby” the cookies are done in 2 minutes, and the kids scarf them down, and take photos with Cookie Monster. I sometimes passed by the kids in the kids club, and they all seemed to be having an amazing time at Camp Sesame.
There was a Sesame Street stage show on the main stage almost every night. The stage show lasted about a half hour, and was a different one every night. I got to see one of them, and catch the end of another, and all the kids seemed to have a great time. In one, Elmo and Zoe use their imaginations and go surfing, on a pirate ship, and to a beach party. All the songs were covers, and included quite a few Beach Boys hits. The other show I saw a bit of seemed to be a shortened version of the Live show, “When Elmo Grows Up!”, and included the finale song, “When I Grow Up.” The shows featured only Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie, Abby, Bert, Ernie, Zoe, Grover, and The Count.
There was also a parade, which went around the resort on the night where there wasn’t a stage show. At the front was Big Bird, who acted as Grand Marshal. Following him were the Camp Sesame kids, wearing cardboard pirate hats, then came the rest of the Sesame Street characters. At the back were locals, carrying drums and playing music, which could be heard everywhere, no matter where the parade was. The parade had to stop constantly, due to people stopping Big Bird often to take photos. The characters in back also took photos with the people watching, but were nowhere near as popular as Big Bird.
The costumed Sesame Street characters looked great, and were the same costumes as the ones used in Sesame Street Live! and at Sesame Place. Big Bird was a full bodied Muppet which looked great! The others were amazingly detailed as well, and if someone had told me that they used the Beaches Count costume on the actual show, I wouldn’t have been surprised. It looked almost exactly like the real Muppet! They also had variants of the costumes, including a Reaggae Bert, complete with Bob Marley-esque dreadlocks and hat. It was not uncommon to see them walking around the resort, especially around the water park and diner, where the majority of little kids not in Camp Sesame hung out.
There were also several other little Sesame Street details in the resort, which were all cool. In the Italian restaurant, Mario’s, they had a room with special small tables for little kids, and sculptures of almost every character with a medieval/renaissance theme, including Oscar painting the Mona Groucha, Grover juggling vegetables, and Big Bird in a knight costume, holding the Sesame Street coat of arms, which features Elmo, Grover, Cookie, and Zoe. They sold Sesame Street plush in the stores, and I saw several little kids carrying around an Elmo plush throughout the week, There were ads in the lobby for all-access photo sessions with the characters, character breakfasts, and “Night Night, Sleep Tight,” when you could have one of the characters come into your room at night, tuck your young one in, read them a bedtime story, and sing them a lullaby. They had a table set up in one of the lobbies, complete with Sesame Street tablecloths, plates, and balloons, to advertise their Sesame Street birthday parties as well.
All in all, Sesame Street has a large presence at Beaches, and has several fun things to do with the characters. Unfortunately, the majority of these activities are for young kids, but there are other, non-Sesame Street things for everyone else to have a great time doing when not doing the few Sesame Street activities they can do. But if you have a little kid that loves Sesame Street, they’re guaranteed to have a great time at Camp Sesame, and you’ll be sure to have a great time as well.
The Muppet Mindset b Ryan Dosier