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Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Dragon the (Pencil) Line: Busch Gardens' Land of the Dragons
Until recently, Busch Gardens in Virginia and Florida haven't been known for having famous characters as park mascots. This changed with the Sesame Street characters---Busch has a park in Pennsylvania called Sesame Place, and the relationship with Elmo and Big Bird was expanded to include the Busch Gardens and Sea World parks.
Both Busch parks have had a creative and playful children's area called The Land of the Dragons. The land is known for its colorful dragon themed attractions and a show with new characters, Dumphrey (the blue one) and Gordon (the green one) which remind me a little of the characters in Six Flags Over Georgia's Monster Plantation, the dragon from the show Kukla, Fran and Ollie, and Disneyland's Submarine Sea Serpent. Some merchandise was created featuring these dragons, but not much, as far as I know. I got these pencils with PVC toppers in 1996 or 1997. I remember seeing candy tubes with character toppers, too.
In Florida, The Land of the Dragons closed to become Sesame Street Safari of Fun. This new theme seems a bit more appropriate for the African Safari flavor of the Florida park. The Dragon theme fits more in line with European flair of the park in Virginia, which still has its Land of the Dragons, as well as the new Sesame Street Forest of Fun.