Nothing's more important than developing a deep, personal relationship with characters on television, and that goes double for children. Which is why the opening of Wiggles World this weekend at Dreamworld, the Australian theme park which already hosts Nick Jr-land and the local version of Big Brother, is such a big deal.
On paper (or on a laptop screen, actually) Wiggles World attractions don't seem to add up to much--a petting zoo, a shop, a healthy food cafe, a Big Red Car ride, a play center, Captain Feathersword's permanently moored ship--but that's totally beside the point. The real Wiggles experience comes from the cross-channel combination of TV and live experience, and since the Wiggles are always touring the US, they were leaving Australians dangerously under-conditioned and at risk of falling under the influence of other TV character brands.
Wiggles World will be used as the set for the upcoming Wiggles Movie, too, so even if you don't want to schlep halfway around the world to see a petting zoo, you may not have any choice. The plan is obviously to create a Wiggles pilgrimage site that draws the faithful long after the Wiggles themselves are gone. Like Graceland.
Dreamworld staff apparently underwent rigorous Wiggles World Boot Camp to get the lingo and smiling just right, so go ahead and see if you can crack them by asking what happened to the first Capt. Feathersword.
Wiggles World opens Sept. 10 [dreamworld.com.au]
Now the Wiggles are movie stars in their own theme park [smh.com.au]
above: the Wiggles at Graceland, 10/2004 [interview and article via elvis.com.au]