Walk-arounds of Big Bird created for various stage and theme park appearances. This Big Bird, almost the same height as the actual Big Bird (8' 2"), is not a working puppet; a string is attached from underneath his beak to his left wing allowing the performer to use both hands to operate Big Bird's hands. The standard design, introduced in 1980, wears a red and blue striped tie, so to hide the vision hole in Big Bird's neck (as there is no monitor inside the costume). At other times, he wears a tuxedo shirt front. In stage shows, the puppet performed to a vocal track by Caroll Spinney until 2016, when Matt Vogel took over.

Big Bird was added to Sesame Place in the late 1980s. Outside of Sesame Place, Big Bird also appears at SeaWorld parks, Busch Gardens, Beaches Resorts, and Universal Studios Singapore. Big Bird occasionally appears at Universal Studios Japan and also appeared at the now defunct Tokyo Sesame Place.

Like all the other walk-around Sesame Street characters, Big Bird was originally designed and fabricated by The Muppet Workshop, who eventually handed over these duties to VEE Corporation. As of 1985, the Big Bird costume cost $30,000.[1]

Full Body Puppet/Costume Year Stage Production Notes
Holidayonicebigbird 1978 Christmas Eve on Sesame Street Big Bird as he appears in the Ice Follies / Holiday on Ice shows from 1974 to 1980.
Big Bird Live 2003 Out of This World Big Bird in Sesame Street Live. This Big Bird wears a striped tie, or on different occasions, a tuxedo shirt.
Img 0024 Sesame Place and other related theme parks. Big Bird at Sesame Place, where he appears to shake hands, poses for pictures and sign autographs.
BigBirdBlueTie Sesame Place alternate version Similar design with a solid blue tie.

Sources

  1. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jan 22, 1985