The park’s mascot, Bernie Bernard, had some work done over the off season. Visitors to the park this year will get to see his new look:
According to Alex Tigges, via a post in the Facebook group, this Bernie was created by Sugar’s Mascots of Toronto, Canada:
And Jennifer Curiel designed his new collar.
To compare, here is the previous Bernie:
Today’s Bernie is modeled after the cartoon mascot the park has been using for decades. You can find cartoon Bernie on the park guide, as well as on signs throughout the park:
In addition to the costumed character, the park also sells stuffed Bernies. I found this one at a merchandise cart near the Storm Chaser:
And even a Bernie hat:
This 2017 facelift was not his first, however. Bernie’s look has changed several times since the park opened in 1974. Here’s a look at his earliest (?) look, and some of the other characters he used to hang out with.
If you see Bernie in the park, be sure to tell him how great he looks this year!