Meet the new Bernie

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:

Bernie Bernard’s new look in 2017.

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:

Bernie Bernard in 2016.

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:

Bernie Bernard in the park guide.
Bernie on a parking lot sign in 2016.
Bernie Bernard on a new 2017 sign. Notice the hand, rather than a paw.

In addition to the costumed character, the park also sells stuffed Bernies. I found this one at a merchandise cart near the Storm Chaser:

Bernie stuffed animal in 2017.

And even a Bernie hat:

Bernie hat in 2017.

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.

Old school Bernie. (Not my image. Post card scan. Not sure where I got this from.)

If you see Bernie in the park, be sure to tell him how great he looks this year!