I have a love/hate relationship with Sesame Place. We have had season passes for several years and have gone more times than we can count in all types of weather and in the fall for the Count’s Spooktacular and in the winter for Very Furry Christmas. We’ve spent New Year’s Eve there more than once. It’s not my favorite amusement park in the world but as Ryan always reminds me, we do it for the kids and the kids LOVE it. That being said, if you are going to do it, you want to be prepared. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for Sesame Place.
Do your research
Make sure you find the best deal before purchasing tickets. As a teacher I get a free season pass. They have discounted ticket days for first responders. There are often discounted admissions through Groupon. Our season passes also have the perk of free parking, and early admission times. Kids under 2 are free and there is plenty there for them to do there especially once they can walk. Also if you aren’t pass holders, buy online and print your tickets at home. I am always amazed at the amount of people lined up to purchase tickets on the day of their visit wasting valuable park time.
Do go off season or on a weekday or an overcast day with a chance of rain
This park gets extremely crowded during the summer and honestly the park is not really equipped for the crowds. Daycares and summer camps from Philly bring big groups of kids. There is not enough stroller parking, the lines get to be way too long for preschoolers to tolerate, shade is sparse and they run out of food and drinks. In contrast, we were there two weekends ago on a somewhat chilly day and hopped on every ride with no lines. We did the whole park before it finally started to rain in the late afternoon and everyone enjoyed themselves, including me. Honestly I prefer to go “off season” and skip the water park side of the park all together.
Do shoot to arrive early.
We like to be there 20 minutes or so before the gates open. Our season passes include parking. We park as close to the entrance of the park as possible, which comes in handy if we ended up going back and forth from the car.
Do a character meal
The food is not bad (disclaimer– Compared to other Sea World Parks it’s also not great) and you are guaranteed time with the characters for photo ops and autographs as they come around to your table. If you do breakfast, it gives you a jump ahead of the crowds on busy days. On sweltering days it gives you a respite in the cool air conditioning. You also get to keep the plastic kids cup as a souvenir (ask me how many we have at our house). You do need to make reservations in advance– way in advance for visiting special characters (such as Peppa Pig).
Don’t skip the Neighborhood Street Party parade.
It’s amazing and interactive and fun. But do stake out the best place for viewing early— 30 to 40 minutes before the parade starts. Ryan and I divide and conquer– I sit with the double stroller holding a spot and read a book and he takes the kids on rides or does a bathroom break. They no longer allow you to leave things unattended to save a spot. Securing a front row spot along in the parade route is another great way for the kids to interact with characters. They take time during the show to give hi fives, wave and take quick photos with little ones along the way. There is usually an afternoon parade and a night parade. I prefer the night parade. Wait times for rides are shorter during the afternoon parade and it makes a nice sort of grand finale when it is time to leave.
Bring a stroller.
Especially if your kids still need a nap. In the summer we get a locker to keep all our towels and pool supplies. But usually we just pile everything in the stroller and bring the diaper bag with us (with wallets, etc) when we wait in line. You can also rent a stroller there but we have never done that.
Keep your phone handy.
You are allowed to take your own pictures anywhere paid pictures are being taken. There are also many cute backdrops that are perfect for photos (Mr. Hooper’s store, bushes trimmed into the shape of the characters, fun autumnal and Christmas related decorations).
The Sesame Place motto is “Go before they Grow” and this is so true. We know we only have a small window of time when our kids will be excited for an amusement park like this. I hope our tips help you make the most of your visit.
Have you been to Sesame Place? What were some of your favorite things you did. Do you have any tips you would like to share we did not include in this story? We would love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below and make sure you subscribe to our blog to keep up to date on our latest adventures!