SESAME PLACE WITH TODDLERS
Let me start by saying, we’ve tried to go to Sesame Place three times unsuccessfully, so we were happy when we finally got a chance to go this past summer. Here is our honest Sesame Place review for parents heading to the friendliest neighborhood with their little ones.
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We received a complimentary ticket as part of my military service, so we used that for the first day which ended up being a bust. On the second day we were provided tickets by Sesame Place, but not in exchange for this post.
All opinions are my own, and we have not been paid or provided an incentive to write this review.
This Sesame Place review is to help other parents with toddlers decide if they to take a stroll around the iconic neighborhood that has been helping little ones learn for over 50 years (our son watched the 50th-anniversary episode 2000 times when he was a baby).
I’ll start by saying, we enjoyed our time at Sesame Place. It was a little smaller than expected, but it works, especially for toddlers. Our 2-year-old had a lot of fun, although the weather didn’t cooperate.
Having said that, I will say that we enjoyed Hershey Park more, so if you have to choose, I recommend heading to Hershey Park with your toddler. If you are closer to Sesame Place, it’s definitely a fun toddler-friendly amusement park for kids up to 4, possibly 5 years old.
PLACES TO STAY NEAR SESAME PLACE
We traveled to Sesame Place on a shoestring budget, thanks to the time we spent in Philadelphia, so we stayed at the Red Roof Inn.
We decided to stay at a more affordable hotel to allocate more money to other areas, like Hershey Park, which is where we decided to go before heading to Orlando.
Here are a few places to stay if you plan to spend the weekend at Sesame Place.
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott – Across the street from Sesame Place, so the location is perfect for most families.
- Holiday Inn Express – Has a shuttle to and from Sesame Place (check availability due to pandemic)
- Residence Inn by Marriott – 10-minute drive to Sesame Place, but offers a kitchen to cook meals and has a separate sleeping area.
Sesame Place Ticket Prices
The ticket prices for Sesame Place vary, depending on the time of the year and the number of days.
There are always deals, so be sure to check the Sesame Place website to get the latest deals.
The ticket prices for anyone 24 months and older are:
- One day – $89.99
- Two days – $99.99
Children 23 months & younger can enter the park free of charge.
Parking at Sesame Place
Paying for parking is a pet peeve of mine, but the cost for parking at Sesame Place is a whopping $25. If you plan on going to the park for two days, as we did, that’s $50 out of your pocket.
What made it worse was the weather was cold and rainy, so we left early (got rainy day tickets) and didn’t get a refund for parking, even though we were there less than an hour.
Tip: I recommend parking at the hotel next to the “official” parking lot. The parking is $15, so you’ll save money without being too far from the park entrance.
SESAME PLACE REVIEW: DAY 1
Our first day at Sesame Place was a complete disaster. We arrived a little before the park opened and it started raining.
The rain wasn’t too bad, but the wind was blowing harder than expected. Our little guy didn’t want to be there.
We tried to get him on a few rides because there were only a few families in the park, but he wasn’t going for it. Even after purchasing Elmo’s hat and gloves, he was just too cold.
I will admit, we weren’t prepared for the weather, given we were living in Mexico, and we figured it wouldn’t be cold at the end of May, but we were wrong. Who would have thought it would be below 60 degrees on May 30th, not me.
Since everyone was miserable, we decided to leave Sesame Place after only an hour. We did receive complimentary rain tickets, but we already had tickets for a 2nd day, so they’re tucked away for another time.
The one positive that came from the day was the photos. We got some decent pictures of our little guy walking down Sesame Street all alone. That was pretty awesome.
SESAME PLACE REVIEW: DAY 2
Our second day at Sesame Place went a lot better than the first. The weather was in the middle 70s, so we were ready to have a good time.
We got to the park before it opened. We planned to get to the rides before the crowds poured in and the lines got too long. There was a small line at the entrance when we arrived, but it wasn’t long.
Tip: I recommend waiting until mid-day to take pictures with the garden characters at the entrance. Most people are trying to take pictures when they first enter, so it’ll be chaotic.
Since we were there the previous day, we had a good layout of the park. We headed straight to the back to the rides.
Most people stopped along the way and went to the carousel, don’t do that. You want to go to the very back of Sesame Place, passing Elmo’s world and the theatre.
Head straight to Cookie’s Monster Land, where you will find Flying Cookie Jars, Mini Monster Clubhouse, Oscar’s Rotten Rusty Rockets, Monster Clubhouse, Captain Cookie High C’s Adventure, and Honker Dinker Derby. All of these rides are nearby, so you can easily go from one to another quickly.
My wife and I decided to divide and conquer, so while I stood in one line with our little one, she waited in the other, and we just switched off back and forth.
Our strategy worked perfectly for an impatient 2-year-old, and when it didn’t work, Booba to the rescue, which we downloaded on Netflix.
Eating at Sesame Place
You can dine with the Sesame Street characters, but in our opinion, it’s too expensive. After paying $50 for parking, I couldn’t imagine another $125 to eat with characters.
Another reason is our son is still scared of the characters. a 6-ft Elmo freaks him out. It wouldn’t have been money well spent, but if you have a little one that loves Sesame Street and wants to see them up close, I’d recommend the dining option.
Sesame Place Character Dining Price:
- Adults – $45 (10+)
- Kids – $25 (2-9)
- Babies – Free (23 months and under)
- You can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with the characters, so there are several times available.
Dining at Sesame Place, like any theme park, is expensive. We decided not to eat here. We brought snacks and plenty of water and juice boxes for our little guy.
The only exception was french fries, which we got our son for lunch, but besides that, we ate our packed sandwiches and snacks.
I don’t remember if outside food and drinks were allowed, but they check our bags and we didn’t have any problems.
I don’t think you can bring coolers, but a small packed lunch and snacks for your kids should be okay.
Sesame Place Activities
Sesame Place has different activities for little ones. Unfortunately, with the pandemic, many of the activities were closed.
Furry Friends Dance Party
We attended the dance party, which was a lot of fun. The stage is eye-level, so we had to put our son on our shoulders for him to see Zoe and Elmo.
After a while, he wanted to get down and dance to the music, which was adorable. The dance party lasted longer than expected, but it was fun, so no complaints.
As you can tell from the picture, meeting Elmo didn’t go well. Our little guy was not a fan of the 6-foot Elmo. I’m sure he would prefer the little version on TV.
The line to meet Elmo wasn’t too long, but given his reaction, we probably won’t meet characters for a while.
Elmo and the other characters make appearances at different times throughout the park, so be sure to check the daily schedule to see where they will be for a pic. I hope yours turns out better than ours.
Sesame Street Shows
There are shows to watch at the Neighborhood Theatre. We watched a show before leaving on our 2nd day, which was fun.
The theme was art, so the character of Sesame Street drew pictures and talked about art and creativity by singing and dancing. Our little one had a good time, but he was ready to go, so we left a little early.
The themes of the shows change throughout the year, but I’m sure Halloween and Christmas are the best times to go.
Neighborhood Street Parade
The Neighborhood Street Parade is the best time to see all the characters of Sesame Street, without paying to dine with them.
All of the characters ride by on a float for little ones to see. We got the perfect shot of Burt and Ernie as they made their way down 123 Sesame Street.
Although the parade doesn’t happen as often as Magic Kingdom, it’s still a lot of fun if you catch it.
There are a few different play areas for kids of all ages. Here are the play areas in Sesame Place, that may fit your little ones.
- Slimey Square – This section is perfect for crawlers and little ones that just started walking. The area is away from the crowds, and the ground is soft, so you don’t have to worry about your baby getting hurt.
- Mini-Monster Clubhouse – This play area is great for kids between 2-4 years old. Like Slimey Square, the ground is soft, so your little one can run and play as much as they want. There are benches for you to supervise if you need a quick break.
- Monster Clubhouse- This is the play area that’s perfect for older kids. I wasn’t a fan of letting our 2-year-old go, but he wanted to be a big boy, so I encouraged him and kept watch. I joined him every once and a while, but he did it all by himself, which boosted his confidence.
If you decide to let kids under 4-years-old play in the Monster Clubhouse, be sure to keep a close eye on them.
The bounce area gets a little hectic with kids and adults everywhere so your toddler can get knocked down. I tried not to hover, but our little guy was only 2-years-old, so I wanted to be close to him.
Honestly, I had a good time bouncing too. There was a dad that did a backflip, but I’m not up for that. I’m not as limber as I was in my 20s. Your 30s hit different lol, so no unnecessary risk for me.
SESAME PLACE RIDES FOR TODDLERS
Sesame Place is one of the best theme parks for toddlers. Everything is toddler-friendly, so your little one can ride with an adult on most of the rides.
We skipped two small rides, the roller coasters, and the slide because our little guy was too scared or too short, but we got on the rest of the rides 3-4 times each.
Here are all of the rides that are perfect for toddlers, along with their height requirements:
- Big Bird Tour Bus – must be 36″ to ride
- Blast Off – under 42″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Captain Cookies High C’s Adventure – under 48″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- The Count’s Cruisers – under 42″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- The Count’s Fly By – under 42″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Elmo’s Cloud Chaser – 36″ to ride and under 42″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Flying Cookie Jars – under 42″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Flyin’ Fish – under 48″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Honker Dinger Derby – 42″ to ride and under 48″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Mix ‘n’ Match Twiddle Tracks – must be able to ride by themselves
- Monster Mix-up – under 42″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Oscar’s Rotten Rusty Rockets – under 42″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Oscar’s Wacky Taxi Roller Coaster – 40″ to ride and under 46″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Peek-a-Bug – under 42″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Snuffy Slides – Kids only must be able to slide alone and under 12 years old
- Sunny Day Carousel – under 42″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Vapor Trails – Rider must be at least 3 years old to ride with a supervising companion or 7 years old and 44″ to ride alone
Most of these rides do not allow hand-held infants, so if you have a little one, I recommend having someone with you to ride or take care of the baby.
SESAME PLACE WATER PARK
Many parents love the water park at Sesame Place it’s the perfect place to cool down during the summer.
Although we went to Sesame Place in May, it wasn’t warm enough to get in the water so we decided to skip the water park area.
Here are some of the water rides that your toddler would love:
- Big Bird’s Rambling River (lazy river) – under 42″ must be accompanied by supervising companion
- Ernie’s Waterworks – for kids under 7 years old
- Teeny Tiny Wave Pool – kids of all ages, perfect for babies and toddlers
- The Count’s Splash Castle – Kids under 5 much be supervised by an adult
- Sky Splash – kids under 36″ must wear a life vest (babies not permitted)
- Abby’s Fairy Falls – must be 42″ or taller
- Slimey’s Chutes – kids under 36″ must wear a life vest (babies not permitted)
- Elmo’s Silly Splashy Slides – must be 42″ or taller
SESAME PLACE SAN DIEGO
The west coast is finally getting a Sesame Place to call its own. Sesame Place San Diego is scheduled to open in March 2022 and we can’t wait.
We plan to swing by 123 Sesame Street before heading to Tokyo in March 2022. We love toddler theme parks, so we’ll be there to check them out and write a review for you.
Remember, be kind and keep learning, that’s the Sesame Street way.