Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Surviving Sesame Place

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street? 

If you, like me, hear this song more than you care to admit, or if you have children under the age of 8, I highly recommend putting a visit to Sesame Place on your summer bucket list. 

The Facts 
  • Sesame Place is located in Langhorne Pennsylvania, approximately 25 miles outside of Philadelphia
  • It is owned and operated by Seaworld Parks and Entertainment
  • It is open from May through December, daily from Memorial Day until Labor Day. 
  • The park itself is 14 acres and has been open since 1980.
  • From mid-September to the end of October, the park is decorated for the Count's Halloween Spectacular, closes then reopens around Thanksgiving through the end of December for a Very Furry Christmas. 
  • Kids under 2 are free, and discounts are available if you purchase your tickets online prior to your trip, or through AAA. There are also discounts for members of the military.
  • The park is comprised of various dry and wet rides, three theaters, and numerous dining options.
What to Pack 
  • Bring sunscreen, and sunglasses! It gets hot as most of the rides have limited shade and there are barely any trees, leaving you standing in the sun.
  • Fill a reusable lunchbox or small cooler with snacks, and drinks. 
  • Bring your own stroller, or wagon. 
  • Traveling with an infant? Be sure you pack socks or something to cover their feet. It is mandatory for the carousel and they will check. 
  • Characters are readily available for meet and greet photo opportunities throughout the park. Bring the camera. 
Tips of the Trade
  • Attending on a warm day? Wear your swimsuit and cover up and pack a change of clothes. It's so much easier. 
  • If possible, plan your trip for a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. The week immediately after Memorial Day and until mid-June sees small crowds, as most local children are still in school. The end of August crowds thin as some districts head back to school. 
  • Leave your valuables in your locked car or consider renting a locker. Reservations can be made in advance either online or via the phone. 
  • Either get to the park at 10 am for opening or delay your trip until 3. The crowds seem to thin out dramatically after the 4 o'clock parade. Coming in at 3 pm still permits 5 good hours of meeting characters, seeing shows, and enjoying the various rides.
  • Consider starting with the wet rides, and then move onto the dry. Most guests do the opposite leaving the dry rides with less lines in the afternoon, and making the water side of the park more crowded in the afternoon. 
Surviving the Rides
Honker Dinger Derby 
  • Before you arrive, check the height limits and age restrictions and compare them to your children's height.  Most rides require an adult to accompany a child under 42 inches.
  • Sky Splash (i.e. the big Rubber Ducky ride) at the front the park usually has a long line by afternoon, consider riding it early. 
  • Vapor Trail - Sesame Place's roller coaster also located at the front of the park requires guests to be at least 3 to ride with an adult, and to ride alone they must be 44 inches and 7 years old. 
  • Getting there at opening?  Head immediately to Cookie's Monster Land. As it is the newest park, the lines on these rides seem to be the longest. Good news, however, because it is located towards the back of the park, most guests make it there later on in the morning.
  • Honker Dinger Derby requires all riders to be at least 42 inches high, thus most of the riders are five years and older. 
  • Coming with more children than adults? Be mindful of ride restrictions. The following rides one adult can ride with multiple children: Peek-A-Bug, Sunny Day Carousel, Monster Mix-Up, Sky Splash, Oscar's Rotten Rusty Rockets, and Blast-Off. 
  • Ernie's Waterworks, Teeny Tiny Tidal Waves, and The Count's Splash Castle are more open and great places to spend time and cool off. 
  • Big Bird's Rambling River has two entrances. Most guests are unaware of this and will gravitate towards the entrance near the Parade Route. Walk over the bridge, near the Island Cabanas and find the other entrance. 
Shows and Character Interactions
  • I recommend viewing the early show of Elmo Rocks! This theater is large, with limited shaded seats,  making it really hot midday. This rock and roll themed show features Cookie Monster, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Bert, and Ernie. 
  • Elmo the Musical! is the only air conditioned theater of the three. I recommend saving it for after lunch, when the heat is at its hottest. The show itself is my least favorite, but it's nice to cool off. It showcases Elmo, Dorothy his fish, and Cookie Monster. 
  • Let's Play Together is the show to see if your little one loves Abby Cadabby. While an outdoor theater, there are large ceiling fans offering some relief. The show showcases Abby, Cookie Monster, Bert, Ernie, Elmo, Grover, and Rosita. 
  • 123 Smile with Me is not a show, but a chance to meet and greet various characters. This is the only location outside of the shows or the parade, where one can interact with Elmo. This season the Honkers and Dingers are available for photos too. You are permitted to use your own camera to photograph in this location.
  • Characters are a plenty for interactions on the parade route and in Sesame Neighborhood and they rotate a lot, so be sure to check back throughout the day to ensure your little one meets Oscar, Abby, Super Grover, and all the rest of the friends except Elmo. 
  • Dine With Me offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner character dining plans. Check out more character dining experiences here.
  • Sesame Place also offers unique entertainment experiences for other outside performers and preschool favorites. Check the calendar of events  as performers such as The Imagination Movers, Max & Ruby, and the cast of LazyTown have scheduled performances. While most events are included in ticket price, some do require reservations or an additional ticket fee. 
Other Good Stuff 
  • Sad to say, but there is no alcohol in the park. They do have Starbucks and ice cream. 
  • Got a bunch of friends with kids? Consider purchasing your tickets together to get the group rate. You do not need to go the same day to purchase a group plan.
  • Historically, at the beginning of August season passes for the next calendar year become available for purchase. Meaning if you go August 1, you could purchase a pass for the 2015 year and get the remainder of 2104 too. Might be something to consider. 
  • Re-entry on the same day is okay, so consider leaving for mealtime and returning. 
  • Forget anything? There are plenty of stores in the area surrounding the park to purchase items. 
  • There are hotels offering shuttle service to and from the park, so consider making it an overnight. 
  • When purchasing season passes, consider your family needs. Remember to include at least one person as a Big Bird Season Pass holder to ensure you get free parking. The Super Grover Passes do include entry for one calendar year to all of the Seaworld Parks. Find more information here. 
  • Keep your drink and popcorn container year after year. The park will refill previous year containers for the refill rate. 
While Sesame Place is an amusement park geared towards preschoolers, kids of all ages can have a fun time together. Hopefully these tips and words of advice can help make your trip an enjoyable one. 

Have any other good advice or tips? Please share!

Sesame Place did not compensate me to create this post. After three years as season pass holders these ideas are my own. 


  1. Hi Jackie! My name is Judy, I was hoping you could answer a question of mine. Send me a message when you get a moment. My email is judy.cohen (at) recallcenter (dot) com.


  2. thanks for the great blog post, very helpful about the season passes, I was about to buy tickets for the end of august...I'll hold off!


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