The family-focused amusement park, Sesame Place, is located just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The entire park is based on the popular Sesame Street television show (currently on season 47!) Sesame Street Place is home to a variety of dry and water attractions, shows, food, character meetings and shopping. It’s a hit with young fans of the lovable characters such as Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster.
For those experiencing the joys of Sesame Street, come to life, for the first time, we’ve put together some Sesame Place tips & tricks to help make your trip a success.
Sesame Street Place Tips:
Save time at the gate and purchase tickets in advance. Huge savings can be found online. We have an entire article dedicated to Sesame Place coupons and offers that is updated regularly. Take a look there first, to see what offers are available. You can also purchase a parking pass online to save even more! If you purchase it in advance, you most likely will get a discount.
Pregnant? Get a discount! Pregnant guests can purchase a Single Day Admission Ticket at 50% off the front gate price. According to the website: “This ticket is available for purchase at Guest Relations on the day of your visit. Guests are permitted to enjoy the following attractions: The Sunny Day Carousel, Mini-Monster Clubhouse, Teeny Tiny Tidal Wavepool, and Ernie’s Waterworks. Guests may also enjoy all of our daily live shows.”
No outside food, such as sandwiches, is allowed in the park, but there are some exceptions. Coolers 10x10x12 or smaller are permitted, as well as baby food/formula and small, single-serve snack-sized items such as chips, pretzels, cookies and fruit. Also, ensure you pack plenty of water to keep adults and kids hydrated throughout the day.
Be sure to adhere to their food policy, as a bag search is performed upon entering the park.
Picnic tables are available outside the park, where you can enjoy lunch, perhaps from a cooler in the car. Get your hand stamped for re-entry and eat outside of the gates. The general parking area isn’t too far from the park entrance, so it’s a fairly quick walk, even with kids.
Plan to eat early or late if not participating in Character Dining or packing a lunch. The lines to purchase meals can get extremely long. Starting when the restaurants open at 11:30am and even through 3:30pm, the lines wrap around the cafes, in some cases. You’ll find standard amusement park fare such as pizza and nuggets. There was a Nachos Grande from Grover’s Eats on the Street that didn’t look too bad but even that line was way too long for us.
Kids meals get a souvenir plate and cup.
I highly suggest bringing in snacks to tide kids over, then eat lunch outside the park. The lines were just too long to spend an hour or more waiting around to eat.
Book Character Dining in advance to secure your place. Families can eat with Elmo and Friends, get photos and autographs while dining indoors at the buffet. Choose from breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Head straight to the water attractions if arriving first thing in the morning. Experience Sky Splash before the line gets too long. This super popular ride is a must and perfect for families. The line for accessing Big Bird’s Rambling River (lazy river) can also get long, so take a relaxing ride early here as well.
Just be warned the water is rather chilly, even in August.
Alternatively, arrive early and pick your favorite dry rides. Let kids have their fill of these attractions before moving onto the wet rides after the afternoon parade.
Jump the line with Abby’s Magic Queue. It is highly recommended to reserve in advance, as they do sell out. We didn’t and wish we had as they were sold out the day of our visit. Purchase the Magic Queue at least a couple days in advance. There are 4 options available. While the park isn’t huge, it can be a great time saver if visiting during the high season and weekends.
Shows, Parades & Characters:
Arrive early for shows to make sure you get in. This tip is particularly true for Elmo the Musical Live! This wildly popular show fills up fast!
Get lined up early for the Neighborhood Street Party Parade. My kids are tall, so it wasn’t necessary for us to get right up on the parade line to see the floats and watch our furry friends groove to the music. However, parents of little ones may want to get a spot in advance, around 30 – 45 minutes before the start of the parade. You’ll see a line marked on either side of Main Street so you can park your stroller and lay out a towel to hold your spot. Someone must remain with your belongings at all times!
Plan to arrive a minimum of 15 minutes before start time, even if you’re not trying to get up close. Parade times are 3pm and 7pm or 9pm*.
*Verify times on the park map.
If it’s hot and you plan to spend the entire day at the park, skip the 3pm parade and wait for the evening parade.
Season Pass Members can take advantage of VIP Character Meet & Greets during regular park season. The greeting begins 30 minutes prior to the Neighborhood Street Party Parade. Characters may vary. Meet & Greets take place in the VIP area where the parade begins, next to the lockers. Arrive early as this is on a first-come, first serve basis.
Sit as close to the front rows as possible during the Let’s Play Together show in Abby’s Paradise Theater. The characters dance and interact with the kids here when they aren’t on the stage. You’ll notice 2 small platforms in the seating area that the characters stand on during part of the performance as well.
Good to Know:
Pack smart to avoid unnecessary purchases in the park. Bring sunscreen, hats, towels & swim diapers (if needed) for the water park. Additionally, have kids dressed in their swimsuits and flip-flops before arriving at the park. Since Sesame Place has both wet and dry rides, you’ll want to come prepared for both.
Cabana’s are limited, so rent these in advance as well. Exclusive character interactions are included along with other perks depending on cabana type booked. It can be a nice place to relax away from the crowds, if the cost of a cabana is within your budget.
Families can participate in child swap. This is offered when the ride doesn’t allow for a parent to ride with multiple children at the same time, but they still want to accompany each child. This can be done once at the front of line and essentially the parent rides twice while one child waits there. Team members can’t be responsible for children left waiting.
Life jackets are provided on attractions when they need to be worn. You can bring your own, but it must be an approved US Coast Guard Type II or III life vest.
If you plan to let your children play the carnival type games at the Sesame Playhouse, get a Game Pass online. This pass will save you $15 and allows your child 1 game play at each of the game stations. Just note that is can’t be used to play the same game multiple times.
Bring your phone to take photos of your child with the characters. There are many opportunities throughout the day for your child to get pictures with the various Sesame Street characters, including seeing them walking down Main Street. If you don’t have a water resistant case for your phone, consider a disposable underwater camera.
Professional photos can be purchased at the park and a discount is available online with the PhotoKey. However, it’s always nice to have a few candid shots of the kids as they delight in seeing the Count for the first time.
If you’re planning to be close to Philly, it’s really worth the 30 minute drive to visit Sesame Street Place. Kids will have a blast meeting their favorite characters. Hugging Abby Cadabby, taking photos with Elmo and laughing along with Bert and Ernie. Follow our tips and share your own as your child’s favorite characters come to life.
Learn more about Sesame Place by viewing our other articles:
- Sesame Place Amusement Park Must See Attractions
- Sesame Place Coupons – All the latest coupon codes and offers
Disclosure: We were provided passes to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.