Sesame Place PA | Review | Best Insider Tips | Crowds and Calendar

Sesame Place Travel Tips

Let’s be honest. Sesame Place is an expensive outing and chances are, a special occasion trip for your family. So you want to make the most of it, right? I’ve been to other parks and our trip was a disaster because we wasted our day waiting in lines, we didn’t know where to go and so on.

Kevin and I are super fans of Sesame Place and Sesame Street. We have been there so many times I can’t even count! We have been visiting regularly since he was 2 and I was a Sesame Place Ambassador for four years. 2020 was the only year in his entire life that we did not go to Sesame Place, and boy, are we ready!

girl enjoying the parade at sesame place

I’ve learned so many travel tips and tricks along the way. Some of them were learned the hard way! So I’m sharing them so that other parents can avoid some of my headaches.

Some of these tips are for visiting with a disabled or sensory issues. And some of them are just “I wish I knew that ahead of time!” things from past visits.

Get the IEP Toolkit

A complete online library of printable and downloadable resources that gives you the tools to become an empowered and organized parent advocate for your child.

Download Now

Sesame Place Discounts

Whenever I start gushing about Sesame Place, one of the usual comments I get is “but aren’t Sesame Place tickets expensive?” Yes and no. It is a very special outing. So many kids (and adults!) love Sesame Street and the characters so of course, you want to visit.

I find their prices to be in the ballpark of the other amusement parks and attractions of this caliber.

You can make the most of your money using a variety of techniques.

  • Get a season pass, and preferably buy it either in the winter during their sale or in mid-July. During their summer sale, they offer the rest of that year and the whole next year. We just purchased tickets again in August of 2021, and we got the rest of 2021 and all of 2022.
  • For the parent or adult that is going to be going there most often, get them the pass that includes parking.
  • When you have a pass, you also get discounts in the gift shops and restaurants.
  • If you cannot get a season pass, look for discounts. These vary from year to year. Sometimes Sesame Place has coupons at McDonald’s or through different retailers, sometimes it’s only online on their website. Join their email list and you will be notified of special sales.
  • You can go after 3 pm when it costs around $20 less per ticket and less crowded.
  • Go when it’s cloudy but warm. It’s less crowded so you get more ride time.
  • They also have a Sunny Day guarantee. If it rains for more than an hour on your day, you can come back another day.
  • If the water rides and slides are not a priority for you, then go for either the Count’s Spooktacular or A Very Furry Christmas. The water rides are closed but dry rides are open and tickets are less.
  • Sesame Place is one of the few parks that allows you to bring in a cooler. You may bring in one, so that helps cut down on food costs. I love the refillable drink things and popcorn things. We get a souvenir plus we get cheap/free drink and popcorn refills so then I don’t pack snacks in our cooler.
  • Consider going all out and renting a cabana for a special occasion. Then plan on going from open until close. Having a cabana gives you a home base, a downtime, and an eating place and just makes the day more enjoyable. When we rent a cabana we can stay from open until close without the kids unraveling. Adults too!
  • Transferable Passes: Transferable Passes are a brand new pass! They are a little complicated to explain, but let’s use me as an example. If I bought myself a Big Bird Season Pass, I could purchase a Transferable Pass. My Big Bird Season Pass would be considered the “host” pass. When I wanted to come to Sesame Place, I could bring anyone (my mom, my MIL, my sister) as my guest. The Person with the Transferable Pass must arrive with the host pass member, and Transferable Passes are limited to one visit per person per day.
  • Sync your credit card to the mobile app to make quick and convenient food and merchandise purchases. Once you’ve entered your credit card information, just open your app, and a team member can scan your phone to complete the purchase. They also have armbands/bracelets that you can link to a credit card for faster paying.
sesame place christmastime
We love Sesame Place at Christmas time too!

Hotels Near Sesame Place

There are quite a few hotels right near the entrance to Sesame Place. And a few others in the vicinity that offer shuttle vans to and from the park. Over the years, I have chatted with many families who chose a hotel nearby and were pleased.

And, it was convenient for them to go early in the day for a few hours, retreat to the hotel midday for a break and then return in the evening.

Sesame Place is actually about 30-60 minutes’ drive from Center City Philadelphia (depending on traffic), for those not local. If you are planning on visiting both the city and the amusement park, I’m not sure which to recommend.

Of course, the city has hotels near the historic venues, but you still would have to drive out to Sesame Place.

Sesame Place Age Range

Sesame Place is for all ages! Yes, I get it. The Sesame Street TV show is geared toward preschoolers and primary grades.

But guess what?! So are most of the Disney things! And no one bats an eye when an adult says they enjoy visiting Disney. No one thinks it’s strange for an adult to visit Disney even without kids.

I have seen tiny babies at Sesame Place and I enjoy it and I’m middle-aged. We unapologetically enjoy it with our teenager.

Ages 1 and over must buy a pass. There are a handful of baby rides that you could do with a toddler. Or, you could wade in some of the pools.

kevin using his summer wheelchair at Sesame Place

There are also exciting roller coasters (two of them!) and other rides like Honker and Dinger, plus Elmo’s Blast Off that older kids will enjoy.

Each ride at Sesame Place has a height requirement. These are available online and at the entrance to each ride, both water rides and dry rides.

Sesame Place-Insider Tips and Tricks

Most families only stay for a day or two tops, so you want to maximize your time.

Once you arrive at the park, right inside the main gate is the office you should visit for your accessibility pass. Yes, there is often a line and that stinks because the office can only hold two employees max. And, you cannot get this stuff ahead of time online, which stinks. Still, it will make the rest of your day easier, so I’d do it.

  • For starters, do things backward. Most families ride the water rides early in the day, dry off, then do dry rides. Do yours backward–do the dry rides first and then the water rides starting in the late afternoon. You will find most lines are shorter that way.
  • Again, if your schedule permits it, try to go on a cloudy day and the crowds will be less. I like it because I don’t have to constantly stress about reapplying sunscreen.
  • Do one of the character dining options. This way you get a meal and all your photo ops with the characters in just 60-90 minutes. You won’t spend time waiting in lines to meet with characters instead of riding rides. It’s also a lot of fun for the kids and you get to sit for a while. Plus they have family restrooms in there.
  • Every year, it seems they add a few more family restrooms and family changing rooms. There is also a quiet area for those who need a sensory break or to breastfeed.
  • You have to wait in line for shows so split up so that one parent can wait in line and the other can either do bathroom breaks or another ride. Use the published schedule to pick what shows you want to see.
  • Don’t forget about the water slides that are at the other end of the park behind the dry rides like Elmo’s Flying Fish and Blast Off. Visitors seem to forget that they are back there and quite often the lines are not very long.
  • It sounds weird, but if going in the summer and doing the water rides, plan on walking around the amusement park in your bathing suit and water shoes. The first time I took my MIL with us, she asked me that once we were there. But you look around and that’s what people do.
sesame place meet and greets
Definitely do the Meet & Greets!

Eating at Sesame Place

  • Food is reasonably priced and you get a discount with a season pass.
  • They have special dining areas for kids with allergies.
  • If you purchase certain meal options (some of the boxed lunches) online ahead of time, they are discounted.
  • If you eat at the Elmo restaurant, your souvenir plate will be Elmo. If you eat at the Cookie Monster restaurant, your souvenir plate will be Cookie Monster. Just in case your kids see them and want one, that’s where you get them. (update in 2017 they were giving the same plate with multiple characters at each restaurant)
  • Bring snacks or try to plan your meals around peak meal times so again, you’re not spending time waiting in line. Eat earlier or later than what most people do.
  • Sesame Place is one of the few parks that allows you to bring in a cooler. You may bring in one, so that helps cut down on food costs. I love the refillable drink things and popcorn things. We get a souvenir plus we get cheap/free drink and popcorn refills so then I don’t pack snacks in our cooler. Makes sense if you are getting a season pass to get these.

Character Dining at Sesame Place

We often do the character dines at Sesame Place.

For starters, on a hot summer day or cold winter day, it gives you a reprieve from the elements.

It also allows us to visit with all the characters without waiting in line like you do outside in the park.

character dine at sesame place
Kevin greeting characters at Sesame Place

I should add, now Kevin uses a g-tube for feeding. I have not asked the park about a discount to the character dines since he wouldn’t be eating anything while there.

kevin and grover during character dine
Kevin and Grover

I mean, what is better than dinner and show…with your old pal Grover?

Water Rides at Sesame Place

This is one of our favorite things to do.

Sesame Place has quite an assortment of water slides and rides. And, there are several wading pools. Yes, they tend to get crowded in the summer.

Our favorite is the Lazy River. So relaxing, Kevin can even fall asleep!

Kevin asleep on the lazy river at sesame place
Lifejackets are provided at Sesame Place.

Accessibility Pass

If your child is disabled, make sure you get an accessibility pass. It varies for dry and water rides, but you do not have to wait in line for many of them.

And, there is a special seating section for the parade. It can be kind of a bummer, because in the summer, the disability section is in the hot sun. If you get to that section early, you’ll also find that you end up being the ‘de facto’ accessibility police, as many families ignore the blue symbols painted on the ground and just see an open spot.

You need to have the special wristband to be in that section, but not everyone follows the rules.

A Very Furry Christmas, Halloween Spooktacular and More

In recent years, Sesame Place is open almost year-round. Now, that’s not to say it’s every day. But, they are adding more holiday events all the time.

We recently had a Saturday here that was 63 degrees, in February! So, we hopped in the car and went to the newly added Mardi Gras event.

grover at mardi gras parade sesame place
Grover in the Mardi Gras parade at Sesame Place

It was really cute and the characters handed out beads to the kids.

The park was only open 10-2 that day, so always check the website first. I saw many out of state plates in the parking lot, but not everyone wants to make the trip for a 4-hour event.

Count’s Spooktacular Halloween

Our favorite, of course, is the Count’s Spooktacular. Kevin’s absolute favorite character is Count von Count.

During the Count’s Spooktacular, kids can go trick-or-treating around the park and pick up treats at various stations. This works out well for parents because you don’t have to bring or buy snacks that day!

one of our best visits ever to the count's spooktacular
The Count’s Spooktacular

Also during the Halloween weekends, you will see many kids and adults wearing costumes. I have never done that because we have a huge assortment of tees and sweatshirts to wear.

What to Bring to Sesame Place

  • Depending on weather-swimsuits, sunscreen, water shoes.
  • You can rent lockers or purchase water proof wallets and carrier-things.
  • If you go during the Count’s Spooktacular and you take the kids Trick-or-Treating around the park, you don’t have to pack snacks that day. You’ll get plenty!

Sesame Street Parades

  • Families start “staking their spot” for the parades about an hour ahead of time. Go find a front-row spot by using the dots on the pavement. Park your stroller or blanket there and then you can still go do a ride or two until the parade starts. This is on the honor system, but I’ve never had my stroller or towels moved while I was gone. {Note: In 2018, this practice is no longer allowed. Security will walk through and pick up unattended items. I would have one person wait with your things, and the other can take the kids on a ride.}
  • There is a special area for disabilities, but it too can get crowded and it’s in the sun depending on the time of year.
  • The second parade of the day is almost always much less crowded than the first. The exception would be fireworks nights.
  • Yes, families start waiting for the parade about an hour ahead of time. But, the parade is always one of our highlights of the day. It changes a bit with holidays and seasons, but we love it every time.
  • Try to get your kids up front and you stand behind them. Characters do greet kids during the parade.
count during sesame parade

What to Buy at Sesame Place

If you have a season pass, you get a discount at the gift shops. You get a discount on most things in the park, both food, and stores. I think the only thing that doesn’t qualify for the discount are the street vendors.

Many of the toys that are in the gift shops can be found elsewhere. I try to keep our purchases to special things that we can only find at Sesame Place. In recent years, they have added pin collecting to the assortment of items, so that’s fun.

Sesame Place Accommodations + Accessibility

Kevin uses a wheelchair to navigate the theme park. While he is mobile, walking around an amusement park all day is too much for him. We’ve got it down to a science–as far as knowing what is there and how to make it as easy as possible for us.

wheelchair ramp at a very furry christmas
The Holiday Train for A Very Furry Christmas is accessible.
  • Back behind Ernie’s Bistro, there are picnic tables and bathrooms that are rarely used or crowded. You can go there to chill out and relax and get some downtime, especially if you have a child that needs breaks.
  • There’s another corner getaway spot behind Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave. If you get there early, go back there and grab a chair under the giant umbrella. I use this as our home base while we are doing the water rides. It’s off the beaten path and often quieter.
  • Check-in at Guest Services when you arrive and get a Fast Pass armband for paying for stuff or a Handicapped Access armband if you need it.
  • I like the bathrooms and changing rooms down by the Count’s splash area the best. They are all over the park but I find those to be the most spacious. There are rooms for nursing mothers too. Ask about it or look for them on the map.
ernie sesame place
For as long as he enjoys it, I’ll keep bringing him <3

Sesame Place-Certified Autism Center.

See information below.

sesame place autism
Click for more information.

The last time we visited, I was given this and told to get K enrolled in it.

sesame place accessibility requirements

Is there anything for older kids at Sesame Place?

Absolutely! There are several rides that are too intense or ‘scary’ for younger kids. Check out Grover’s roller coaster, the Honker and Dinger thing, and Oscar’s Wacky Taxi.

There are also plenty of water slides for older kids.

Sesame Place Review

Wrapping up….

Taking your family to Sesame Place is a wonderful experience and a must-do for all families, in my opinion. Hopefully I’ve given you a few tips to help you make the most of these special, sunny days!

Bookmark this so you have it and check back, as I think of new tips I will add them. Here is the whole reason we still go to Sesame Place. Here’s to 50 more years of celebrating and counting!

Directions to Sesame Place

For your GPS: the address of sesame place is 100 Sesame Rd, Langhorne, PA 19047.

This was originally published in 2014 but was recently updated to correct broken links.

Similar Posts