Sesame Place – August 2012


Since I have only been to Sesame Place this one time (two days over one weekend) I am not really in a place to make generalizations or give advice but that’s not really going to stop me. I got a lot of great tips from Kim, who’s an expert, and learned a lot just by being there. My best advice is “Don’t go on what was probably the busiest day at the park ever.” It was REALLY crowded on Friday, which we weren’t expecting (we figured it would be pack Saturday). By the time we got in the gates at 10:15 am there were long lines for everything. So I guess that’s tip number 1 – if you’re going in the crowded summer season, get there a good half hour before the gates open, get in line, use that time to put sunscreen on everyone and give them a morning tantrum-preventing snack.

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Two moms, four kids, and no major problems. We deserve medals.

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His face was like this all day

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Kim and JD enjoying a ride

Luckily the kids were all in a good mood and we managed to get sunscreened up and onto the cool raft waterslide before anyone melted down. But that was the end for Caroline. She DID NOT CARE FOR the water rides and let everyone within a 100 mile radius know it. I wasn’t expecting that – she loves the pool and the lake and the boat. It made chasing Evan through the giant water playground no fun for anyone. Thank goodness he wasn’t the least bit scared…and that the whole place is BUILT for 3 year olds. I think the only thing he needed an adult for was the big (BIG!) roller coaster. Thank God Kim was willing to take Caroline duty so Evan didn’t miss stuff. That’s tip number 2 – Bring one grown up per kid if at all possible. Or have two kids who like doing all the things.

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Evan and I are the ones in that last car

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A really nice person gave me their Magic Passes at about 4 pm on Friday – it meant 2 of us could skip to the front of any line as many times as we wanted. They cost $30 a piece so it was super, super amazing. The employees didn’t mind if we passed them back and forth so we got to ride everything the kids wanted even though it was crowded.

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Boys having fun

We made poor Caroline do water stuff all morning and then tried to get lunch. Here’s tip number 3 – the food isn’t very good and you are allowed to bring in snacks and small coolers so DO THAT. The line was really long, wrangling trays and strollers is tough, and making hungry kids stand in line is pretty much torture for everyone. Next time we’re going to spring for the character lunch, where at least there isn’t a huge line for food, even if I will have to feed Caroline under the table where Telly Monster won’t scare the crap out of her.

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Unimpressed

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Climber

After lunch we ran back to the car to change, grab snacks and pick up our cameras (we left them safe in the car instead of under the stroller during the wet half of the day). Kim’s kids napped, mine sort of napped, we did rides on the dry side and saw the parade twice. (The night version is cooler.) We stayed until they threw us out at 9 pm and stayed in a hotel so we could do it again on Saturday.

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We watched the light parade from the curb of the fake Sesame Street.

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Totally worth the $10.

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There are only a few floats, but they’re very cool at night and the singing and dancing is fun.

OK, so I realize I’m making it sound like we didn’t have a good time, which is totally wrong. We had a GREAT time. Evan had the best time, I had the second best time, Caroline did not die. She wasn’t happy about the water, she didn’t like most of the shows, and she was a little scared of the characters. But she loved Elmo’s World and the parade and her stuffed Elmo and the carousel. I think she’s going to hate it probably one more time and then warm up.

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Elmo’s World

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Front row seats

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Seriously, FRONT ROW (Caroline wasn’t a fan.)

I loved all of it. I can’t imagine someone my age who wouldn’t love it – it’s Sesame Street! I grew up on Cookie Monster and Big Bird. Even though they’ve added new monsters and updated a little bit it is still very classic and I didn’t feel like my childhood was being betrayed in any way (which yes, is something I was genuinely worried about). We will definitely being going back. Soon. Before Halloween, that’s for sure.

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The little-kid part of the park was empty right after opening on Saturday.

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I was pretty sure he was never getting off this one.

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Yes, we dressed them the same on purpose.

Tip number 4 – Buy the season pass. I used my free admission for military dependents on Friday which was nice, because we could see if we liked it. Saturday I bought two season passes – one at the basic level and one at the mid-level, which comes with lots of great benefits (it’s good the rest of 2012 and all of 2013). I put the fancier pass in Evan’s name, since he’s a kid he has to have a grown up come with him so I get the benefits too (Kim recommended it and the lady at the ticket counter confirmed that’s what most people do).  Free parking, 30% discount on food and souvenirs, early admission to at least one of the shows, and a chance to go backstage at the parade and meet ALL the characters. All of them. Even on a really busy weekend the backstage thing was super cool and we got to meet and take pictures with every single character.

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Backstage before the parade

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Peeking at Bert and Ernie

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Evan doesn’t understand how to pose with the characters

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Zoe!

And the characters are GREAT. They costumes are extremely well done. They were very clean and soft, especially considering it was 90 degrees and their job is to hug dirty, sticky toddlers all day. You can’t see the people inside them at all, even up close, and they are very very very good with the kids. Patient and polite and willing to go above and beyond to help get a good picture. I never felt like they were rushing us to go away so they could get to the next kid. They handled a crying Caroline just as well as they handled an overenthusiastic hugger Evan. The park certainly isn’t Disney-levels of magical or clean but the characters are EVERYTHING you would expect from the Sesame Workshop.

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Murray worked really hard to get this photos, convincing Evan to come sit on the bench when he wouldn’t stand next to him.

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Prairie Dawn is my favorite!!!

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I might have gotten a little misty eyed a few times around Elmo.

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Official park photo! They didn’t push them on you but it was nice to have a group shot or two.

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Caroline refused. I suspect in a year she’s going to be Abby Cadabby obsessed.

They do special stuff all through October for Halloween and we’re definitely going back. They also decorate for Christmas – I’m told it’s really amazing – but I’d need to upgrade our season passes (although if our next visit goes well I might book Caroline the special birthday package for December). Who’s up for a meet-up in early October?

Related posts:

Our Visit to the Reston Zoo
My Week(244) in iPhone Photos
Next Steps

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23 Responses to “Sesame Place – August 2012”

  1. Meg says:

    OMG…I so want to go!!! I adored Sesame Street growing up.

  2. Melissa says:

    This place looks like so much fun! Being on the west coast, I didn’t even know this place existed. I wish they had more small theme parks geared toward smaller kids over here. We are planning a Disney trip for October and I’m scared JC will definitely not be a fan of the lines. I hope he’s not scared of the characters too but I know it is a definite possibility. You are one brave mama!

    • bebehblog says:

      I seriously cannot even handle the thought of taking my kids to Disney – I’m going to be such a crying mess over it. It’s so MAGICAL. If I cried when the Sesame Street parade started I can’t even imagine Mickey Mouse in person.

  3. MommaExpat says:

    You are my hero, how you two navigated all of that with big strollers and four kids amazes me! When are you all off to the Hamptons?

  4. Amanda says:

    It sucks that Caroline was less than thrilled but how amazing was it seeing Evan’s eyes bug out at the whole thing??! We took Madison a few years ago and she continued to scream “Elmo! Elmo! It’s me! Madison!” during the Elmo show. I was a sobbing mess watching Madison fall in love. I am hoping we can take the girls next year when we head to New Jersey, maybe we can meet up! Awesome pictures of course. Miss you guys!

  5. Tannis says:

    STOP IT WITH YOUR CUTENESS!!! I love seeing the two of you together (Suzanne and Kim).

  6. Leah says:

    Evan’s face! I remember that look from the cars at the Big E. That one has a need for speed, doesn’t he? Poor Caroline, she’ll come around when she’s a bit older I’m sure. Unless she turns out like Calder who HATES SESAME STREET. At least I have another child.

    • bebehblog says:

      I don’t think Calder would even care about the Sesame Street part when you showed him the roller coaster. And I was literally looking at the big E photos for Evan’s 3rd year photo book and wishing you guys were coming back. The boys had SO much fun together.

  7. Shari says:

    I was totally in love with that yellow and blue moonbounce type thing when I was a kid — seriously one of my favorite parts of the whole place. I can’t believe it still looks exactly the same all these years later. It’s nice to know they’ve kept the same quaint and classic feel, even with the new additions. So glad you all had a lovely time! Evan’s face is positively priceless — you can tell how enthralled he was! :)

  8. barbra says:

    Wow, this place looks so flipping cool!!! Why don’t we have anything like this in Oregon or Washington?!?! Maybe we need to move to New England.

  9. Audrey says:

    Man. I was only mildly interested in Sesame Place when I saw pics from a college friend taking her kids there a few years ago. But..yeah. Your pictures are so amazingly fun filled..I was actually caught off guard when you said you were making it sound like you weren’t having fun, because I glazed over that and locked on to OMG LOOK AT THE FUN TIME EVAN IS HAVING!!! I would totally go there for a full day. I’m not sure if I could convince Chris though. I sent him a link to this hoping to sway him. :D

    • bebehblog says:

      As I was rehashing things in my mind I realized it was all pretty stressful – the crowds, the lines, leaving poor Kim to watch Caroline – but Evan was SO EXCITED to be there my brain didn’t even register how hard it was. My back was KILLING me by Monday (from holding Caroline for basically 3 days straight) but I cannot wait to do it again.

  10. Emily says:

    Awwww… I wanna go! We went to Sesame Bay of Play at SeaWorld, and Kai loved it. This isn’t too far away for a fun weekend trip… Is there a height limit on a lot of the rides?

    • bebehblog says:

      There is almost no height limit on anything. You had to be 44 inches to ride the roller coaster UNLESS you had a grown up with you – then you only had to be 3 years old so Evan could go. Grown ups could go on almost everything besides a couple of toddler play areas. It is the PERFECT place for little kids.

  11. Sarah says:

    So much awesome in that post! Sad Caroline was freaked out, but she will love it soon. The pictures of you and Kim made me all BlogHer nostalgic. I miss you!

  12. Jodi says:

    I went with my parents (total 6 people) and we split a cabana ($229 but I see they have a lower price for Spring and Fall). TOTALLY worth it on a busy summer August day. It allowed us to come and go as we pleased (when things got overwhelming/too hot for anyone), it has a ceiling fan and small fridge, includes 12 bottled beverages (water and/or sodas), access to the characters before the parade, 6 souvenir beach towels, a locked drawer to put your stuff in (your camera for example!), plus the area has picnic benches and tables so you can eat meals/snacks in peace. Was particularly wonderful with my newborn so I could nurse her in private and attempt naps!

    • bebehblog says:

      That sounds AMAZING. I was imagining that they cost a lot more but that would absolutely be worth it during the summer, if just for a quiet place to get away from the crowd. I’ll see what they cost in the fall, because at least then the person holding Caroline could relax for a while. Thanks for the tip!

  13. Jamie says:

    We LOVE Sesame Place!! We’re only a few miles away so this was our third year with season passes. Christmas is DEFINITELY worth it and the upgrade is only $10 per pass. All the dry rides are running still, there are three shows, new songs in the parade and lots of other fun stuff like pictures or cookies and milk with Santa, lots of decorations and vendors selling hot chocloate and kettle corn. :o) Halloween is fun, too. Best of all, both are MUCH less crowded than the summer season. ;o) And, not sure if you knew this already, ANY season pass comes with the 30% discount on food and merchandise and you can also purchase a Season Pass Member cup that gives you free refills for the entire season. :o)

    • bebehblog says:

      We bought the cup that gets 99 cent refills and I love it. Next year I’m getting the free refill one. And we’re DEFINITELY going for Halloween – I’m just trying to find a weekend my husband can come too.

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