100 Sesame Rd, Langhorne, PA 19047
I remember visiting Sesame Place as a kid (almost 30 years ago 😱) and have been so excited to bring my own kiddos here. I had hoped to bring my twins back in 2020 but COVID hit, so we finally planned a trip this year for my youngest daughters 2nd birthday. We had an amazing time and absolutely will plan to return in the future. There are some things to know ahead of time before visiting so I hope sharing all about our trip will help you with your own planning.
When did we visit?
When you read this post it is very important to understand that we visited in the off-season. Sesame Place is an amusement park geared toward younger children. It also has a huge (very popular!) water park. Their main season is the summer and they are open 7 days a week from 10 am-8pm in June, July and August. In the off season the hours are limited and vary depending on when you visit – and they are mostly open weekends only.
We visited in mid-March and the park was only open from 10-2pm. Rides were limited – all the water rides were closed (obviously) as well as an entire section of rides in “Cookie Monster Land”. In total there were about 8 rides open for our visit which was plenty for our kids (ages 4 and 2). One thing that I found absolutely crazy is that the admission fee is the SAME (at least for currently listed ticket prices on their website) whether you visit in the off season or the peak season. So visiting in the off season you are paying the same price for half as much time in the park and less than half of the rides, shows, etc. available. If you have a season pass this doesn’t matter as much, but if you only plan to visit for one day it is definitely something to keep in mind.
There are some benefits to visiting in the off season. For one – it wasn’t hot and it wasn’t crowded! The lines were never too long for any rides, we got to meet every character we wanted, and we got a front row seat to the parade without having to stake out a spot early. For someone who doesn’t love crowds and long lines – the pros definitely outweighed the cons for us and we were really happy with our decision to visit in March. 4 hours was enough time for us to make great memories and we made it out of the park without any toddler meltdowns!
I’ll be honest – Sesame Place is not cheap! Without any discounts, a single day ticket is $89.99/person! Tickets purchased online ahead of time are cheaper. A single day ticket online is currently $44.99/person. Parking is an additional $30 (!!!!!!) and can also be purchased ahead of time. They do offer a great military discount (free single day admission to the park + 3 free additional tickets). My brother is military so he came along and was able to share his tickets with us which was a huge help. They also offer discounts for teachers and first responders as well as discounted group tickets. Season passes seem like a good way to go if you think you’ll visit more than once in a season – but those are still expensive too!
Food and Dining
Since the park was only open from 10-2 on the day of our visit, we didn’t actually take advantage of any of their food services. Outside food is not allowed in the park but I did bring in a few snacks for the girls.
Our main goal for our visit was to celebrate my youngest’s 2nd birthday and to have the kids see the characters. We left home about 7 am and arrived just before opening at 10:00 am. We purchased tickets and parking ahead of time online to save time and money (online rates are cheaper for tickets). When we arrived in the park – the first thing we did was ride the Vapor Trail roller coaster. I went with one of the twins (age 4) and she loved it – this was her first coaster. The other decided to sit that one out 🙂
After that we headed towards the Elmo’s World section of the park. We stopped at Sesame Street and took pictures with Bert and Ernie – there was a line but it moved really fast.
After that we hit more rides! The girls rode the carousel, Elmo’s blast off, Elmo’s Cloud Chaser, Flying Fish, Peek-a-Bug – as well as two additional rides beyond the carnival games that aren’t listed on the map so I can’t remember their names 🙂 The lines were short (but also not moving super fast!) so the girls were able to ride their favorites multiple times. Even my 2 year old could do most of the rides. Near the Elmo rides there are also 2 giant tube slides for kids to play on – we didn’t get to them but it was another fun option if your kids don’t like rides.
In between riding rides, we went over to a scheduled meet and greet with Elmo. There is no additional fee for this but Elmo is the only character where the meet and greets were scheduled in a theater (all other characters just rotated out for pictures out on the street). We waited in line for about 25 minutes but it was WELL worth it to see my kids faces light up when meeting Elmo and Abby!
We also had plans to see the “Elmo the Musical” show – there were 3 show times that day. However the girls were having so much fun on the rides that we decided to skip it. We rode rides all the way up until 1:25 then headed right over to the parade route. Because it wasn’t a super crowded day – we were able to walk right up and get a front row spot. I had seen pictures of insane crowds to see the parade during the summer so I was really relieved that we were able to get up close and my kids could see! I was honestly SO impressed with the parade – they had amazing dancers, several huge decorated floats, and all the characters. The whole parade lasted about 30 minutes and was a total highlight for us!
The park closed at 2 pm that day so after the parade we headed to the car. Since we were only there for 4 hours we didn’t even eat at the park – my kids were having so much fun that they barely even asked for a snack (which never happens!) I didn’t even use the bathroom the whole time we were there but my husband reported that they were clean 😉
- Tons of opportunities to meet and take photos with the characters. They have photographers taking them for purchase but they also had no problem letting us take them on our cell phones as well. We got great photos!
- Visiting in March, it wasn’t hot which made waiting for rides so much more bearable!
- All the rides are SUPER kid friendly. Even my timid 2 y/o could do most of them – many are also designed for you to sit with your kid if they’d rather be with you.
- The parade was really great! I was honestly really impressed at how good it was for such a fun park. My girls are still talking about it and asking to watch videos from the parade.
- Most of the staff we dealt with were really friendly and patient – even though they were clearly understaffed!
- My kids LOVED the Sesame Street area that features many scenes from the show. I wish I had gotten better pictures of this area, but this is where they have people line up for meet and greets so it was tough to get a good shot. They had hoopers store, big birds nest, etc.
- Slow turn around time on rides – probably due to lack of staffing. Each ride only had one staff member working so they were responsible for getting everyone onto the ride, checking buckles, operating the ride, getting everyone off, and starting the process over again. This created a really slow turnover rate for each ride! Even though the lines weren’t long, they definitely weren’t super quick. The staff was doing the best they could but they definitely needed more help!
- Lots of rides closed during the off season – including the Monster Clubhouse play structure – this is a huge climbing/playground so this being closed would be a big bummer if your kiddos weren’t into the rides.
- Strict cut-off time on character meet and greets. We were in line to meet Cookie Monster (with a few people behind us) when a staff member approached us and said that Cookie Monster was leaving and would be replaced with Bert and Ernie (who we had already seen). Apparently they have a strict time schedule (this is not posted or made available to guests as far as I could find) and they don’t make exceptions for this. It wasn’t that big of a deal and we were able to catch him at a later time, but I can definitely see this being disappointing if you had been in line for a long time. It seems like there should be a better system for cutting off the line so people aren’t waiting for characters to only find out later that their time is up.
- Website/App is confusing and difficult to use. I found the website difficult to navigate and had a really hard time using it to plan our trip. Some of the information was incomplete or inaccurate. I had a hard time finding even the basic schedule for the day of our visit and what rides would be open. The app also had incorrect information (for example, the app said that there were no Elmo meet and greets that day, but in reality there were 3 scheduled times.)
- No outside food allowed – however there are picnic tables outside the park so you can leave to eat and come back!
All in all we had SO much fun and got to do everything we personally wanted – the girls met all their favorite characters and got great pictures, they enjoyed all the kid friendly rides and an amazing parade, and we got to celebrate my youngest turning 2 with a super fun adventure!
Keep in mind that your trip could look very different than mine if you visit during peak season. I had read that the park can get very crowded and the lines very long – which is partly why we decided to go in March! Would love to hear your thoughts on Sesame Place if you have been!