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Our Fun Family Guide to Sesame Place San Diego

by Mommy Frog on August 30, 2022 San Diego

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Summary

This new 17-acre theme park features seven Sesame Street-themed dry rides, an interactive musical play area and 11 reimagined water attractions. Sesame Place San Diego also features an interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood. I (I mean, Lily) could finally sit on the iconic 123 Stoop! You can also watch a live character show, see an award-winning daily parade, take photos with your favorite Sesame Street characters (I'm a bit of a Cookie Monster fan myself) and more. Oh, and the food is yummy too!

Sesame Place San Diego - Sesame Place Official Concept Art Photo

Oh, sunny day, sweepin' the clouds away. I don't know about you, but ever since I was a tiny tadpole, I've always wanted to visit Sesame Street and meet the friendly neighbors there. Finally, it hoppened! We frogs, but especially our toddler, Lily, were toadally excited to visit this all-new theme park in southern San Diego. And with water rides and a wave pool, our tween Tad enjoyed the visit too! Sesame Place San Diego officially opened on March 26, 2022.

Here's our guide to Sesame Place San Diego, including what to expect, how to get there and how to save money on tickets. Plus, this park is a Certified Autism Center, so we'll provide more info on that, as well.

Sesame Place Tickets

You can get your discount Sesame Place tickets from your favorite froggy friends. We sell single-day tickets (save $20 per ticket vs. buying at the gate), multi-day/two-park tickets (Sesame Place and SeaWorld San Diego) and annual Silver Season passes (save $5 per pass). I am invoking the Count's voice in my head counting down the savings (that's $80 saved for a family of four — ah, ah, ah).

You’ll need admission for your tiny tadpoles 2 and up. Babies 23 months and younger are free. Tickets are initially valid through Jan. 2, 2023. Not only will you save money, but you’ll save time by heading straight to the gate. Parking is an additional cost.

Are you a SoCal local? The season pass comes with free parking, unlimited visits through Jan. 2, 2024, no blockout dates and two FREE guest tickets (to be used at Sesame Place San Diego on future specified dates only). You can also save up to 20 percent off in-park purchases and experiences.

Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Place? Sesame Place Hours and Location

Sesame Place San Diego - 123 Sesame Street SignSesame Place Location & Parking

Sesame Place San Diego is located at the former SeaWorld Aquatica water park in Chula Vista. Its address is 2052 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista, CA 91911. It’s about 20 miles southeast of SeaWorld San Diego. General parking is $30 and up-close parking is $35. You can purchase pre-paid parking in advance or buy on-site.

Sesame Place Directions

If you are coming from the SeaWorld area, San Diego or any of the coastal areas of north San Diego, take I-5 South to exit onto CA-94 East. Take the exit onto Interstate 805 South. Take the Main St. exit toward Auto Park Dr. Turn left onto Main St. Continue straight onto Heritage Rd. Turn right onto Entertainment Circle.

Another option from SeaWorld (depending on traffic) is to take I-8 East to exit onto Interstate 805 South. Take the Main St. exit toward Auto Park Dr. Turn left onto Main St. Continue straight onto Heritage Rd. Turn right onto Entertainment Circle.

One thing to take note of in terms of traffic is that the drive to Sesame Place can be impacted by events at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre. Please check the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre schedule for additional information on events that may affect traffic to Sesame Place San Diego.

Sesame Place Hours

Sesame Place San Diego - Count von Count with Kid

You'll want to check Sesame Place hours before your visit. Hours can vary, opening generally at 10 a.m. and closing between 5 and 7 p.m. Sesame Place is not open every day during the off-season. It's generally open Saturdays and Sundays year-round and is only open on weekdays during the summer, holidays and during popular school break weeks (such as during spring break and winter break).

Sesame Place Rides and Height Requirements

Sesame Place San Diego - Kid on Elmo's Rockin' Rockets Ride

Sesame Place has dry rides year-round and wet rides during warmer seasons. It's a smaller and manageable theme park if you have little ones. The rides were just Lily's speed.

Dry Rides at Sesame Place

All year long, kids can enjoy the dry rides designed just for them.

Sesame Place San Diego - Sesame Street Soar & Spin

Here is a look at the dry rides and their height requirements (you will need to change into dry clothes to ride):

  • Abby's Fairy Flight (must be 36 inches tall to ride) — This family swing ride is themed after our favorite fairy in training.
  • Cookie Climb (must be 38 inches tall to ride) — Pull yourself up the Cookie Monster–themed towers.
  • Elmo's Rockin' Rockets (under 48 inches must be accompanied by a supervising companion) — Fly up and down while you go 'round and around.
  • Rosita's Harmony Hills — Climb, crawl and create beautiful "música" as you play on rolling green hillsides. Good for the whole family.
  • Rub-A-Dub Sub (under 36 inches must be accompanied by a supervising companion) — Go around and around, both forward and backward on the S.S. Duckie! One adult can supervise up to two tadpoles.
  • Sesame Street Soar & Spin (under 42 inches tall must be accompanied by a supervising companion) — Get a bird’s-eye view of the whole park as you soar and spin in the sky. One adult can supervise up to two tadpoles.
  • Sunny Day Carousel (under 42 inches tall must be accompanied by a supervising companion) — A classic ride that’s perfect for the whole family!
  • Super Grover's Box Car Derby (must be 38 inches tall to ride) — This family-friendly coaster is full of fun hills, big turns and mini-dives.

You can see a height requirements sign when you enter the park.

Water Rides and Play

Sesame Place San Diego - Cookie's Monster Mixer

Bring your swimsuits — you too, parents! Being a former water park means that all those reimagined water rides, plus the wave pool and lazy river, remain in place, making this park more fun for the whole family. There are even thrills our tween can enjoy! Keep in mind that the big slides may close in the off-season while some water areas remain open longer. Check the Sesame Place app or site for the latest information on open water attractions.

Life vests are provided and required for some tadpoles for certain attractions. And the water is heated! You can rent a cabana with exclusive access to Abby's Paradise Pool and a private entrance to Big Bird's Rambling River.

You can use provided changing rooms to get in and out of your swimsuits.

Here is a look at the wet attractions and their height requirements:

  • Bert's Topsy Turvy Tunnels (must be 42 inches tall to ride) — Grab your best buddy for a splish-splashing tube ride down enclosed or open-air slides.
  • Big Bird's Beach (under 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult and wear a life vest) — Catch a wave in the family-friendly wave pool surrounded by a sandy beach.
  • Big Bird's Rambling River (under 42 inches are recommended to wear a life vest) — Grab a tube and enjoy this relaxing, fun-filled water adventure! One adult can supervise up to two tadpoles.
  • Cookie's Monster Mixer (must be 48 inches tall to ride) — This six-story, four-person family raft ride sends you on a swirling, swishing, splashing adventure! One adult can supervise up to three tadpoles.
  • Elmo's Silly Sand Slides (slides in this tadpole area require guests to be no taller than 48 inches to ride) — A colorful, hands-on water adventure with six slippery slides and lots of splashy fun. I'm feeling a slide song coming on.
  • Ernie's Twisty Turny Tunnels (must be 42 inches tall to ride) — Get ready for a tubular adventure down enclosed or open-air slides!
  • Honker Dinger Dash (must be 42 inches tall to ride) — Grab a mat and enjoy the thrilling race down these six colorful water slides.
  • Oscar’s Rotten Rafts (must be 42 inches tall to ride) — It will be hard to stay grouchy on this family-raft ride down a watery path with long twists and turns. One adult can supervise up to three tadpoles.
  • Snuffy’s Spaghetti Slides (must be 42 inches tall to ride) — Swoosh down one of six different, 60-foot-long body slides straight into a splashy ending. The real question is can everyone see them?
  • The Count's Splash Castle (must be 42 inches tall to ride) — Everyone will love this multi-level, interactive, water-play attraction with a 500-gallon water bucket drop! 5-4-3-2-1 ... here it comes! There are countless ways to get soaked — ah, ah, ah!

If you have tadpoles too small or too scared to ride, or if you have more than one child per adult, ask a ride attendant about Child Swap. At the front of the line, one adult can ride with one child while the other waits with the others. Once the ride is complete, the children switch spots and the adult can ride with the other child without having to wait in line again. Sesame Place team members may not supervise children or ride with a child as part of the child swap program. A child swap must be done by a member of the party to allow the children to ride.

Sesame Place Shows, Parades and Events

You can enjoy a show, parade and even celebrate some holiday fun. You can find the parade and show schedule online.

Welcome to Our Street!

Sing and dance along at this exciting show in the Sesame Street Theater. Elmo, Abby, Grover, Rosita and Cookie Monster work together, with the help of DJ Dani, to put on a spectacular welcome show for all of their friends.

The Sesame Street Party Parade

This colorful award-winning parade gets the whole family dancing along Sesame Street! It features fantastic floats and high-energy music from familiar contemporary tunes and Sesame Street favorite songs. Your tadpoles can't help but clap and dance along. Sesame Street friends join dancers and performers who will get everyone in the mood for a party!

Halloween Spooktacular — weekends Sept. 17 to Oct. 30, 2022

Dress in costume (or swimsuits) and celebrate some not-so-spooky fun at The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place! The park is transformed into a family-friendly Halloween haven.

Tadpoles can go trick-or-treating around the park (with purchase of a bag), watch a Halloween-themed show, catch the Sesame Street Halloween Parade and boo-gie down at the Furry Friends Halloween Dance Party. Be sure to take advantage of unique photo opportunities with your favorite furry friends dressed up in costume!

Sesame Street-themed dry rides are open. Most of the large water slides are closed. The wave pool, lazy river and shallow splash areas are open. along with a few slides.

A Very Furry Christmas Celebration — Nov. 12 through Dec. 31, 2022

This holiday season, come to Sesame Place for a festive, family-friendly celebration with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends. The park transforms into a festive winter wonderland filled with holiday magic and surprises. Enjoy tasty treats of the season as you shop for unique gifts and holiday items, move and groove at the Furry Friends Christmas Dance Party and pose for photos with your Sesame Street friends dressed up in their holiday best!

Sesame Street Neighborhood and Characters

Sesame Place San Diego - Count von Count

You can explore the Sesame Street Neighborhood! Explore the colorful street (as seen on TV) including Hooper’s Store, Abby Cadabby’s Garden, Big Bird’s Nest and the iconic 123 Stoop. Be sure to look for special interactive elements throughout the neighborhood. Tadpoles love hands-on activities.

Interactive Play

Interactive elements include:

  • Bike Shop Tricycle Challenge — Use your body to control a virtual tricycle as you collect numbers before the time runs out.
  • Two-Headed Monster Pipe Telephone — Speak into the pipe telephone, and watch the monster's reactions!
  • Elmo's Window — Elmo’s bedroom window comes to life with special moments that allow you to play, dance and sing with Elmo and friends! La la la la... La la la la ... Elmo's window...
  • Bert and Ernie's Doorbell — Ring the doorbell to hear their fun responses!
  • Sesame Street Apartment Intercom — Press apartment number buttons in the correct order to hear a response from Grover, Rosita, Abby Cadabby and more.
  • Laundromat — Use touchscreens on the washing machines to pop digital bubbles and figure out what kind of items are washing inside.

Storytime With Big Bird

Gather around Big Bird's Nest during Storytime. Afterward, get a picture with Big Bird himself!

Sesame Place San Diego - ElmoPhoto-Ops and Character Meet & Greets

You can't go to Sesame Street without meeting your favorite furry friends. Here's a list of characters you might run into on the street:

  • Abby Cadabby
  • Big Bird (after Storytime)
  • Elmo
  • Cookie Monster
  • Oscar the Grouch
  • Grover
  • Zoe
  • Bert
  • Ernie
  • Rosita
  • Count von Count
  • Telly

You can meet Sesame Street friends and take unique photo souvenirs at the Photos with Elmo & Friends location on Sesame Street.

Dining and Shopping

What's to eat? (Oh, of course, there are cookies and brownies too! Nom! Nom!) There are themed quick-window service restaurants on-site. Keep in mind that if your family members have different tastes, that could mean hopping in more than one line, delaying mealtime. Try to plan an early lunch before the rush. The locations are:

  • Grover's Grill — for burgers (Impossible option), chicken sandwiches (can be lettuce-wrapped), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken nuggets and more.
  • Monster Snacks — for chicken tenders, nuggets, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and more.
  • Telly's Trattoria — for pizza, salads and more.
  • Eats on the Street — for hot dogs, chips, popcorn, Icees and other beverages.
  • Oscar's Grouchy Snacks — for packaged fruit cups, salads, wraps, pretzels, chips and even frozen cocktails.
  • Wavepool Market — for packaged fruit cups, salads, wraps, chips, hummus and guacamole.

You can't go all the way to Sesame Street without a memento. Lily is in love with her Abby Cadabby cape. You can shop both online or at two on-site stores:

  • Hooper's Store — When I was a wee froglet, Mr. Hooper sold food, but I fear I am dating myself here. Hooper's Store at Sesame Place sells clothing, plush characters and souvenirs.
  • Sesame Souvenirs — You can find more exclusive clothing, plush characters and branded souvenirs here.

If you want souvenirs you can wear to the park for photos, shop online to help prepare for your trip.

Information for Guests With Disabilities

If you have a child who has autism, you already know that your family has special needs when visiting a theme park. This is your place. Sesame Place San Diego is a Certified Autism Center (CAC) as designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Sesame Place San Diego mirrors Sesame Place Philadelphia, which was the first theme park in the world to achieve this designation.

The team members receive specialized training to ensure they have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament and expertise to cater to all children, including those with special needs. The staff undergoes autism sensitivity and awareness training in the following areas:

  • Sensory awareness
  • Motor skills
  • Autism overview
  • Program development
  • Social skills
  • Communication
  • Environment
  • Emotional awareness

You can access robust pre-visit planning resources. Access the park-specific sensory guide on the Sesame Place site. This makes it easier for you as parents to plan activities that satisfy your child’s specific needs and accommodations. Designated quiet spaces with comfortable seating are incorporated into the park’s design. Look for quiet rooms if you need them and sensory play areas, such as Rosita's Harmony Hills.

Ride Accessibility Program

You may be familiar with the different accessibility programs at other theme parks, such as Disneyland's Disability Access Service. If someone in your party has special needs that make waiting in a standard queue difficult, you can enroll in the Ride Accessibility Program (RAP) at Sesame Place. You can fill out a basic questionnaire in advance and bring it to guest services in the park. Once it's validated, you will be enrolled in the Ride Accessibility Program. If applicable, a personalized list of rides and attractions will be provided to you on a RAP Sheet. You can take that to ride entrances to request a boarding time based on the current wait time. For some small attractions, you may proceed to the ride exit instead. You may have the RAP user and up to five additional people in the party.

If you will be visiting other theme parks during your visit, you may find our Overview of Special Needs at the Southern California Theme Parks & Zoos hopful. 

If you are looking to visit Sesame Place San Diego, be sure to purchase your Sesame Place tickets in advance. You can save $80 for a family of four when you purchase tickets through Undercover Tourist! Ribbit! You can also book your San Diego hotel and rental car with us for even bigger discounts when purchased at the same time. Be sure to check out our deals for SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California as well. 

Related: Tips for Taking Toddlers and Small Children to SeaWorld San Diego

Related: LEGOLAND California Tips for an Awesome Trip

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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