Thursday, July 22, 2010

TIPS for visiting Sesame Place!

I can only speak from experience of our one visit, but I still feel like I learned some valuable lessons that may help others have a fun-filled experience!

1. Purchase your tickets/passes online in advance of arriving. Waiting in long lines with small children, didn't sound fun to me, so I doubt it does to you either!
2. Upgrade one of your passes to a season pass. (I was SUPER fortunate to find a special deal back in May that allowed me to purchase all of our tickets for the regular 1-day price, but as a bonus, it upgraded all of us to season pass members FOR FREE!) 
As a season pass member, we got the following:
--Enter the park through a MUCH shorter line.
--Receive 30% discount on ALL of your food and merchandise you purchase at the gift shops! (This was HUGE!...we saved so much money that it is worth the price of upgrading to season pass you can, beverages, 3 Elmos, 1 Telly, 1 Grover and 1 Big Bird are not cheap!)
--Allowed us to visit 2.5 days without buying a 3rd day's admission for everyone. (They usually offer buy 1 day, your second day is free, but if you plan on going any more than 2 days, the season pass is the way to go. Heck, even if you are just going 2 was worth the savings!)
3. Pay the extra $3 ($18) and park in the Premiere/Preferred parking instead of general parking for $15. It gets you much closer to the gate. VIP parking is $25 and is even closer, but I don't think it is that much closer for the price.
4. Eat at 11am....the food areas are not busy at all and the girls were MUCH less distracted and ate better during this time than when we hit one of the areas right at Noon one day. 
5. Arrive to shows a tad early so you get the best seats. For Elmo's world live...try to sit on the isle by the stairs....Elmo uses the stairs at the beginning and end of every show so you get to see him and give high fives!
6. If you plan on spending most of your time in the wet-attraction areas, I would suggest renting one of the Count's Cabanas for the day. A private, shaded cabana that you can come and go from all day. But be sure to make reservations before you arrive...they book up quick.  We didn't do it in advance, and they were sold out when we arrived. 
7. The girls were a little over 2 when we went, and while I think they had fun and there were things for them to do...I am guessing the prime age is 4-7yrs old. Of course I don't know this yet for sure, but based on the rides I saw and water attractions...I think that is probably pretty ideal. With that said...I can see us making another trip next year when the girls are it's still worth it with little ones!
8. Stay at a hotel that is SUPER close! There were a few right across the street that you might even be able to walk over from. Our hotel was 11 miles away (and while this doesn't sound like far....I didn't think we were in a very nice part of town, the girls would fall asleep on the way back (for only 15 mins) instead of taking good naps at the hotel, and our hotel was yucky...oh and it didn't have an elevator...and when you are lugging in 3 kids and all of the crap that comes with need an elevator. (I'm not going to include the hotel name here since I have stayed at other properties under this hotel chain and they were nice, but if you want to know which one it was, just email was listed under preferred hotels on SPlace's website too, so that sucks. Yes, I'm letting them know I don't think it should qualify as one of their preferred hotels so they are aware of the conditions from a customer's perspective.)

Hope these TIPS were helpful. I know some of you have asked me how it went and if I would recommend Sesame Place. I definitely would. Their staff is welcoming and helpful and friendly. The park is clean and I think it is easy to get to. Overall, it was a great experience and I know we'll go again!

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