It was a sunny day at Sesame Place San Diego where I stepped back in time and re-lived some of my favorite childhood Sesame Street memories. The water park/amusement park is located in Chula Vista and you might remember that it used to be Aquatica San Diego. Sesame Place San Diego is the second Sesame Street theme park in the US and is also designated as a Certified Autism Center.
Sesame Place San Diego
Sesame Place San Diego opened earlier this Spring and is the first theme park based on Sesame Street on the West Coast. The combination water park/theme park features 18 Sesame Street-themed rides and water attractions inlcuding a family-friendly roller coaster and a 500,000-gallon wave pool. Kids of all ages will enjoy a musical play area, an interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood, daily live character shows, and an award-winning parade. Families will also love meeting their favorite Sesame Street characters for photo opps. Throughout the year, Sesame Place San Diego also hosts family-friendly events including The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular and A Very Furry Christmas.
Things to Do With Young Kids at Sesame Place San Diego
Sesame Street , the TV show, is geared towards children ages 3-5, so naturally parents may question the age appropriateness of Sesame Place San Diego. Like many theme parks, Sesame Place offers rides and attractions for both younger and older children. What sets Sesame Place apart is that the characters are well-loved by children across the globe and there is a sense of nostalgia, particularly in older children and adults.
Sesame Place San Diego offers both dry and water rides, setting it apart from most theme parks. Before entering the park, families can view the height requirements for each individual ride, including the water rides in order to plan their day. Many of the dry rides require kids to be at least 36 inches to ride with additional requirements for a supervising companion, based on height.
Younger kids will enjoy the Sunny Day Carousel, Rub-A-Dub-Sub, Elmo’s Rockin’ Rockets, Sesame Street Soar & Spin, Abby’s Fairy Flight, Cookie Climb, and Rosita’s Harmony Hills. Additionally, Elmo’s Silly Sand Slides, The Count’s Splash Castle, Big Bird’s Beach, and Big Bird’s Rambling River are water attractions suitable for young childrn accompanied by an adult. Here is a brief overview of the rides and attractions ideally suited for young kids.
- Sunny Day Carousel: This cute, colorful, classic ride features all of your favorite Sesame Street characters.
- Rub-A-Dub Sub: Kids will enjoy riding on the S.S. Duckie which goes forward and backward.
- Elmo’s Rockin’ Rockets: Kids take control when they fly up, down, and all around in one of Elmo’s rocket ships.
- Sesame Street Soar & Spin: The best view of the park is from this ride that spins you around.
- Abby’s Fairy Flight: Sesame Place’s version of the traditional family swing ride is thrilling, inspired by your favorite fairy-in-training.
- Cookie Climb: Can you pull yourself to the top of the Cookie Monster-themed towers? Get a fun workout with this new attraction.
- Rosita’s Harmony Hills: Sesame Place’s take on the traditional playground features rolling green hillsides and “instruments” so kids can climb, crawl, and create music.
- Elmo’s Silly Sand Slides: Ideal for the youngest guests, these 6 slides offer tons of splashtastic fun.
- The Count’s Splash Castle:This multi-level interactive water play attraction features waterslides, hoses, jets, geysers and more for hands-on fun. Beware of the 500-gallon bucket that drops water on everyone below!
- Big Bird’s Beach: This family-friendly wave pool is surrounded by a beach, ideal for lounging and enjoying the warm sun. At 500,000 gallons, it is one of the largest wave pools in Southern California.
- Big Bird’s Rambling River: Float along Sesame Place’s 1250-foot lazy river in a single or double tube. This is the perfect attraction for families with kids of all ages.
Things to Do With Tweens and Teens at Sesame Place San Diego
Teens will love the theming of Sesame Place, along with the thrill of riding on a family-friendly steel coaster and six exciting water slides.
- Super Grover’s Box Car Derby: This action-packed box-car-themed coaster features exciting hills, big turns, and mini-dives. This is the perfect first steel roller coaster for the whole family.
- Cookie’s Monster Mixer: The most thrilling water ride at Sesame Place San Diego is a six-story, four-person family raft ride that propels you swirling and swishing before dropping into a giant funnel.
- Oscar’s Rotten Rafts: This family-friendly ride gathers you and up to 4 people in a raft with long twists and turns.
- Bert’s Topsy Turvy Tunnels: Featuring two enclosed slides and one open-air slide, grab your best friend and a tube and slide down one of three 60-foot water slides.
- Ernie’s Twisty Turny Tunnels: Similar to Bert’s Topsy Turvy Tunnels, slide down one of two enclosed or an open-air slide which features an exciting splash ending.
- Honker Dinger Dash: Up for some furry competition? Grab a mat and challenge your family to an exhilerating (and wet) dash to the finish. Choose from 6 lanes as the course begins in an enclosed tunnel with a 180-degree turn.
- Snuffy’s Spaghetti Slides: Slide and splash down one of six, 60-foot long body slides into a splashy ending. Two of the slides are open-air, and four are enclosed.
Family-Friendly Shows and Attractions at Sesame Place San Diego
Sesame Street Neighborhood
When you first walk into Sesame Place San Diego, be sure to spend some time at the Sesame Street Neighborhood which features the iconic 123 stoop. Families will be immersed in the world of Sesame Street where Hooper’s Store, Abby Cadabby’s Garden and Big Bird’s Nest come alive. The neighborhood is highly interactive, so be sure to look for those elements during your visit. Kids can play a game at the Bike Shop window, get hands-on at the Laundromat, and talk to the Two-Headed Monster at the pipe telephone. Plus, if your child has a Magic Bubble Wand, he/she can use it to interact with the various windows and locations throughout Sesame Street Neighborhood.
Storytime with Big Bird
Be sure to check out the Sesame Place San Diego app to find out when Big Bird will host a special Storytime at his nest, located in the Sesame Street Neighborhood. After storytime, families can take photos with everyone’s favorite bird.
Sesame Street Meet-and-Greets/Photo Opportunities
Find your favorite Sesame Street friends at Sesame Street Neighborhood. Take a selfie in front of Abby Cadabby’s Garden or a group photo at the famous 123 stoop! Hop inside Big Bird’s Nest for a “bird’s eye” view. Additionally, you can take there is a special photo opportunity available at Photos with Elmo & Friends.
Welcome to Our Street
When we arrived at Sesame Place San Diego, we caught the very first showing of Welcome to Our Street, which features Elmo, Abby, Grover, Rosita, and Cookie Monster. The show performs at the Sesame Street Theater and includes dancing, singing, magic, and cookies! Together, they realize that working together is the best way for the Sesame Street gang to put on the most spectacular welcome show of all.
Sesame Street Party Parade
Be certain to carve out time during your visit to Sesame Place San Diego to watch the award-winning Sesame Street Party Parade. The parade is colorful and energetic and features imaginative floats, high energy music, and your favorite Sesame Street characters. Performers also jump rope, hula hoop, and groove down the street to contemporary tunes.
Best Tips for Visiting Sesame Place San Diego
Became a Sesame Place Season Passholder
The best way to experience Sesame Place San Diego is to get a season pass as you will want to visit multiple times throughout the season AND experience their seasonal events including Halloween Spooktacular and A Verry Furry Christmas. Additionally, Sesame Place season passholders will enjoy free parking (absolutely worth it), suprise monthly rewards, discounts on cabanas, stroller rentals, and Magic Queue, free friend tickets, and no blockout dates.
Download the Sesame Place San Diego App
Download the free Sesame Place App to navigate the park, view ride wait times, purchase add-on experiences, and more.
Use Magic Queue
Spend less time waiting, and more time making memories at Sesame Place San Diego by purchasing Magic Queue. You can choose from dry rides, water rides, or Unlimited Magic Queue, which offers unlimited priority access to both dry and water rides all day. Pricing varies and can be viewed online.
Rent a Cabana
Upgrade your visit to Sesame Place San Diego by reserving a private cabana. Located poolside, these cabanas offer a shaded area to lounge and include food and beverage service, free Wi-Fi, and special pool access.
Utilize the Gift Stores
The gift stores at Sesame Place have everything you need to make the most of your day including bathing suits, water shoes, swim diapers, and beach towels. You can also pick up a keepsake to commemorate your experience at Sesame Place San Diego.
Sesame Place San Diego is a Certified Autism Center
Sesame Place San Diego is a designated Certified Autism Center which means that every family will be able to enjoy a memorable visit to the theme park. Services include the following:
Sesame Place Team Members have received specialized training so that they have the knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to care for children with special needs.
Ride Accessibility Program
The program is designed to allow families and children to fully participate in the park with safety at the forefront.
Families with children who may need quiet time and relief from sensory stimulation can use one of two quiet rooms located near the First Aid Station. These quiet rooms have adjustable lighting and a comfortable seating area and the rooms are locked for complete privacy.
Any guest with hearing sensitivity can request noise-canceling headphones, available for pick up and return at Guest Services. Be sure to check ride specifications for information on whether they can be worn during the experience.
Low Sensory Parade Viewing
The beginning of the parade route is the best place for families to sit to enjoy the parade without direct character interaction. Another option is to sit or stand several rows back from the parade viewing line.
Julia is a vibrant, curious four-year-old girl with autism, which means she may do things differently than some people. Families can say hello to Julia and take photos in the Sesame Street Neighborhood.
Sesame Place San Diego is located in 20 minutes from San Diego easily accessible from Los Angeles and Orange County. For more information, visit SesamePlace.com/San-Diego.
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