Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday Tip #4: Sesame Place!

While Hubby was in Texas, my mom and I took the boys to Sesame Place.  I have memories of going as a kid, and I was super excited to experience it with them- especially JD, because he is currently obsessed with Ernie.

My first observation- it is no Disney park.  It is not as spotlessly clean.  The rides are not as cool.  The employees are not as talented or helpful.  But considering how close it is to our house (It took us a little over two hours to drive there.), and how much JD loves Sesame Street, I see this as a place we will return to again and again.  I am definitely planning on getting a season pass next year, when the boys are a little older, because the perks of it are surprisingly good.

The positives:

It is SUPER toddler friendly.  JD could ride almost everything (For some rides he had to be with an adult and/or wear a life vest.), and all his favorite foods were there.

The characters!  Big Bird was a little awkward (his costume is huge, so I don't blame him), but the rest were great.  We had dinner with Elmo, and a bunch of characters worked the room, visiting each table.  We saw characters around the park sporadically, and there is also a place where you can see Elmo and Abby all the time.

"It's my good ol' buddy, Bert!"

He couldn't move his head, so he had this creepy, straight ahead stare the whole time.

Elmo Live.  We got in line about 20 minutes before show time and scored front row seats.  I thought JD might faint.  The shows alone are worth the price of admission!

The negatives:

  • The lockers were soooo annoying.  They cost $20 for the day (you get $5 back when you return your key), so you would expect them to at least work, right?  We went through 4 lockers before we found one that I could force open after locking it, and once we had to get somebody to force one open for us because our stuff was stuck inside.  Next time, I may just buy one of those water-proof packs to put the camera & cash in when we go on water rides and avoid the lockers completely.
  • My mom commented that it is much bigger than when I was a kid, but the one thing that I have a clear memory of isn't there anymore.  I still do not understand why they do not have the full replica of the Sesame Street set.  I was really looking forward to getting a shot of JD in Ernie's tub, Oscar's can, and Big Bird's nest, but an employee said they haven't had those in years.
The only thing you could pose with in the Sesame neighborhood was a fire truck.
As close as you can get to the nest.
There are a couple things I will do to save money next time:

1. I will get a membership next year, which pays for itself in less than 2 visits.  With a membership, you get free parking (We paid $18- although we could have taken a free shuttle from the hotel.  Not having to get on & off the shuttle with the double stroller & having the car in case of meltdowns was worth it to me.) and 30% off all food and merchandise.  I'm thinking we could go at least 2 days in the spring and once in the fall to avoid the crowded peak times.

2. I will pack a small cooler for snacks and lunch (they allow coolers 10"x10"x12" or smaller).  There is also a shady picnic area outside the main entrance.  Buying food in the park is expensive (kids meals were around $9), but they come with souvenir cups and plates.  Dinner with the characters was totally worth it even though it was buffet-style cafeteria food! (The carrot cake was AMAZING.)

3. Avoid getting a locker.

Since we've been back, two moms at My Gym have told me they are already planning to visit the park.  Are you?


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