Plan your next sunny day at Sesame Place, San Diego’s newest theme park located in Chula Vista. BYO towels and plan to get wet at one of the 11 featured water play zones—water slides, a splash playground and a lazy river just to name a few. Stay dry on eight theme-park rides that will take you up, but not too high. Little kids will love the tot-sized roller coaster and rockin’ rockets.
Sesame Place is a Certified Autism Center and offers specialized services for guests with autism and other special needs for every family to enjoy their visit. Sing and dance at live shows or parades, soak up the sun from your private cabana or skip the lines with the Magic Queue! This guide is full of tips and insider info with your sneak peek into the all-new Sesame Place. Take a look and get ready for some fun!
Rides & Slides
Slip, slide and ride your way around Sesame Place on “wet” and “dry” rides. You’ll definitely want to plan on getting wet since there are 11 water feature rides and 8 theme-park style rides at Sesame Place. Each has its own height requirement for kids to either ride alone or with an adult. Plan ahead by printing out a map of the park and write your kid’s initials next to the rides they’re tall enough for. This will save you time so you’ll know which areas to head straight for.
GOOD TO KNOW:
- Plenty of outdoor shower rinse stations and open-air changing stalls with doors are available. These are in the center of the park.
- Skip the line and add on the Magic Queue pass for priority ride access, starting at $19.99/person.
Everyone from babies to adults will find a water feature they can splash about in. Most of the water rides have a minimum height requirement of 42”. There are four rides for kiddos under 42”: Big Bird’s Rambling “Lazy” River, Big Bird’s Beach wave pool, Elmo’s Silly Sand Slides and Abby’s Paradise children’s pool. Lifeguards are stationed everywhere so there will be lots of extra eyes keeping everyone safe.
GOOD TO KNOW:
- Some water activities for smaller kids require life jackets. These are provided free of charge in all sizes and for all ages who wish to wear them.
Theme Park Rides
Get your thrills on the dry side of the park from Elmo’s Rockets and Super Grover’s Box Car Derby, or a mellow delight from a spin around the Sunny Day Carousel or the Rub-A-Dub Submarine. Most mechanical rides are good for small children, with only three of them requiring heights of 36” or 38” tall to ride.
GOOD TO KNOW:
- They offer a “rider child swap” when a ride doesn’t allow a parent to ride with all of their children at the same time due to limited ride seats. The adult can ride with one child, while the other child waits at the front of the line. When the ride is complete the adult can then ride again with the other child while the first child waits aside.
Sesame Street Neighborhood
Make time to explore the real Sesame Street Neighborhood; it’s filled with fun surprises for littles to find. Ring Bert & Ernie’s doorbell, look at Elmo’s window and you may see him singing and dancing, push their apartment number buttons in the right order to hear what the gang is up to, pop bubbles at the laundromat and most importantly “don’t knock” on Oscar’s trash can…or should you? This area is perfect for littles because all of the buttons and activities are just at their height.
- Time your visit to this street with Big Bird’s daily storytime; just look for all the birdhouses and you can’t miss his BIG nest. While you’re nearby, pop into the green room around the corner for photos with Elmo and friends.
Sesame Street Fun
Sing and dance every day with Sesame Street friends as they put on their biggest welcome show at the Sesame Street Theater. Watch Big Bird dance down the street every afternoon with all of his friends in a high-energy musical parade that will have you shaking your hips or at least bobbing your head along. Track down Sesame Street friends to find them wandering about ready to meet you and take photos together. Plan out the year to include holiday shows for The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular (Sept. 17 – Oct. 30) or A Very Furry Christmas Celebration (Nov. 12 – Dec. 31).
GOOD TO KNOW:
- Reserve upfront spots for the daily shows and parade for the best views. Add these online, at the entrance or from the app. Reserved seating starts at $4.99/person.
Eats On The Street
Six different food options are available to fill you up with everything from quick snacks to meals and of course cookies! You’ll find hamburgers (Impossible burgers too), chicken sandwiches, salads and wraps from various walk-up windows or grab-n-go food stands selling popcorn, hot dogs and soda. For extra hot days, the Dippin’ Dots or Icees will help cool you down.
GOOD TO KNOW:
- Look for the Starbucks stand for your caffeine fix; it’s just to the left after you enter.
- Outside food, beverages and coolers are NOT allowed inside the park, except for a bottle of water or refillable water bottle (bottle filling stations are inside). Exceptions are made for special diets, allergies and baby food.
Upgrades, rentals and extra supplies can make the difference from a fun day to a great day! From cabanas to lockers and strollers to diapers, find out what and where to go for that extra mile.
Rent a cabana for an easy way to keep everyone and everything together. With a cabana rental the food service will come to you and you’ll get access to a private Abby’s Paradise Pool. Score! Cabana rentals start at $149.
Locker rentals are a great way to keep your things secure without worrying about where they are. Choose from small, medium or large and you’ll have access to open and close it all day long.
Stroller rentals are available in single and double and make a great way to keep your kids and your things all together. It might be helpful for kiddos who nap to take a little break and rest their feet as you chase bigger kiddos around the park. Wheelchair and electric scooter rentals are available too.
Sesame Souvenirs has you covered if you forget anything or need extras like swim diapers, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, water shoes, towels, t-shirts, swimsuits and of course souvenirs!
Photographers will be on hand to capture special memories since your camera might be locked away for the day. They’ll give you a QR code card that you can order from the Park Photo Center before you leave. (Photos are only available to see inside the park; there’s no online viewing or purchase access after you leave the park.)
123 Trade With Me is where you’ll find Sesame Place trading pins!
Certified Autism Center
Sesame Place is a Certified Autism Center, which means that all of its employees have been specially trained and provide extra services to guests with autism and other disabilities Sensory ride guides are posted at each ride to indicate how the ride might affect sensory issues. Rider Accessibility Program allows guests to develop a ride match program with park assistance. Quiet rooms, noise-canceling headphones for shows and low-sensory play areas are also available in the park (look for Rosita’s Harmony Hills, next to Big Bird’s Beach).
Head straight to guest services where you’ll find many hidden gems that could help save the day. The Baby Care Center provides a quiet place for feeding babies and bottle warming. The First Aid station could help with any scrapes or bumps. This is where “Lost Parents” will reunite with children brought over by staff members. You can also get a Cashless Wristband to load up $50 to show at food services for payment instead of bringing your wallet around. The best thing from here might just be the waterproof ID wristbands you can get for free that will help staff members identify your child in case of emergency.
Know Before You Go
Here’s what to know before you go…how much, how long and where to park are all the answers to help you figure out how to make this day happen.
Admission includes wet and dry rides, shows, parades and open lounge chairs. Single-day tickets start at $64.99 online, parking is not included. Season Passes start at $132 online and do include parking. Kids ages 23 months and younger are free, so kids ages 24 months and up need a ticket/pass.
General parking is $35 per car, while up-close parking ranges from $35-$50 per car and varies by day.
Hours vary but are generally from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekends with extended hours during the summer. They’re generally only open for weekends, holidays and school breaks; with a closure between January-March. Operating Dates for 2022 are Mar. 26 – Dec. 31.
GOOD TO KNOW:
- Tickets are not refundable, but you can change the date by calling customer service.
- Make sure you’re on the correct website for the location you want to visit. The Philadelphia and San Diego websites are very similar, without much reference for which location (look at the web address if you’re not sure).
- Plan your day before you go by checking ride heights, ride locations and any extra upgrades you might want to add on.
- Buy tickets online before you go (they’re cheaper online and you won’t have to wait in line).
- Download the Sesame Place app. You can access showtimes, character visits, ride heights, reserved seating and more.