This review is brought to you by the letter A (for awesome).
And The number three (for the amount of times we will be going this year)
I know what you all are going to ask me, can I tell you how to get to Sesame Street? The answer is yes, and I have some great tips too!
My family and I went there a few weeks back and just had an amazing time especially since it really wasn't all that far away -- just about an hour and a half without traffic. We arrived just as the park opened to the crowds making their pilgrimage to the gate where the SESAME STREET sign hung high, excitement growing ever greater within my son (okay, me too).
When we got into the park it was almost too much to handle and we all did a little hop skip and a jump! It was great. As you walk in the Super Grover roller coaster is to your right, a store on your left and right smack in the middle is a beautiful sculptured garden of the characters themselves. You walk past that and you are right smack dab in the middle of Sesame Street itself.
There is the fire station complete with a truck, Hooper's store, the alley, 123 Sesame Street the building itself and Big Bird's house (although you cannot go in it, the mail box is proudly displayed right in front). To the left of you is the water park and to the right are the dry rides with the Count's Splash Countdown in the middle which is a kick!
The rides were age appropriate for close to 2 and up and our favorite was Big Bird's balloon race. The water park was good for all ages except the Count's splash down. which should be for the older kids -- we learned that the hard way. There is also a part that is great for crawlers and new walkers all padded and bouncy with huge soft blocks. Very fun.
Now My personal tips:
- If you can get the season pass, definitely do so. I got mine in March/ I believe and it was 30 percent off the original price. I also only had to buy two because my son was under 2 years old, so it was a pretty good price. This is really only good though if you are going to go more than once -- which we are -- so keep that in mind. The pass not only gives you unlimited access to the park, free parking, 30 percent off of photos, food and merchandise, but it gives you VIP seating and a special meet and greet before the parades. The meet and greet was really worth it. They had all the characters out except for Big Bird and Oscar and my kid thought it was big fun, and honestly, so did we. It was worth every dollar. The meet and greet is to the left when you enter the park right in between a stand that sells something and the lockers. There is a small sign that says VIP entrance on the fence, really easy to miss, and a lot of the staff had no idea what I was talking about!
- If you are able, go to the parade at night. It is usually right before the park closes. It is much cooler out, less crowded and there is something so magical seeing the floats all lit up. I don't know, it just makes it so much more awesome.
- You can also use the time during the afternoon parade to hit the rides that had the longer lines or leave the park to put the kids down for a nap because the traffic will be kicking once the parade is over.
- My final bit of advice is please do not purchase any of the merchandise at the park. I don't know why they feel the need to mark up products that you can find in the store, but they do. Nothing at the stores were really anything out of the ordinary, except maybe the stuffed toys and those little knick knack things in bins that we all know the kids love. What I did was watched for items to go on sale at Toys R Us and went in with a coupon and bought a couple of things like a counting Ernie doll and a race car and brought them with us and gave it to him at the end of the day. He was just as happy. If your kids are older keep one little thing with you and act like you bought it from the store. It's not the products themselves that I find offensive, it is the fact that they are trying to rip you off. I personally think the Sesame Street toys are one of the best out there.
Overall it is an amazing park and SO CLEAN. I mean for a place that is literally crawling around with children you do not see a speck of litter anywhere in the park and you constantly see employees walking around with the good old dust pan picking things up. You can tell they take pride in the fact that the park looks its best and I definitely appreciated it! The rides were well-maintained with people checking the safety of your little ones. The staff was really friendly, but a tad young. I really did not see any real “adults” in the whole place except during the parades and the VIP meet and greet.
If I had one complaint it would be that a lot of the staff was not well-informed about show times and where certain things were located, but they all were really friendly. One "kid" actually helped us out when he was off of work! And of course the merchandise which we already discussed and is really not surprising, after all it is a THEME park! Other than those two things there is absolutely nothing negative to say.
I am looking forward to our trip back there, and even more so to the seasonal events coming up -- the Halloween spectacular and the Christmas spectacular! The Christmas one is not included in the season pass but I see that it is now offered for an additional $10 per person for pass holders, so we are going to go for it. Please if any of you have any tips of your own, bring them down. Thanks Sesame Street -- can't wait to get there again!
*For the full review, including tips from the staff, character locations, show reviews, where the best spot to watch the parade is and more, head over to www.themommysguide.com.