Sesame Place, located in Langhorne, PA, is a wonderful amusement park suitable for families with young children. About a 90 minute drive from New York and only a 30 minute drive from Philadelphia, Sesame Place can be a lot of fun even for toddlers. Here are some great mom-tested time and money saving tips for entrance tickets and dining at Sesame Place.
For 2012, Elmo’s 2nd Day Free tickets cost $58.99. The 2nd day does not have to be a consecutive day, meaning it can be used during the entire season Sesame Place is open (April to October). Children over 24 months pay the full price. This means if you want to take an almost two year old child to Sesame Place for his birthday, you should go the weekend before. Every adult with a season pass or multi day ticket needs an ID to enter and will be fingerprinted, so the tickets become non-transferable.
Discounts abound on Sesame Place tickets. I always visit www.sesameplace.com for the special event calendar, partner discounts (which include McDonald’s and Rite Aid) and disclosures. Buying and printing online also helps avoid long lines that form at the entrance. Right now, the online tickets are selling at $10 off. Weekday tickets are also discounted. It makes sense to know the terms of the discounts (AAA, military etc.) and coupons. For example, typically you can’t combine them or use them on the two day pass.
Although the two day pass, which can be used on non-consecutive days, offers a decent value, those planning on multiple visits should invest in a season pass. Big Bird and Super Grover Season passes allow holders to “Meet and Greet” (and hug) all the characters (in the locker area near the start of the parade route) from 6:40-7:00pm and ride the parade float afterwards. The Big Bird Pass, which sells for $136.99, offering free parking ($18/day) and 30% off meals and merchandise, which amounts to decent savings. Our family usually purchases at least one Big Bird pass, which lets us participate in the the Meet & Greet and allows us to skip the dining experiences, which are expensive. Typically, if you buy a current season pass in late summer (early August), you get next season’s pass for free. Season Pass holders also get discounts on additional tickets, as well as free entry on select days for friends and family.
A special experience at Sesame Place is to have breakfast, lunch or dinner with your favorite Sesame Street characters such as Elmo, Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, and other Sesame Street friends. I do not find much value in these (since the Meet and Greet is quite intimate without the distractions of food), but the passes do offer a 10% discount. Veteran Sesame Place goers recommend booking the character dining experiences online a couple of weeks in advance, since they sell out. If you cancel with more than 24 hours advance notice, you get a full refund.
Although the menu has seen a healthier upgrade in 2012, food at Sesame Place is expensive, mediocre and not too healthy (pizza, fries, chicken tenders, etc), and the lines at lunchtime can get long. No outside food is permitted, with the exception of soft side coolers. Unfortunately, unless you purchase a “smart cup,” you cannot fill beverages in your own cups. In addition, not all cafes offer the same menu. For example, Cookie’s Cafe does not serve pizza but offers more adult sandwich options. We often eat outside Sesame Place, at the nearby Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Pizzeria Uno, or Chili’s. Visitors get a hand stamp that allows them to return to the park on the same day. The season pass offers a 30% discount on food, so carry yours when you place your food order.
For tips on how to plan your visit to Sesame Place for maximum bang for the buck, and minimum stress, please read my other article on Sesame Place.