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Planning a visit to the new Sesame Place san diego? This is the ultimate guide for the whole family!
From Elmo to Abby Cadabby to Cookie Monster, San Diego's newest theme park Sesame Place is the ideal location to see your family's favorite furry friends. We've been anticipating this opening on the west coast for a LONG time, and I'm so excited that this new theme park filled with our favorite sesame street friends if officially open!
Sesame Place has great options for kids of all ages, whether you are planning to visit as part of your next family vacation to San Diego or if you're a San Diego / Southern California local.
We visited Sesame Place the day before it opened to the public, and had a good amount of time to explore and to learn more about the park.
Some Basic Info About Sesame Place San Diego:
Location: Sesame Place San Diego is located at 2052 Entertainment Cir, Chula Vista, CA 91911
Parking at Sesame Place: Free parking is NOT included with your ticket or pass. General Parking for a car starts at $30, or starts at $35 for up close parking. You can purchase parking passes upon entering or online in advance if you prefer HERE.
Weather: The weather in San Diego varies greatly, and Chula Vista where Sesame Place is located is a bit inland, so you can expect warmer temperatures in the spring and summer months (see the 10 day forecast HERE).
Sesame Place: The Ultimate Guide to Sesame Place San Diego
Sesame Place San Diego is the only theme park on the west coast dedicated to our favorite neighborhood, and the first theme park that is a certified autism center. What does that mean? All team members receive special training focusing on sensory awareness, motor skills, autism overview, program development, social skills, communication, environment, and emotional awareness.
You can use a sensory guide to preview which areas of the park may be best for your family (see it HERE). There are also sensory guides to each attraction posted at the entrance. There are quiet rooms available for use as needed (near the first aid station), noise canceling headphones available for use (you can pick them up at guest services), and more.
When it comes to a flow for the day, I'd suggest planning park of the day for dry rides and live character shows and the neighborhood street party parade then a part of the day for the water attractions. The park isn't HUGE, you can definitely do it all in one or two days, but it will be more enjoyable to divide up the time.
Sesame Place San Diego: Interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood
Upon entering the park, you'll walk right into the Neighborhood itself. There are TONS of cute interactive store and stoop areas that are fun for the whole family and the perfect places for young children to get their wiggles out from the car ride over to the park. You'll see characters doing interactions, and there are stores as well.
This is also where you can use the interactive bubble wand to “activate” extra fun. For $40, you can purchase a reusable bubble wand that has a star on it. The star matches a similar star posted all over the area. When your child touches the star on the bubble wand to the stars in the Neighborhood, additional interactions happen. You can always purchase this wand once and bring it back for reuse!
The neighborhood also has one of kind photo opportunities like Big Bird's Nest and the famous Sesame Street stoop (I'd suggest trying to do this in early morning or late afternoon for the best lighting).
Sesame Place: Dry Rides
There are 8 Sesame street-themed rides at Sesame Place San Diego, and all are appropriate for little kids. Some do have height requirements (you can see all those HERE).
Abby's Fairy Flight: this swing ride is themed around our favorite sesame workshop fairy resident and allows you to fly just like her (your feet will dangle in the air, fair warning for us scared of heights people).
Cookie Climb: Lydia loved this ride, it's a belay system that allows you to pull yourself up to…….Cookie Monster's treats the top of a giant tower.
Elmo's Rockin' Rockets: This flying rocket ride is a PERFECT ride for kids who are ready for a “real ride” beyond a merry go round. It's fun, goes up high, but isn't scary in any way.
Rub-A-Dub Sub: This ride is an enclosed group submarine that goes in large circles (may not be ideal if you or your child doesn't like enclosed spaces).
Sesame Street Soar & Spin: Want a flying view of the whole Sesame Place San Diego park? These “ballons” will take you up and gently spin you around the sky so you can see it all!
Rosita's Harmony Hills: These are sort of half ride, half interactive musical play area. Rosita's hills are filled with instruments to play with, and hills to climb up!
Sunny Day Carousel: The perfect first ride for little kids. This adorable carousel has ride on characters and benches, moves nice and slowly, and is RIGHT at the park entrance.
Super Grover's Box Car Derby: This is definitely the most grown up of rides, it's a great starter roller coaster for the entire family. Yes, even scared of heights me did this one.
Sesame Place: Water Park and Slides
I have to admit, I was totally surprised at how much I loved the water slides and water play areas at Sesame Place. There are TEN water areas, enough to allow people to easily spread out and enjoy.
There is plenty of seating, but if you want to really take it up a notch, you can reserve a cabana.
Food at Sesame Place
There are 5 dining options at Sesame Place San Diego plus smaller carts around the neighborhood (this is where I spotted the Starbucks cart for you coffee lovers). The locations are mostly grouped together and have a variety of sandwiches, burgers, salads, chicken nuggets and kid friendly items.
The food is a bit pricey, so I'd suggest doing one main meal at the park and a few snacks (the open to close times really lend themselves to lunch — you can view park hours HERE).
Sesame Place: Entertainment and Characters
The live shows and daily parade at Sesame Place San Diego are ABSOLUTELY top notch. Welcome to Our Street is the adorable show at the Outdoor Theatre starring all your favorite furry friends. It's interactive, super entertaining, and a GREATTTT way to see your besties without waiting in line. You can see the schedule for showtimes HERE, it happens 3-4 times most days.
The Sesame Street Party Parade is lovely and MOST times happens twice a day (check the schedule). The parade winds from the Neighborhood through the park area (and is a fun way to see characters and to dance a bit). I'd suggest doing the second parade as your final stop of the day. Get to the area a bit early and grab a spot right after the Sunny Day Carousel for easy viewing and a speed exit.
Looking to have some one on one time with characters and for those iconic photos with your kiddos? The characters wander the neighborhood OR you can go into Elmo's house for a special photo opportunity (this is a green screen as of now, but you do get to see his house!).
FAQs About Sesame Street San Diego
Where do you change into a bathing suit and store your items?
This was my biggest question too. There are changing rooms near the water slides and pools (as well as rinse off areas) and lockers available for rental if you'd like to store any items.
What about allergy needs and dietary restrictions?
As someone who is fairly new to being gluten free, this was a huge concern for me. There WERE gluten free buns available for the burgers and salads. Each food location did have labeled what items were gluten free or dairy free.
What should I bring with me?
Pack light, but bring what you'll need for a day in the sun. Sunscreen is a must, so are comfortable shoes and a change of dry clothes. You could wear your suit under your clothes and just bring a change for end of day if easier!