Sesame Place San Diego, the second Sesame Place theme park in the United States and the only Sesame theme park on the West Coast, is now open! The park, located in Chula Vista, California, features water attractions and family-friendly dry rides, plus entertainment offerings like shows and a parade, along with so much more. We had the opportunity to experience Sesame Place before it officially opened, and this is what you need to know before you visit the brand-new theme park.
Shop on the Street
Once you walk through the turnstiles, you’ll be immersed in the Sesame Street land, which looks exactly like the set of the beloved children’s show. You can shop at Hooper’s Store, listen to Big Bird tell a story, or even take a photo with Elmo or Count von Count! In the middle of the neighborhood is the Sunny Day Carousel, which is a family-friendly ride for riders of all ages (riders under 42″ tall must be accompanied by a supervising companion). Hooper’s store is the park’s main gift shop, featuring pins, plushies, backpacks, and almost anything Sesame-related that you could ever want! The other major gift shop, Sesame Souvenirs, is where you can find swimming accessories like swimsuits, sandals, and towels.
Sesame Place San Diego features a total of seven dry rides, which are attractions that do not get riders wet. The first ride you’ll see is the Sunny Day Carousel, located right by the entrance. The Sesame realm also houses Super Grover’s Box Car Derby, a small-scale family roller coaster that is fun for all riders above 38″. This coaster is on the tamer side because it is designed specifically for kids, and its smoothness makes it the perfect “first coaster” for any child.
One of our favorite rides is the Sesame Street Soar & Spin. This ride provides a breathtaking view of the whole park and the surrounding landscape. If you want to increase the thrill factor, you can turn the ring in the center of the vehicle. Once you let go, the cabin will spin around! This lets you customize your own ride experience.
Sesame Place’s flat rides and roller coaster seem to have longer lines than the slides. On opening day, most ride wait times ranged between 30-45 minutes. If you want to maximize your time at the park, you can purchase Magic Queue. Magic Queue allows you to get priority access to all of the rides and can be purchased here.
Sesame Place stands on the site of the old Aquatica San Diego waterpark and features six thrilling water slides. Some of the slides are more intense than others, and each slide has different requirements regarding rider height and how many riders must occupy a raft. The benefit to having these more thrilling rides at the park is that it provides something for everyone to do. While teens and young adults may not be interested in the interactive Sesame Street elements, they’re sure to love the more intense water slides. Likewise, family water attractions include a heated wave pool, lazy river, and splash play area.
Cookie’s Monster Mixer, located at the front of the park, is one of the more ‘extreme’ waterslides due to the large conical splash element. You feel like you’re being whipped up in cookie batter, and you get soaked at the very end! Oscar’s Rotten Rafts is another thrilling ride geared towards older family members. The slide features twists and turns that surprise – and soak – unsuspecting riders.
Sesame Street Party Parade
The must-see production at Sesame Place San Diego is the parade! If you’ve seen the Sesame Street Party Parade at SeaWorld San Diego, Sesame Place’s version is similar but significantly longer. The Sesame Street characters try to interact with every member of the crowd, which helps create unforgettable moments for smaller visitors. The song is catchy, the floats are colorfully decorated, and the choreography is top-notch.
Sesame Place San Diego theme park has a lot to offer families, and a visit to the brand-new experience will be sure to create lasting memories. Sesame Place is unique in that it has something for everyone. Younger kids will love interacting with Sesame Street characters and riding some of the more tame rides. Older kids, teens, and adults will enjoy the more intense water slides. And all members of the family will appreciate the lazy river, wave pool, and Sesame Street Party Parade. We definitely recommend visiting Sesame Place during its inaugural season, and we’re so excited for the future of the Southern California park.
For more info and to purchase tickets, visit the Sesame Place San Diego website here.