Sesame Place San Diego  First Time Tips

When planning a visit to Sesame Place San Diego, there’s a few important pieces of information everyone should know!


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When it comes to planning a visit to Sesame Place San Diego, some things you’ll need to plan ahead and prepare for include park hours, tickets, rides, entertainment, swimming and more.

Sesame Place opens at 10am, but it is not open every day, starting in September.  From September 1st on, Sesame Place San Diego will only be open on weekends and holidays, including the entire thanksgiving week break as well as the week before and after Christmas.  I would presume they’ll be back open 7 days a week during the summer break in 2023 as well.


When looking to buy tickets, check for deals on social media, they’re constantly running 20-50% off deals.  I would definitely not recommend waiting to buy until you arrive at the park as you’ll be charged full price. However, if you’re not sure you’re going to go, they will have tickets available the day of.   Unlike most theme parks today, a reservation is not required for entry.


The rides at Sesame Place San Diego are sorta scarce, but they do have some fun ones.  Check out my Ride Rankings to see all the rides available as well as a 360° POV Ride Through Video of each ride.  Wait times are usually really low, so you should be able to plan to ride every ride while at the park.


This is a good time to remind you, at Sesame Place San Diego, they have a sign similar to the one below at the entrance to each ride, both land and aquatic, that goes over the Safety Requirements, Safety Instructions, as well as a Sensory Guide.  The Sesame Place parks are the first parks in the world with a Certified Autism Center rating.  The Sensory Guide “provides insight on how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense for rides and attractions at Sesame Place.” See the Sesame Place website for more details on what the certification entails.

There is no shortage of entertainment at Sesame Place San Diego.  Sometimes, it feels like you have too many options.  From character greets, storytime, parades and stage shows, there’s usually something always happening.  See my Entertainment guide for more details!


At Sesame Place San Diego, the park isn’t just about the rides, they also have a water park!  From the lazy river, to the wave pool, water slides, and raft, there’s plenty of opportunities to enjoy water play!  Don’t forget the biggest water ride of all, the Cookie Monster Mixer!  They also have changing rooms and lockers available to store your valuable items while swimming. 

A few extra cost options available at Sesame Place San Diego includes the Magic Queue, a front of the line ride pass option, poolside cabanas, parade and show reservations.  Most of these options were not needed on a weekday in July, though they may be nice to have for some. 


Food at Sesame Place San Diego consists of a few snack stands as well as a couple window service restaurants.  A lot of the standard theme park fare.  Definitely be prepared to eat lunch while at the park.

So what is a good plan for enjoying the day?  If you arrive at opening, I’d hit up a few rides like the carrousel, Super Grover’s Boxcar Derby and depending on the time, Elmo’s Rockin’ Rockets and Sesame Street Soar n Spin.  Between 1030 and 1130 start doing meet n greets with the available characters.  Shop in some of the nearby stores.  At noon, go to Big Bird storytime.  Then eat some lunch and then finish riding the rides you haven’t done yet. 


Before 2pm, head back to the main street and get ready for the parade.  On a sunny day, find a tree to sit under, as the parade is about 15 minutes long, it gets warm along the concrete.  After the parade, get ready for swimming.  Take in all the activities that interest your family.  At 4pm, check out the stage show, Welcome to our Street.  On weekdays, the park closes at 5pm, so you’ll have just a little bit of time after the show to get in a couple last activities, change back to regular clothes, maybe grab a snack for the road and head home.   Weekends are open until 7pm, 6pm starting the weekend after labor day, so you’ll have more time to enjoy the park. 

Sesame Place San Diego is also celebrating a couple of big Holidays this fall.  From September 17th through October 30th, check out The Count’s Halloween Spooktactular.  From their website, “Come in costume and celebrate silly, not-too-spooky fun at The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place! The park will be transformed into a family-friendly Halloween haven and guests will enjoy trick-or-treating around the park, Halloween-themed shows, the Sesame Street Halloween Parade, Dance Party, an interactive Spot-The-Ghost Scavenger Hunt Sesame Street-themed dry & wet rides, games, special retail, and unique photo opportunities with everyone’s favorite furry friends dressed up in costume!”


Then from November 12th through December 31st, get ready for A Very Furry Christmas Celebration.  Again from the website, “A Very Furry Christmas Celebration at Sesame Place is a festive, family-friendly celebration with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends. The park becomes a festive winter wonderland filled with holiday magic and surprises. Enjoy tasty treats of the season as you browse unique gifts and holiday items, move and groove at our Furry Friends Christmas Dance Party, and get one-of-a-kind photos with your Sesame Street friends dressed up in their holiday best!”

Do you plan to take your family to Sesame Place San Diego? What are you looking forward to the most? Comment below with your answers!

If you’re ready to start exploring a visit to Sesame Place San Diego, I recommend checking out Undercover Tourist for your ticket options.  I’ve already used them twice, once at Disneyland and once at Disney World and will plan to continue comparing their prices with other sites, however I usually come back to UT because they have the best deals and their instructions make it easy to add your tickets to the Disney apps.


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