Our family travelled from Ontario, Canada to Sesame Place last week. We had a great time - our two-year old was in heaven! We had many hours over the drive home to think about what we may do differently or would tell friends - here were our thoughts:
1. We booked a package through Sesame Place. I started by booking online but ended up calling which I think may have worked out to slightly cheaper. I gave the agent a budget and she recommended different options.
2. We stayed at the Amerisuites, which is currently being transformed into a Hyatt. It was in Princeton, NJ - and a very easy 20-minute drive on one highway to the park. ti was gorgeous - looking exactly as it does on the website. Very clean, large LCD panel tv and sectional couch. Great for families.
3. Do a meal with the characters...it was about $16 per person, we chose to do breakfast with Elmo on the first day. Advantages:
- guaranteed to see Elmo (our daughter's ultimate favorite) and other characters - on our day it was Zoey, Big Bird, Ernie, Bert. They had pros taking pics you could buy - but you were just as welcome to take your own and they were great about allowing lots of time and being patient with kids who were a bit scared or overwhelmed. You can see some of these characters throughout the park but need to wait in lines (in the sun) and things seemed a bit more hurried. In all reality, parents should eat prior, it's not about the food!!!! It's pretty much chaos but well worth it for your child....
-another advantage - breakfast is PRIOR to the park opening...so you are in and able to get on rides well before the park starts to fill up. The second day we were there for the opening at 10 and it was pretty crazy standing in line, just to get in!! It gets packed fairly quickly, too.
4. We used the Preferred Parking area which was $16 per day - most certainly a scam but regular parking was $13 so for the extra money you were quite a bit closer. We could also leave and come back (by car). You may want to do this to grab lunch elsewhere. The food is rather pricey (a kid's meal was $7.99 for chicken fingers and fries!!!) and there is a mall a minute's drive down the road. You can only bring small coolers into the park and we did see them turn away anyone who brought larger than the dimensions they specify (you can look this up on their website)
5. There are several rides, I think the waterpark is bigger...a note about the lines: they are NOT sheltered meaning you are standing in the hot sun. Most rides did not allow hats on them, but you need to have one (the kids especially) while in line.
6. We also have a 3 month old so I was hoping to be able to find nursing stations - there was just one in the park. Something to be aware of!
7. Overall - definitely worth the trip but plan well. Pack for the day(s) - we did the rides on the first day (and the parade at 2pm) and hit the water park for the second day. We only did about 4 or 5 hours each day and that was well more than enough. You can take strollers but they can't go into the shows etc so you have to be okay with leaving it out (most of us left our diaper bags and so on in the strollers...seemed safe enough). We didn't use the lockers so we were carting around all our stuff. In the end our daughter had a ball, we got lots of great pics, she is still talking about it and we came away happy!!
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