With its loveable Muppets and educational moments, Sesame Street has been charming its way into people’s hearts ever since November 1969—and it shows no signs of stopping. At Sesame Place San Diego, guests can immerse themselves in the same family-friendly fun that has made Sesame Street an entertainment mainstay for decades. Opened in March 2022, this West Coast-based Sesame Street theme park brings the beloved neighborhood and the cuddly characters that call it home to life, complete with attractions, water rides, live shows, parades, and character interactions the whole family will love.
So, if your little one (or you!) has ever wished that they could pose for a photo with Big Bird or Bert & Ernie or do some people-watching from the iconic 123 Stoop, then Sesame Place San Diego is an absolute must-visit. From tickets and parking to attractions and dining, read on as we break down what you need to know about this Sesame Street-themed park.
Visiting Sesame Place San Diego
Joining the original Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which opened all the way back in July 1980, Sesame Place San Diego is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Just like its Pennsylvania counterpart, the West Coast-based Sesame Place boasts a mix of both dry attractions and wet rides, including a walkthrough replica of Sesame Street. It also plays host to an exciting array of entertainment offerings and special events, from regular parades and daily live character shows to themed seasonal events like Elmo’s Eggstravaganza, The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular and A Very Furry Christmas. But before we get into the fun stuff, let’s break down the basics of actually going to Sesame Place San Diego, such as location, hours and tickets.
Getting to Sesame Place San Diego
“Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Place?” Sesame Place is one of two SeaWorld Parks in Southern California, joining SeaWorld San Diego in early 2022. However, although they are sister parks, Sesame Place is actually a bit of a drive from Sea World, as it is located in nearby Chula Vista, CA, instead. So, if you’re hoping to visit the second theme park during your trip to San Diego, too, you’re going to have to plan out your trip accordingly.
Sesame Place San Diego is located in Chula Vista, CA, roughly 20 miles southeast of SeaWorld San Diego, at the site of what was once the Aquatica water park. When driving to the theme park, set your GPS destination to 2052 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista, CA 91911. Keep in mind that, due to its location right next door to the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre, there can be a lot of traffic in the area when events are happening. So, we recommend that you check out the schedule for the amphitheater when planning your visit.
For those driving to Sesame Place San Diego, parking is available in a variety of options. General parking is priced at $30 per vehicle, including buses, motorcycles, campers and RVs. Alternatively, up-close parking is available for $50 per vehicle for those who would rather spend more time in the theme park and less time trekking through the parking lot.
Hours of Operation
Although Sesame Place San Diego enjoys perpetually pleasant weather, thanks to its location in sunny Southern California, the Sesame Street theme park is not open every day all year long. Instead, opening days vary depending on the season. Expect the park to be open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year and on weekdays in the summer months, during holidays and over lengthier school breaks like spring break and winter break. Park hours vary as well, ranging from an opening time of 10 AM or noon and closing anywhere between 4 PM and 7 PM. Refer to the Sesame Place schedule for the most up-to-date hours of operation that week.
Sesame Place Park Admission
While you don’t need cable, satellite or a streaming subscription to watch Sesame Street on TV, going to Sesame Place San Diego doesn’t come free—or even cheap, for that matter. Instead, you’ll need either a standard day ticket or, for those who are planning to visit several times during the year, a season pass to visit. (Don’t worry—we offer discount Sesame Place tickets that will score you savings that the Count would be proud of. Ah, ah, ah!)
For those who don’t have much time to spend in the area, single-day Sesame Place and two-park, multi-day tickets, which include access to SeaWorld San Diego, are available. Tickets are required for guests ages 3 and up, while young children 35 months old and below get in for free.
Just like at SeaWorld, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World, dynamic pricing is utilized for single-day tickets, meaning that prices typically increase over popular travel periods, like the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the most part, however, Sesame Place San Diego ticket prices stay pretty steady. When purchasing theme park admission through the Sesame Place website or at the gate, expect to pay between $67.99 to $74.99 per person plus tax for a single-day ticket or $129.99 ($64.99 per visit) for a two-park ticket.
Alternatively, should you choose to buy your Sesame Place San Diego tickets directly through ParkSavers, you can expect to save between $10 to $17 per person for a single-day ticket and $27 per person for a two-park ticket. That’s a savings of up to $108 for a family of four.
For SoCal locals or families who travel to the area more than once a year, you might want to consider purchasing a season pass. Sesame Place San Diego passes come in a variety of tiers and price points, each offering an array of perks, such as free parking, complimentary guest tickets, in-park discounts and, of course, unlimited visits. A few even come with access to multiple theme parks, including the Platinum Pass, which comes with admission to all 11 SeaWorld Parks.
Season passes range from the Silver Pass, which is priced at $126 annually, plus taxes and fees (or $116.64 if purchased through ParkSavers, for a savings of almost $20 per person after tax), to the $288-per-year Platinum Pass. A SoCal Season Pass is also available for $99 each for Southern California residents.
Things to Know for Guests with Disabilities
Just like how Sesame Street is known for being warm and welcoming for individuals of all backgrounds, Sesame Place San Diego is also created with accessibility in mind. Not only does the park’s Ride Accessibility Program ensure that guests of all kinds are able to enjoy Sesame Place to the fullest extent possible, but it is also a Certified Autism Center.
As a Certified Autism Center, every staff member at the park undergoes specialized training in everything from sensory and emotional awareness to social and motor skills that allow them to provide exceptional service to everyone, including guests with special needs. Visitors can also check out Sesame Place San Diego’s sensory guide, which was developed in partnership with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and outlines the sensory level of every attraction in the park. And for those looking for a place to decompress, designated quiet spaces are also available.
Things to Do at Sesame Place San Diego: Attractions, Entertainment, Special Events & More
Of course, along with getting the chance to meet everyone’s favorite furry friends, one of the highlights of Sesame Place San Diego is the interactive Sesame Street neighborhood that features iconic landmarks from the show. However, there are also plenty of family-friendly rides and entertainment offerings available for guests of all ages to enjoy at this all-new theme park. As the park is a Certified Autism Center, be sure to check out the sensory guide before your arrival if you’re going to be visiting with a child with cognitive challenges to get an idea of the sensory levels for each of the attractions.
Rides & Interactive Play Areas
With almost 20 different attractions to choose from, from dry rides like a family-friendly rollercoaster to splash-tastic water attractions left over from the former Aquatica water park to a faithful recreation of the Sesame Street neighborhood, you’ll find something for the entire family at Sesame Place San Diego. Here are each of the attractions available at this Sesame Street theme park.
Dry rides at Sesame Place San Diego, which are available throughout the year, are made with small children in mind. None of the attractions here have a height requirement over 42″, meaning that even little kids will be able to enjoy them.
Abby’s Fairy Flight (Must be at least 36″ or taller) – A family swing ride powered by a dash of fairy dust from Abby Cadabby’s magic wand
Cookie Climb (Must be at least 38″ or taller) – An arm-powered, Cookie Monster-themed tower attraction that sees you climb up and then giggle all the way down
Elmo’s Rockin’ Rockets (Must be accompanied by a supervising companion if less than 48″) – An Elmo-inspired spinner ride featuring rocket ships for ride vehicles
Rosita’s Harmoney Hills (No height requirement) – A hands-on interactive play area to climb on, crawl around and make beautiful música with
Rub-A-Dub Sub (Must be accompanied by a supervising companion if less than 36″) – A kid-friendly submarine ride aboard Ernie’s bathtub toy sub, the S.S. Duckie
Sesame Street Soar & Spin (Must be accompanied by a supervising companion if less than 42″) – A hot air balloon ride inspired by the cuddly Muppets with bird’s-eye views of the park
Sunny Day Carousel (Must be accompanied by a supervising companion if less than 42″) – A classic merry-go-round featuring colorful cartoon steeds
Super Grover’s Box Car Derby (Must be at least 38″ or taller) – A family-friendly steel roller coaster ride inspired by Super Grover
Once home to the Aquatica water park, it’s no surprise that Sesame Place San Diego boasts a bunch of exciting water attractions the entire family will love. Whether you’re hoping to cool off in a wave pool, unwind on a lazy river or make a splash on one of the water slides, this fun part of the park has it all. Best of all, similar to the park’s dry rides, most of Sesame Place’s water attractions have a height requirement that is achievable for even younger kids. However, the water slides and other aquatic attractions do, unfortunately, close down during the cooler months. So, keep that in mind if you’d like to hang ten in the wave pool during your visit.
Bert’s Topsy Turvy Tunnels (Must be at least 42″ or taller) – A trio of 60-foot water slides (two enclosed and one open-air) with plenty of twists and turns along the way
Big Bird’s Beach (Must wear a life vest and be accompanied by an adult if less than 48″) – A kid-friendly wave pool with 500,000 gallons of water, one of SoCal’s largest
Big Bird’s Rambling River (Life vest recommended for those less than 42″) – An easygoing, 1,250-foot lazy river that can be explored by a single or double tube
Cookie’s Monster Mixer (Must be at least 48″ or taller) – A six-story family raft ride with space for up to four riders and a giant funnel splashdown finale
Elmo’s Silly Sand Slides (Must be no taller than 48″) – A collection of six pint-sized water slides
Ernie’s Twisty Turny Tunnels (Must be at least 42″ or taller) – Three 60-foot tube slides (two enclosed and one open-air) that end with a splash
Honker Dinger Dash (Must be at least 42″ or taller) – Six speedy mat slides featuring an enclosed-tunnel start followed by a 180-degree turn
Oscar’s Rotten Rafts (Must be at least 42″ or taller) – A four-person raft ride that is sure to leave you feeling anything but grouchy
Snuffy’s Spaghetti Slides (Must be at least 42″ or taller) – Six 60-foot body slides (four enclosed and two open) that will have you twisting and turning just like Snuffy’s trunk
The Count’s Splash Castle (No height requirement) – An aquatic play area with plenty of tipping buckets, spray jets, water curtains and fountains that are sure to leave you soaked
Sesame Street Neighborhood
Have you ever wished that you could step into the world of Sesame Street? (We know we have!) Well, this is your chance. Featuring memorable landmarks from the TV show, like Hooper’s Store and Oscar’s Trash Can, the park’s interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood is made for exploring. Enchanting elements like sounds, touchscreens and other hands-on surprises help bring the iconic avenue to life. Just keep in mind that many of these interactive moments can only be enjoyed by buying a Muppets-themed magic bubble wand from Hooper’s Store. While you’re visiting, be sure to stop and pose for some photos at 123 Stoop.
Interactive aspects include:
Bert and Ernie’s Doorbell – Ring the doorbell to hear how they respond
Bike Shop Tricycle Challenge – Collect numbers using your body on this motion-sensing virtual tricycle ride
Elmo’s Window – Play with Elmo and his friends as different elements come to life
Laundromat – Pop the bubbles on the touchscreens to see what’s in the wash
Oscar’s Trash Can – Knock on the famous grouch’s trashcan home…if you dare
Sesame Street Apartment Intercom – Press the numbers for different apartments to hear from your favorite Sesame Street characters
Two-Headed Monster Pipe Telephone – Talk into the pipe telephone to see how the two-headed monster reacts
Shows & Parades
When you aren’t cruising around on the roller coaster, getting into some splash-tastic fun on the slides or checking out Sesame Place’s other dry or water attractions, this West Coast-based Sesame Street theme park also offers some great showstopping entertainment that is well worth a watch.
Welcome to Our Street!
Starring everyone’s favorite furry friends, this musical extravaganza at Sesame Street Theater sees characters like Elmo, Grover and Cookie Monster discuss what kind of show they should put on to welcome everyone to the neighborhood.
Sesame Street Party Parade
Cruising through town all year long, this award-winning parade features a catchy playlist of both Sesame Street favorites and contemporary tunes, as well as high-energy performers that dazzle with their jump rope, hula hoop and dance skills and, of course, appearances by the beloved Muppets.
Furry Friends Dance Party
Get your groove on during this interactive dance party starring the Sesame Street gang.
Storytime with Big Bird
Cozy up around Big Bird’s nest for a tale told by the best storyteller on the block. Afterward, pose for a picture with Big Bird himself.
You can’t visit Sesame Place and not meet your favorite Sesame Street characters. Meet-and-greet locations are sprinkled throughout the neighborhood, offering plenty of opportunities for kids, young and old, to come face-to-face with Sesame Street’s famous friends when they aren’t going on rides or catching the parade. Character interactions at Sesame Place San Diego include:
Bert & Ernie
Count von Count
Oscar the Grouch
The good citizens of Sesame Street celebrate the different seasons and holidays just like you and me, and Sesame Place San Diego is no exception. Offered on select dates throughout the year, each family-friendly celebration features special entertainment, decorations, food and activities like scavenger hunts to enjoy, along with the various rides located throughout the park. Even the Sesame Place characters get in on the fun with unique seasonal attire.
In addition to the larger events below, you can also count on smaller celebrations, including birthday parties for the characters that call Sesame Place San Diego home. Events currently confirmed for 2024 include:
Held around the Easter holiday, this short but sweet soiree features egg-cellent additions like an Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt, Easter Storytime, the Bunny Hop Dance Party, the Golden Egg Hunt, races and other special games and even photos with the Easter Bunny.
Offered during springtime, this warm-weather event sees your favorite furry friends get all dressed up for the season. You and the family can also take part in a special Spring Scavenger Hunt, unleash your inner artist with seasonal crafts or get your hands dirty at planting stations.
Sesame Summer Splash
There’s no better way to cool off during those hot summer months than at Sesame Summer Splash. With all the attractions in the water park open for guests and a selection of refreshing snacks and sips on offer, this limited-time event is perfect for families with kids who are hoping to beat the heat.
The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular
Put on your favorite Halloween costume and get ready for some fur-tastic fun during this family-friendly celebration. Offered as part of spooky season, this animated Halloween party features such ghoulishly good activities and entertainment as the Countdown to Halloween stage show, Halloween Storytime, The Sesame Street Halloween Parade, Furry Friends Halloween Dance Party, a hay maze, Spot the Ghost and Sesame Scarecrow scavenger hunts and even an interactive Halloween costume parade and contest. You can also score a stash of Halloween candy from trick-or-treat stations. Just be sure to count your haul just like the Count once you get home. Ah, ah, ah!
A Very Furry Christmas
Running for about a month, from early November through early December, A Very Furry Christmas sees Sesame Place San Diego get into the festive spirit, with the entire park being turned into a winter wonderland. When you aren’t gazing up at the 24-foot-tall Christmas tree, admiring the twinkling lights or posing for photos with Santa Claus, be sure to take advantage of special seasonal entertainment offerings and activities like Santa’s Grand Illumination, a Christmas tree maze, the Golden Gift Hunt, the Missing Mittens Scavenger Hunt. Elmo’s Christmas Wish show, Sesame Street Christmas Parade and Furry Friends Christmas Dance Party. Special character interactions are also available, like Christmas Cookies with Cookie Monster and a meet-and-greet with Cookie Claus.
Sesame Place San Diego Dining & Shopping
When you aren’t busy checking out the rides or making a splash on the water slides, chances are good that you’re going to be on the hunt for a place to unwind for a bit. Fortunately, not only are there plenty of places to grab a bite to eat and relax for a bit, but you can also slow things down by doing some souvenir shopping at one of the stores located throughout the park.
Going on rides all day long can work up quite the appetite, especially when you’re trying to wrangle kids all day long. Luckily, Sesame Place San Diego is home to several onsite eateries that are perfect for families, with each cooking up child-friendly options like mac & cheese, burgers, chicken tenders and pizza that are great for younger palates. Sesame Place San Diego restaurants include:
(Coming Soon!) Big Bird’s Beach Bites (Located near Big Bird’s Beach) – A tasty mix that kids are sure to love, including mac & cheese bowls, nachos, fries and salads
Eats On The Street – Light bites you can eat on the go, including hot dogs, popcorn and chips
Grover’s Grill (Located near Elmo’s Rockin’ Rockets) – Burgers, chicken sandwiches and nuggets, waffles fries and PB&J
Monster Snacks (Located near Sesame Street Soar & Spin) – A selection of snacks that are great for picky eaters, including chicken tenders, chicken nuggets, waffle fries and PB&J
Oscar’s Grouchy Grub (Located near Rub-A-Dub Sub) – Healthy bites like wraps, salads, fruit cups and yogurt parfaits
Telly’s Trattoria (Located near Cookie Climb) – Palate-pleasing pizza, antipasto and salads
(Coming Soon!) Dine with Elmo and Friends
Do you wish that you could share a meal with your favorite Sesame Street pals? Well, this is your chance. Located at the Sunny Day Café, this interactive dining experience is sure to charm children of all ages. Food here is served buffet-style, making this a great option for those with bigger appetites and picky eaters alike. Not to mention, diners also enjoy up-close photo opportunities with their favorite furry friends, as well as exciting entertainment filled with singing and dancing. Depending on what time of year you visit, you can even enjoy seasonally themed meals.
No visit to a theme park is complete without purchasing a souvenir or two, and the same goes for Sesame Place San Diego. Fortunately, there are several different shops available throughout the park that stock everything you could possibly want or need. Stores located at Sesame Place San Diego include:
123 Trade with Me – Pin-trading outlet
Hooper’s Store – Sesame Place and Sesame Street-branded merchandise, including plushies, apparel and magic wands to use throughout the interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood
Sesame Souvenirs – “Sunny day” supplies you can use at the water park side of the park, including bathing suits, beach towels and water shoes
Have you had a chance to go to Sesame Place San Diego? Which attractions are your favorites? Let us know in the comments! Then, follow the link to find out how you can save on Sesame Place tickets and other family-friendly destinations.