One very hot day during this past summer, we visited Sesame Place in Langhorne Pennsylvania. It was surprising even to us when we realized that this was probably one of the only toddler/preschool amusement parks in the tri-state area that we had yet to visit. And of course, Oliver’s Summer List is what spurred us on to check it out.
We aimed to get there as early as we could on a Saturday morning but probably could have gotten there even earlier, the parking lot was already packed on arrival!
We started our visit with a little issue at the ticket booth, the computer was not functioning correcting resulting in about 6 pending transactions but no tickets printed until about a 15 minute wait later. This would be the start of slightly disappointing day with a couple of mishaps.
We rented a stroller as we often do when we visit these parks to give our son a place to rest in shade from time to time and also to schlep all of our towels, swim suits, sunscreen etc. After getting the stroller, we realized it was just too hot, the sun was blazing down on us and we thought maybe we should let our son ride 1 or 2 rides and then just head over to the water side to cool off. There would be plenty of time in the hopefully cooler late afternoon to ride the rest.
We rented a large locker for $20 to store our valuables and keep our street clothes dry. This is recommended as you don’t want to worry about your belongings while splashing in the water areas.
We first headed over to the Count’s Splash Castle with it’s 8ft bucket tipping over 1,000 gallons of cool water and water spraying in every direction. It was so refreshing and welcome on this very hot day. We also got on the tubes of Big Bird’s Rambling River, this was Oliver’s first time on a lazy river and he loved it!
We were looking for an indoor eating area but it was so busy and the lines were insane so we decided to eat in a shady spot at Captain Ernie’s Bistro. The food was standard amusement park fare but I did appreciate that the kids meals were served on souvenir reusable plates and a reusable drink cup. We still use them at home sometimes at snacktime. The refillable souvenir cup is always a good deal on a hot day but this day most drink vendors were completely out of ice and this was definitely a letdown. Without ice in the cup and around the drink machines, the drinks were lukewarm and flat.
There are many snack and food vendors inside the park, one favorite was the ice cream truck. We enjoyed the Pineapple ice cream (dairy free). We also got the refillable popcorn bucket which was good to have in the late afternoon before dinner time.
The Elmo the Musical show was great, just like it is on TV. The performers showed enthusiasm, the storyline was easy to follow and the song and dances were supercute. There are no food or drinks allowed in the theater so keep that in mind if you visit, you will be made to take it outside.
After a few more rides, it was getting dark and it was time for the highlight of the day, the character parade. We got a good spot to watch the parade and enjoyed seeing all the characters pass by, Oliver even got to high five Bert!
Here are some of the pros and cons should you be deciding whether to make the trip down to Langhorne. The best part of Sesame Place is of course meeting the characters. These are characters that my son has been watching and growing up with as long as he has been watching TV so it was really great, he was happy to see and recognize most of them (sorry, Count – you no longer have a big presence on the show but the water attraction was fantastic!).
Another plus or minus depending on how you see it is the size of the park. It is quite small as amusement parks go so most of the rides can be done in one day unless like us, you focus on the water attractions for most of the day due to the extreme heat.
My very honest opinion of the park is that it was a little disappointing. The bar seems set a bit low on the hygiene front. The water was murky and dirty in the low water toddler splash areas like the Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave and the area in the back of Count’s Splash Castle where parents can sit in low water with their younger children. The bathroom and changing areas were not clean and smelled of urine . The warm drinks and lack of ice was a very sore spot on such a hot day. Some rides were not open and there are very few rides to begin with that were age suitable for my son so that wasn’t ideal.
I am happy we went this summer and my son finally got to see his favorite characters in person, this wasn’t a total miss. Despite the less than ideal spots in our day, we did enjoy it mostly and Oliver had a great time!
Full Disclosure: We received complimentary/discounted tickets in exchange for our honest, unbiased blog posting.