Calling all kids and kids at heart who love Sesame Street and its favorite characters — the wait is over! The Sesame Street-themed park in Southern California joins the likes of the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego.  From Elmo to Big Bird and even Cookie Monster, these childhood favorites all come to life at Sesame Place San Diego.

Featuring an interactive Sesame Street neighborhood, family-friendly rides and attractions, and a refreshing water park, this Chula Vista theme park promises a charming experience in an idyllic world where cute furry monsters and humans live and play in harmony.

While anybody can find plenty to love about Sesame Place San Diego, it’s the only theme park dedicated to Sesame Street on the West Coast. Learn what to expect in this detailed guide, how to score the best prices on admission tickets, and which rides to hit up first.

Sesame Place San Diego Tickets and Tips

Aerial view of Sesame Place San Diego including water park attractions.

Ready to spend a picture-perfect day at Sesame Place San Diego? First, you’ll want to know how and where to get tickets. This means choosing between single-day admission and a season pass — and either purchasing tickets online or at the admission gate.

From a pricing perspective, nearly any approach is preferable to purchasing tickets on the day of at the admission gate. With a gate price of $84 .99 (plus general parking), these types of admission tickets get expensive fast — particularly for families with multiple kids ages 2 and up.

If you anticipate spending a single day at Sesame Place San Diego, your best bet may involve a single-day ticket advance purchase. The Any Day ticket offered directly through the Sesame Place website brings the price down the admission ticket to $64.99, although a service fee of $9.99 is added when purchasing online.

Alternatively, we also have single-day tickets through our discounted site. This simple approach delivers discounted tickets on daily park admission to help save money. Crunch the numbers to see which is best on the day of your visit.

From there, the tickets can be brought to the theme park’s entrance on your preferred visit day. Be sure to also check out the Sesame Place and SeaWorld San Diego two-park ticket and the Silver Season Pass, which provides unlimited visits for an entire year.

See also: How to Buy Discount Sesame Place San Diego Tickets

Sesame Place San Diego Hours and Open Dates

Specific opening dates and park hours are updated periodically for San Diego Sesame Place. Confirm the operating days and hours before you head out (especially during the holidays with their special Very Furry Christmas Celebration).

Sesame Place San Diego Directions

The lyrics “Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?” may be catchy, but they’re not all that necessary to visit  Sesame Place, which is easy for locals and vacationers to access. The theme park is conveniently located in Chula Vista, with onsite parking provided. The location may be familiar to some visitors as the site of the former water park Aquatica San Diego.

While drive times may vary a bit based on the ebb and flow of traffic, a 25-minute trip will typically take visitors from Downtown San Diego to Sesame Place.

To reach Sesame Place San Diego, take I-5 south before merging on I-805. Take exit 3 for Main Street and continue until you reach the attraction. The address is 2052 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista, CA, 91911

Sesame Place San Diego Rides & Slides

From laid-back visitors to thrill-seeking older children, Sesame Place provides something for the entire family. In general, however, this West Coast-based new theme park was developed with younger kids in mind, but you’ll find perfect family fun around the park for everyone.

Because the park incorporates elements of the former Aquatica water park, water attractions, slides, and other water features are heavily featured. That said, many excellent options exist for visitors who prefer to stay dry.

With dozens of options available, it’s easy to pack your Sesame Place San Diego itinerary on your visit. Be sure to set aside time for the following attractions.

The water rides are seasonally open from spring to fall, so check the calendar before you go.

This family-friendly ride offers everything you love about the classic carousel experience — but it’s a whole lot cuter. Riders can gallop around and around on cheerful-looking horses, with benches provided for less adventurous types — or those riding with infants.

Elmo’s Rockin’ Rockets

Rock out with Elmo on an imagination-filled journey that takes riders all the way from San Diego to outer space in a matter of seconds. Rocket ships travel up and down during this expedition, allowing young riders to get actively involved.

Super Grover’s Box Car Derby

Super Grover's Box Car Derby ride at Sesame Place San Diego
Super Grover’s Box Car Derby (Photo courtesy of Sesame Place San Diego)

Youngsters interested in taking on the excitement of a real roller coaster are encouraged to start with Super Grover’s Box Car Derby, which provides a gentle introduction. This steel coaster celebrates Grover’s adventurous spirit and love of all things fast. 

Abby’s Fairy Flight

Anyone wishing to take flight like the beloved Abby Cadabby will get the chance during this ride. The swing-style attraction provides great views of Sesame Place while encouraging visitors to soar to new heights.

Rosita’s Harmony Hills

Rosita loves music! Her passion comes to life in a special experience encouraging participants to get noisy. This is a great option for smaller children reluctant to try traditional rides. It should also be a go-to for tykes who simply need to use up a little energy before they get in line for the next ride.

Tall towers decked out in cookies beckon anybody who loves sweet treats to make a memorable climb, followed by a riveting yet gentle ride down. After this deliciously thrilling experience, riders will be craving sweet treats from the concession areas.


This family-friendly Sesame Place San Diego ride raises riders up for a fantastic park view and then spins gently around.


Board the S.S. Duckie submarine to spin around in the air with your friends, forward and backward, just like Ernie intended.

Big Bird’s Beach

Complete with over 500,000 gallons of water, this vast wave pool provides all the delights of the beach. Relax on the sand or hop in the water to catch the waves. Either way, you’ll find your beachy experience deeply refreshing. 


Named after everyone’s favorite yellow bird, this lazy river spans 1,250 feet. This is your chance to unwind as you float in your tube among waterfalls and past beautiful landscaping. 


You and your loved ones will laugh together as you make your way down this 60-foot slide on a tube. There are three slides; two are fully enclosed, one has an open-air option, and all are equally enjoyable.


Complete the Bert & Ernie water slide experience with this tube-based adventure. This may be designed for solo adventurers, but you and your companions will have much to discuss once you meet again at the splashy conclusion.

Grab a few friends or family members and take on the biggest monster of the water park together. Each raft swirls and swishes around for six stories of fun before navigating a giant funnel and ending in a joyful splash almost as amazing as a pan of fresh cookies. 


After checking out the family slide named after the park’s hungriest character, it’s time to take on the most satisfyingly grumpy slide. Don’t be surprised if grouching gives way to giggles as you and your companions splash your way to the bottom.


Embrace your competitive side in a journey that begins with an enclosed tunnel and includes a 180-degree turn. The brightly-colored slides deliver a race like no other — in which every participant feels like a winner regardless of the results.


Appearing simple at first glance, there is no denying that these 60-foot water rides deliver major thrills for older kids. Both enclosed and open-air options are available, with all ending in a pool. 


Little ones and small children at Sesame Place San Diego will adore this Elmo-themed water area, which includes six slides and plenty of opportunities to get wet. This is where tiny Sesame Street fans can feel like a big deal — and where parents can feel confident that their younger kids will be fully entertained. 


Opening in summer 2023, there will be plenty of water slides and interactive features to count and explore at this water playground. Little kids in need of refreshment — but not enthused about the theme park’s taller water attractions  — will have a wonderful time splishing and splashing in this welcoming, multi-level water wonderland. Pack water shoes for this watery adventure at San Diego Sesame Place!

Shows & Parades

Sesame Street would not be nearly as entertaining without its catchy songs and dance routines. Who could forget Ernie serenading his Rubber Duckie or Bert doing the pigeon?

These and other tunes are incorporated into shows and the award-winning daily parade at Sesame Place San Diego, aiming to get all types of visitors singing along. Set aside time to catch everyone’s favorite furry friends, and appreciate the talented performers and the spectacularly designed sets and floats.


Stop by the park’s outdoor theater for dance parties and their live character show, complete with singing, dancing, and lots of laughter. The Welcome to our Street show feature several of Sesame Street’s most beloved characters, who thrive on the loud cheers and applause they never fail to receive.

Show times vary, so feel free to call Sesame Place San Diego directly to ensure that you can hit up desired performances.


Tango, Elmo's rescue dog, waves to guests from a float in the parade.
Tango, Elmo’s rescue dog, in the parade (Photo courtesy of Sesame Place San Diego)

The entertainment continues as guests gather along the parade route for a San Diego theme park experience like no other. Sing along to familiar tunes as you wave to your favorite Sesame Street friends and the fantastic floats on which they’re perched.

This award-winning parade invites spectators (especially young kids!) to get in on the action, complete with stomping, clapping, snapping, and dancing.

This daily, dynamic parade provides a great means of recharging between rides but may be overwhelming for sensory-sensitive kids with its intense audio-visual and special effects.

Sesame Place San Diego is a Certified Autism Center so be sure to check out how the park provides resources for these families.

Sesame Street Neighborhood

A rendering of families and characters walking through Sesame Street Neighborhood.
A rendering of Sesame Street Neighborhood

Sesame Place may be a theme park, but there’s far more to this destination than rides alone. No matter which rides or water attractions you try, you’ll want to set aside time to explore the interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood, where you’ll find favorite locations such as Hooper’s Store and Big Bird’s iconic 123 Stoop.

Drop in for story time with Big Bird and let the kids engage in the interactive musical play area. Engage in a game at the Bike Shop window, check Elmo’s window, knock on Oscar’s trash can, and ring Bert and Ernie’s doorbell. For a special treat, buy a bubble wand at Hooper’s store and watch what happens when kids tap the wand to green stickers placed all over the neighborhood.

Photo opportunities abound throughout the neighborhood, as do fun surprises encouraging visitors of all ages to embrace their playful side. Watch for a character meet with Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Rosita, Elmo, and many other favorite Sesame Street friends, who will be happy to give hugs and take photos. 

Member Benefits and Other Upgrade Options

Many Sesame Street enthusiasts like returning to Sesame Place San Diego regularly. Frequent guests can receive major price breaks and save money per visit when investing in the available season passes. These are offered at several levels, as detailed below:

  • Silver Season Pass: Available for $141  with a one-time purchase — or $26.50  per month (over six months) — this pass provides unlimited visits, free general parking, two free friend tickets, and significant discounts on in-park food, beverage, and merchandise purchases. Other perks include savings on stroller rentals and Magic Queue priority boarding. Once again, aRes Travel delivers major discounts, making it possible to purchase the Silver Season Pass for just $119.
  • Gold Season Pass: Offering a boost to the already enticing Silver membership perks, the Gold Season Pass costs $180  per year or $30  per month (again, for six months). Under this approach, in-park purchases can be discounted even further — often by as much as 15 or 20 percent, and you get four free friend tickets. Up-close parking is 50% off with access to the Priority Fast lane entrance.
  • Platinum Season Pass: Theme park lovers may prefer the Platinum approach, which provides access to Sesame Place San Diego and nearly a dozen other parks. Other perks include up-close parking, SIX free friend tickets, and reservations to provide a stellar view of the daily parade. Each Platinum pass costs $297.

For an extra fee, the Silver and Gold passes can also provide access to sister park SeaWorld San Diego, where, as with Sesame Place passes, discounts on food and merchandise are provided.

Furthermore, the annual passes involve member exclusives such as special events, character meet-and-greets, and early ride times. 

In addition to season passes, Sesame Place offers upgrade options that appeal to single and multi-day visitors alike. Abby’s Unlimited Magic Queue is an especially compelling option, as it can dramatically reduce wait times and streamline the entire Sesame Place experience. For an additional $19.99, you’ll have unlimited front-of-the-line access to all rides. 

Reserved theater seating is available for the Welcome to Our Street show, and during the summer months, you might want to consider renting a cabana next to Big Bird’s Wave Pool. 

Sesame Place San Diego Dining

Rides and parades are a blast, but the fun of Sesame Street San Diego can also extend to mealtime. While parents sometimes find it difficult to accommodate picky eaters on the go, this is never a problem at Sesame Place, where kids are the target audience.

Window service is quick and convenient, so you’ll spend less time waiting for food and more time enjoying all that the theme park has to offer.

Top options for dining onsite will include:

  • Eats on the Streets 
  • Grover’s Grill
  • Monster Snacks
  • Telly’s Trattoria
  • Oscar’s Grouchy Grub
  • Wavepool Market 

When planning for San Diego Sesame Place dining, remember that outside food and beverages are not allowed. The only exception? Refillable water bottles or accommodations for those with specific dietary needs (such as baby formula or food for guests with allergies).

With so many delicious treats available, however, there’s little you could bring yourself that would be nearly as tasty as the fresh offerings found onsite.

Experience True Joy at Sesame Place San Diego

Few theme parks promise as much joy as Sesame Place San Diego, which brings the vibrant spirit of Sesame Street to life in San Diego. From thrilling rides to toe-tapping shows, the whole park promises plenty of happy memories, undoubtedly one of the best things to do in San Diego with kids

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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