I'd love for this post to be full of pictures... but it's not. Our camera broke on Saturday; we went to Sesame Place on Monday. We had actually ordered a new camera a week before that should arrive any day, because Lilly is/was going to acquire our old camera for her birthday. (In her mind she's outgrown her kids camera.) Instead, we'll get her a cheap digital camera because any little girl who is going to be 5 years old and visit Europe definitely needs her own Canon.
My sister did take some pics and we bought some from the park so we do have memories, just not ones I can post immediately.
We woke up at 6 am Memorial Day morning, took a taxi to Penn Station at 6:30, and bought our tickets on the 7:15 train to Trenton NJ, picking up a bagel for Miss Lou along the way. We settled in to our seats on the train, and excitedly waited for it to depart. 30 minutes later, we were still waiting. Mechanical problems, apparently.
Luckily, this must be common because they easily switched us to another train across the tracks and we were on our way, a little late but not too inconvenienced.
We arrived in Trenton at 9:30 and got in a cab, arriving at Sesame Place right before they opened, at 9:45. We bought our tickets and walked in at 10. Already a busy day, and we hadn't even started. And, it was 90 degrees.
Sesame Place is no Disney World. It's not trying to be Disney World, but it's important to point out. To me, Disney World is easy, effortless, super clean, imaginative, fun. It may not be to everyone - if you don't know how to avoid the lines, or get out of the heat - but to us, bringing Lilly to a theme park like Disney World couldn't be easier, and fun for all of us.
Sesame Place wasn't bad. Half of the park is water ride, which we avoided due to reviews online about kids and poop and stomach problems resulting from such rides. I can't attest to whether those reviews were accurate or not; but I will say that the lines for the water rides were long. It would have been refreshing I'm sure, but with less than a full day at Sesame Place, we were able to keep busy in the non-water part of the park.
There were a lot of rides for littles like Lilly and her cousin Matthew, who joined us from New Jersey. And they had a blast, despite the heat. A big roller coaster, a Dumbo type ride, a teacup ride, swings that went around, and various other rides. It kept them busy and happy. We went into a character tent, and posed with Abby and Elmo, which the kids loved.
And, we went to the "Elmo's World" live show. And, somebody named Lillian Grace got picked to sit in the front row by herself (with 5 other kids that were hand picked, while we sat in the very back row), and interact and dance with Elmo himself, Mr Noodle, etc. It was very cool, Lilly totally was fine dancing on stage with Elmo. She got a little nervous at one point, but Jon ran down and reassured her and she did great. A natural performer, my girl.
We did the character lunch, which was nice for the characters themselves - and the food was decent and the diet pepsi's were plentiful. It was expensive but worth it, as character meals generally are.
And we saw two more shows after lunch, and a few rides on the carousel, before trecking back the way we came on the taxi, train, taxi 2 1/2 hour experience back home. Exhausting, but fun.
Lilly went to bed at 7. I went to bed at 8.
My review of Sesame Place is that it's a lot of fun for little kids - it fulfilled Lilly's dream of being immersed in a theme park with her favorite people. Elmo has been a huge part of her life since she turned a year old - he got her through her tonsil surgery at 13 months, her nebulizer treatments for the next year, and her three moves since then. So to go where he's on every poster and hanging out around every corner, was a cool thing. The rides were fun for the kids, and side from the heat, it was a fun day for us all.
Would I repeat it anytime soon? Not necessarily - I'm glad we did it this time but it's not one of those Disney things where I'm already planning my next vacation before I've finished the current one. There wasn't the adult fun component - although it was a lot of fun to watch Lilly enjoy herself - but then again, at a Sesame Street themed park, why should they cater to adults?
The one actual complaint I'd have would be that the bathrooms weren't clean - they weren't gross like ones we saw at the train station or in NYC - but they weren't actually clean, and there wasn't soap in many of the sinks, which was strange especially at 10 am when they opened - they shouldn't already be out! And, there wasn't a lot of air conditioned places to escape to like at Disney World, but perhaps in Pennsylvania there aren't as many 90 degree days so this was an anomaly, especially in May. And perhaps we would have enjoyed the heat a little more if we had done the water rides, but we didn't really want to after the not-so-good reviews.
So all in all, it was a good day, Lilly had fun, and we have great memories with her favorite characters and some good rides.