In our home, we’ve adopted the tradition of cartoons on a Saturday morning When Tallulah discovered Sesame Street, there was no turning back. The creators of the show really know their stuff, because as soon as those first three notes hit, Tallulah is one dancing and smiling toddler no matter how she was feeling moments prior. In knowing her feelings for the show, we thought it would be the perfect time to visit SeaWorld Orlando’s new Sesame Street Land as a family.
We are heavily invested in Sesame Street right now... and when I say that I mean one of the many versions of Elmo Tallulah owns, plush, talking plush with Smartie, dancing, bath toy, or book form is discussed and either hugged or danced with every single day :)
Let me start by saying that I haven’t been to SeaWorld in years, so the prospects of visiting another theme park in our proverbial Orlando backyard got this mama pumped!
Although this was our first time, I gathered information from trusted friends and resources prior to our trip as well as learned a lot during the day that I’d love to share to make your trip the best it can be.
We got to the park around 10:30am, an hour and a half after opening, and it was perfect. We headed straight to Sesame Street Land and got there before the major Saturday crowds.
(TIP - SeaWorld’s maps themselves are way harder to find in the park than Disney’s, so I highly recommend grabbing one as soon as you enter the park vs the backtracking we did through half of the park to get back to the entrance for a map.)
Park Your Stroller and Explore on Foot
My friend shared this info with me and I was so thankful she did. Although the land connects to other areas of the park, it’s pretty contained so it’s easier to park the stroller and let your toddler explore all the nooks and crannies of themed fun there is to be seen.
Book the Elmo Character Package with Your Ticket
If your little one loves Elmo as much as ours does, I highly recommend buying this package. I believe it was $30 total for the whole party and it gives your priority access to meet Elmo and a friend (Cookie was there the day we visited) and also two 6x8 prints of the interaction.
A few things to note about this... Unlike at Disney, the characters don’t have elaborate sets or physical backdrops at their meet and greet. They stand in front of green screens with a few basic set pieces.
Granted, this makes sense since the character next to Elmo changes so the set can be digitally tailored, but it makes for some pretty lousy personal camera photos, making you feel the need to buy prints or a digital file that has a digital background added. Be prepared, if you’re in the standard line, the wait times can be lengthy and the minimum cost for a package is $30, so it’s worth the money to get the character package in advance.
Enjoy Storytime with Big Bird
Storytime activities are so sweet wherever you go, but when your kids can hang out with Big Bird while a story is read, it's even more fun. You don't need a reservation to join this book reading but I recommend getting there early. (TIP - if you slide as far as you can to the right of the seating area, you can be one of the first families in line to meet Big Bird after storytime is over.)
(TIP - If you’re going to the heat-of-the-day timed shows, be prepared, there‘s barely any shade and it gets really hot.)
Stay for the Street Party Parade
I highly recommend this parade. It’s the only time you can see all of your favorite Sesame Street characters. I thought the characters would be roaming the streets and doing character meetings all over the land, but I was mistaken. The only characters we could meet when we went were the big three Elmo, Cookie and Big Bird. Although that was great, I was secretly hoping she’d get to meet some of the others. They do have great cutouts and kid-sized figures of the characters throughout, which is great and I’m sure way less stressful for kiddos who aren’t fond of characters.
Ride the rides during the parade
The parade is adorable, but pretty long since they stop and have a street party along the route, so I recommend using the dance breaks to maximize your ride time since most of the attractions are walk-ons at that point. We stood right by the start of the parade and watched the characters come through. It was a perfect spot to see all of the characters :) During the street party element of the parade, the floats stop on the main path for about 15 minutes or so for a character dance break and crowd interaction. It’s cool, but if you already saw the characters in the beginning, riding the rides during this time can be perfect. We were one of two families on Elmo’s train ride and we could still see the dancing from the ride. It’s a perfect time to take advantage of the attractions.
Last, but certainly not least... Take photos in perfectly themed locations
This area is so beautifully themed, it will probably make you feel like a kid again too. It's as if you’ve stepped right into the show, and the kids completely agree! Tallulah was acting more comfortable than ever exploring Sesame Street, it was adorable to watch and chase after her as she checked everything out. You can take pictures at...
Mr. Hooper’s Store
Big Bird’s Nest
Sesame Street Interactive Windows
Sesame Street Sign with Elmo and Abbie
With such a beautifully immersive area, Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando definitely gets a thumbs up from the Batts family! If you’re toddler is a Sesame Street fan, it is 100% worth checking out!
(TIP - the merch available is cute but they didn't carry any toddler age-appropriate figurines of all of the characters. If you want all of the characters, you have to pay about $25-35 a piece for a character plush. I ended up finding this adorable set that Tallulah loves at Target.