Big Bird is one big (scary) bird!

P1030053 So I'm on a Sesame Street kick. Like I said in my last post I've always been a fan. And my husband Paul, who grew up in England, is even a fan (he does a great Cookie Monster impersonation). But Madelyn, my 2 and a half year old, has recently started to favor Dora and Uniqua on the Backyardigans over Elmo. So, I decided that Sesame Street needed to be restored as #1. So off we went last weekend to Sesame Place, the Sesame Street theme park about 30 miles north of Philadelphia. My friend Betsy and her family went too. There were four kids (ages 7 mos, 1 1/2, 2 1/2 and 3 years old) and four adults (all in our 30s) ready to dance in some Abby Caddaby pixie dust. When we pulled up to the gates my husband said, "I don't know who's more excited, you or Madelyn." (Um, me. Duh.)

The kids, it turned out, weren't as ready for a theme park as I thought they would be. We tried to get them to jump on Bert and Ernie's "bed" (a jumbo bubble bouncing tent) and the 2 and 3 year olds refused. The intrepid 1 year old tried it for five minutes. Then they refused the giant jungle gym in Elmo's playhouse. We reluctantly got Madelyn to ride Big Bird's Balloon Ride (and once she was on it she loved it.) The Count's very cool Splash Castle also put Madelyn in stiches when she watched the bucket of water dump every few minutes ("1 … 2 …. 3 …. SPLASH!"), but she wasn't ready to actually go inside. (The kids did look a bit older there.) The mini roller coaster was definitely off-limits (when my daughter saw my husband on the top of the hill with his arms up waving at us, she looked at me terrified and said, "Mommy, don't go on that!").

I figured at least Madelyn would want to see her favorite characters. After all, every morning all week she woke up saying, "When am I going to see Cookie Monster/Abby Caddaby/Big Bird/Elmo …. " On and on as 2 and a half year olds go on and on. So we got in line to get our picture taken with Big Bird. But once it was our turn the same thing happened that happened last year with Santa Claus. "Noooooo! I don't want to! I don't want to talk to Big Bird!" The picture above appears that she's happy, but in reality she's holding on to me for dear life.

Later in the afternoon, when we were all worn out from the fun (just being amongst the Sesame Street royalty was fun), we watched the parade along the recreated Sesame Street set. Madelyn watched as her favorite characters went by from a safe distance. Sitting on top of her daddy's shoulder's she called out, "Big Bird! Elmo! Zoe! Abby …. Look Mommy! Look! There's the Count! And Cookie Monster! He's sooooo funnny!" She couldn't have been more excited. And neither could I.

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  1. by Cathi

    On June 10, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    We went to Sesame Place two summers ago with a three year old and 9 month old and had an AWFUL experience. My then three year old is fearless and did ride every ride she was able to, but along with many other issues I was aggravated that for a place that caters to little children, a lot of the rides she was too small for. Also, the place is VERY breastfeeding unfriendly… again considering the age is caters to, I expected more.

  2. by Chandra

    On June 10, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    You know, I did have trouble finding a place to breastfeed Grant (I ended up at the sandbox under a palm tree). But I haven’t been to any amusement parks or anywhere for that matter who have catered to breastfeeding moms so I didn’t expect much. But boy would that add a great perk if they had breastfeeding rooms. And nap rooms while they’re at it. We’d stay morning to night if there was a place where kids could crash out for an hour. But that’s probably a pipe dream.

  3. by Cindy

    On June 10, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I agree with the first poster — I was disappointed in Sesame Place last year. There was a lot that my youngest (age 3) was too small for or scared of. The workers were really apathetic and paying no attention to what was going on (one of them on a slide ride was texting while I had to manage the line to make sure my kids weren’t knocked out of the way by bigger kids). I found it rather charmless.

  4. by Julie

    On June 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I’m surprised to see so many negative reviews of Sesame Place. We started going there since 2006 when our eldest daughter was 2.5. She did just fine with most of the attractions there. Granted she is fearless and also rather tall for her age. Even her baby sister had fun there when we took her at 18 months last summer. Mostly she played in the wade pools, watched the shows and played in the toddler area.
    And while I’ve never personally used them, I know there are nursing stations marked on the park map. Perhaps they were inadequate?
    I think that timing might make a difference. If you go on the weekends in July & August, it’s probably a more hectic experience for kids under 3.