Sesame Place - Bad Experiences

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Saturday, August 28, 2004 2:12 AM
Hello!

Just a note before I rant that I am an enthusiast, but I am posting this for people who have to go to this park instead of for people who want to go there. In other words, this is for people with little kids. I also want to point out that even as an adult I ADORE the Sesame Street characters and the wonderful experiences they represent. The reason we went was because my six year old wanted to talk to "The Count."

WE got to the park fifteen minutes after the park opened and the water was FREEZING. My son went into "Count's Fountain" for a second and he was nearly crying from the frigid temperature. All of the water attractions had the same problem. We also dealt with lines that were too long and attractions with poor capacity. Even dry attractions like ball pits required a wait. The problem is that most of the clientele, little kids, aren't able to wait patiently for half-hours at a time for a single attraction.

The "Rock Around The Block Parade" (which hasn't really changed at all in years) is a gridlock disaster. Parents were pushing in front of kids everywhere in order to get better viewing positions without care as to who they were inadvertently bumping into with strollers. Pushing and shoving was accentuated with character waves and close-ups.

We finally let our son go over to the climbing nets, which as an attraction is a great idea, but poorly executed. If you haven't seen this attraction, it is a netted play area that is in three main floors, between 2 supporting staircases with small and narrow extensions going to connecting towers. The problem was that I was to "go up with my son." Now he is 6, weighs less than 40 pounds and can run and climb like --- well a 6 year old kid who is less than 40 pounds. I on the other hand am close to 250 and I was wearing water shoes. My weight kept pulling me down so that the ropes were cutting me leaving me with bloody knees and a lot of discomfort. Of course, my son was lost and I couldn't find him on the nets. It took me (don't laugh) at least 30 minutes to cross halfway to the other side. When I yelled down to my wife, she (naturally) became frantic. Thankfully my son knew the type of person to get help from. (A kind and caring mother with children of her own) My wife and my son were together and fifteen minutes I was able to climb down. We went to the "Lost Parents Area" to call off the search and then learned (from 2 eighteen-year-old supervisors) that Sesame Place loses and eventaully finds nearly 50 children each day - mostly on the nets. we argued that if the nets had a - one way in - and one way out design, that this would never happen and it would be MUCH easier for parents to track their kids on there. Two additional lost and crying kids were brought in within ten minutes of our visit to Lost Parents.

Please don't say that I shouldn't have gone up there. I did to be with my son. I just couldn't keep up with him and I paid that price in worry and in rope bruises.

Also little kids will get excited when they see an attraction or a character they are drawn to. They won't think and they will run at times.

We never saw the count. We left at 2:30 and we are never going back. I expected more from Anheuser Bush.

C is for "Crappy" - that's what it was for me! *** Edited 8/28/2004 6:16:24 AM UTC by Richie Reflux***

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Saturday, August 28, 2004 2:22 AM
Sadly, my sole experience with the park was just as bad (although I didn't lose my kids)

It seems like they're not even close to equipped or set-up to handle the crowds they get.

They actually gave us our money back when we complained - we spent a total of 2 hours at most there and left vowing never to return.

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Monday, August 30, 2004 10:13 PM
"That's Two, Two Bad experiences. Ah! Ah! Ah!"

*** Edited 8/31/2004 2:14:44 AM UTC by coasterpunk***

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Monday, September 6, 2004 2:28 AM
Sorry that you had such a bad day there...I work at the park (had the week off for vacation, came back the day after you were there). It's true that a lot of the people get lost in the nets, I know, because I've worked in Lost Parents before. I agree that there should be a better way to traffic that for lost children...if I get a chance, I'll bring that suggestion up to someone.

The parade is gridlock, I know, I've worked it before (not as an entertainer, as crowd control)...and also been there as a guest with a 1-year old. It is very rough, but some people are just "stupid" like that.

When I'm on the rides...the stuff like the ball pit, the bed bounce...I give each turn 5 minutes to play...it's the best i can do to make sure that the line isn't too long, and that the kids aren't getting jipped of play time either...is that what the waits were for you? Normally at a play area, when I'm working it...the wait is 15 minutes at the ultimate most.

Did you go to see any shows? It seems like all you mention are the negative aspects of your visit...what about the positives? I know that day was a really bad one (I visited for a bit to get my schedule for the next week) I vividly remember that day being unusually packed, even moreso than normal). Unfortunately you came on a bad day, line/crowd wise. If you come back another time, give us a second chance, I promise that your experience should be better.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2004 12:34 AM
You make a very valid point about the shows at Sesame Place. Some of them, particularly Elmo's World Live are quite good. Also, Vapor Trail provided some family fun.

I understand the waits for an average coaster or flat ride at a major amusment park. I'm an adult and I have a couple of choices when it comes to rides with long lines:

1) Wait for it - (I am an adult and I know that everyone gets a turn) Also I can rationalize that popular rides bring in large crowds. Large crowds bring money. Money brings in more new rides.

2) Drop it - Hit a few big things first thing in the morning and know that after a few main attractions, the rest of the word will be filling in other parts of the park. Sometimes this is the only choice on crowded days

3) Q-Bot (Never did it yet, but I'm tempted to)

Waiting 20 minutes for a ball pit is unreasonable for a 6 year old. Especially when the water attractions are too cold.

I have never been to Sesame Place on a day when it wasn't intensely crowded. Are there "Sunny Days" (Sorry about the pun) in the middle of summer when it eases a bit?

I did type a grammatically correct letter to Anheuser Busch and to the Children's Television Workshop (Now called Sesame Workshop) to complain about the day and "how this park is tarnishing the reputations of cherrished charaters at the financial expense of little kids." I haven't heard back yet.

By the way, my son likes Splish Splash (Long Island) and Six Flags Hurrucane Harbor, and the kid areas in those places aren't freezing. He also could spend hours in the Bugs Bunny Fun Factory at Great Adventure, where once you are inside the attraction, you could spend the entire day. (I have to admit I like it in there too!) When we went to Cedar Point last year, the kiddie rides were very well run with insignificant wait times. (I stayed at the hotel, did TTD & MF once during the early admission) and then spent the rest of the day doing the kiddie rides and the family transportation rides and petting the sheep. [Again I am talking about a 6 year old's day, not mine.]

I'm sorry but, Sesame Place (At least on the days that I go) just isn't worth it.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2004 2:59 AM
Just goes to show that every guest's experience is different. Some kids can be very patient when it comes to lines, others can't.

And yes, during numerous weekdays at the park in the summer, the lines for everything is decent.

And...when it's warmer in the summer, the water temperature isn't so bad. Perhaps there was something wrong that day, I don't know. If you don't want to come back, I can't force you back. It's your opinion...but just ask all the other millions of people who have visited the park and were very happy.

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Saturday, September 11, 2004 7:29 PM

Richie Reflux said:
Hello!

WE got to the park fifteen minutes after the park opened and the water was FREEZING. My son went into "Count's Fountain" for a second and he was nearly crying from the frigid temperature. All of the water attractions had the same problem.


What do little kids like to do in pools? *coughPPcough* Perhaps that is why the temperature is kept so low. Prevents germs from spreading.
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