Sesame Place: The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular

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OK, so Halloween is technically behind us, and Sesame Place is already gearing up for A Very Furry Christmas. But I still wanted to post about The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular.

  • Reason #1: It was simply awesome.
  • Reason #2: It’ll be back next year. And the Internet is forever.
  • Reason #3: Did I mention that it was awesome?

We’ve been to Sesame Place several times this year. The kids (3 and 5) are the prime age for the park, and they just love it. We’re actually Busch Gardens Platinum Pass holders, which means we basically have season passes to all 11 of their parks (including Sesame Place, Sea World, Busch Gardens, and the water parks). We live about halfway between Sesame Place and Busch Gardens Williamsburg, so it’s a great deal.

This was our first time attending one of the special holiday events, though. Sesame Place is located just outside of Philadelphia, and as such, it gets cold weather. At the end of the summer, the park closes down and only reopens on the weekends through October and December for the Halloween and Christmas events.

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The Halloween theme begins before you even enter the park. Count von Count has replaced Big Bird over the main gate turnstiles and welcomes guests to the park.

(They also have Halloween “hayrides” on wagons outside the main gate. To be fair, we didn’t ride this, but it looked to just be a cruise around the parking lot.)

Once in, you’re greeted by cute Halloween decorations everywhere.

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In terms of rides, only the dry rides are open—but there are 16 of them. During the summer, Sesame Place is almost evenly divided between dry rides and water rides. Since October is too cold for the kiddies to go swimming or use the water slides, they’re drained and not in use.

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To compensate for the number of attractions available, though, there are several additions to the park for the Halloween Spooktacular:

  • The large pool is the site of Ernie’s Rubber Duckie Costume Party.
  • There are two mazes—The Count’s Unhaunted Castle Maze and Abby Cadabby’s Magical Halloween Maze.
  • Two new carnival rides were moved in—Bat Race and Bat Swing.
  • There was pumpkin decorating.
  • There were a few trick-or-treating stations around the park handing out goodies.
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Inside The Count’s Unhaunted Castle Maze

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The main reason to attend the Halloween Spooktacular, though, is for the shows. All of the standard shows that play throughout the summer have been replaced by special Halloween-themed shows.

The Not-Too-Spooky Howl-O-Week Radio Show is held in Abby’s Paradise Theater. It was, hands down, our favorite show. The premise is that the Count is hosting an old-time radio show. The gang is all dressed in costumes, except Oscar (of course), and there are several musical numbers that kept all the kids dancing in their seats.

(Side note: Abby’s Paradise Theater is the only show venue with a special entrance and priority seating for season pass holders. It’s to the left of the theater. If you have one—from any of the Busch Gardens/Sea World parks—be sure to take advantage of this.)

IMG_1045 IMG_1054Plus, it had one of the best finales I’ve ever seen. Just take a look….

Elmo The Musical Live! — Halloween takes place in the Sesame Studio. Elmo decides he wants to be a magician, and hijinks ensue as he and Abby Cadabby make Abbot the Rabbit disappear. They then enlist the help of David Cluckerfield to fix their mistake.

The show is entertaining, but it’s not remarkably different from the usual Elmo The Musical Live! show. However, it provides a very up-close-and-personal experience with Elmo and Abby, so the little ones will most likely adore it. (Be warned, though, that the theater is small and the seats are incredibly close together. Adults are almost literally on top of one another.)

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Who Said Boo?! is in the (mostly) outdoor Monster Rock Theater. It’s a musical show about Count von Count scaring all of his friends. Seriously. He just hides and makes spooky noises while the other characters get more and more creeped out. Still, there’s a great chase scene that’s reminiscent of Scooby Doo.

And the whole thing ends with a blast of confetti over the crowd. Boom. Instant kid favorite.

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The Neighborhood Street Party Halloween Parade is a Halloween version of the regular parade. And considering that the Sesame Place parade is one of the most entertaining, energetic parades we’ve seen, that’s not a bad thing.

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The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place generally runs from the end of September through the end of October. The park is open weekends only and hours are usually 10–6. Tickets are cheaper than during the summer, and you can usually find discounts online. Check the Sesame Place site for the most up-to-date information, obviously.

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