… plus 2 Free Ways to Enter This Kids Amusement Park
Find Sesame Place San Diego water park discounts for everyone! Are there cheap or free kids tickets? Which annual passes are best, Silver, Gold, or Platinum? What coupons, codes, and deals are available now, and which may be available later?
The chart below shows the 14 Sesame place San Diego deals that work now. Plus 14 other commonly searched Sesame Place San Diego deals, a percentage discount, and their availability. I’ll be updating the list as new offers surface.
If you make purchases through the links in this post, I may be compensated. Read my Advertising Disclosure for more info. Thanks! ~ Nancy
|SESAME PLACE SAN DIEGO DISCOUNT TICKET OPTIONS||Average Savings||Fees & Availability|
|1-DAY TICKET DEALS|
|– Price at the Gate||—||$79.99 Always available|
|– Children under 23 months old||FREE||Always available|
|– Guest Passes (Friend Passes)||FREE||Always available – only from annual pass holders|
|– Sesame Place date-specific ticket||25% Off||Includes $9.99 tax & transaction fee. Available|
|– Seniors discount||X||Not available in San Diego.|
|– Pregnant guest discount||X||Not available in San Diego.|
|– Costco||X||Not available in San Diego.|
|– aRes Travel- Any Day Ticket (save $22)||28% Off||Includes $2 tax & transaction fee. Available|
|– AAA||28% Off||Includes $7 tax & transaction fee. Available.|
|– Groupon||25% Off||Limited availability|
|1-DAY GROUP TICKETS|
|– Single Day Group Tickets (15+ people)||43% Off||$49.99 plus $9.99 tax & transaction fee. Available.|
|– Scout Group (15+)||X||Not available in San Diego.|
|– Summer Camp Group (15+)||X||Not available in San Diego.|
|– School & Daycare Group (15+)||X||Not available in San Diego.|
|– Chaperone tickets (1 for every 10 paying kids group guests)||FREE||Not available in San Diego.|
|– Group Bus Driver complimentary ticket||FREE||Not available in San Diego.|
|– Sesame Place Silver Pass (+ 2 free tickets)||—||$129 + $9.99 tax & transaction fee. Available|
|– Sesame Place Gold Pass (+ 4 free tickets)||—||$165 + $9.99 tax & transaction fee. Available|
|– Sesame Place Platinum Pass (+ 6 free tickets)||—||$282 + $9.99 tax & transaction fee. Available|
|– aRes Travel – Silver Pass (save $10)||6% Off||Includes $2 tax & transaction fee. Available|
|– AAA – Silver Pass||6% Off||Includes $12 tax & transaction fee. Available|
|– Groupon – Silver Pass||6% Off||Limited to certain dates|
|PUBLIC SERVICE & ASSOCIATIONS|
|– Teacher Pass||X||Not available in San Diego.|
|– Military||X||Not available in San Diego.|
|– First Responders||X||Not available in San Diego.|
|– Sesame Place Black Friday sale||Up to 50%||Limited to certain dates|
|– Craigslist||Up to 70%||Buyer Beware|
|– eBay||Up to 70%||Buyer Beware|
|Up to 70%||Buyer Beware|
|– McDonalds Sesame Place discount tickets||X||Not available for many years in PA.|
|– Burger King coupons for Sesame Place||X||Not available for many years in PA.|
|All benefits, prices, products, and promotions in this chart and the following article are subject to change without notice.|
Read on for cheap ways to enter Sesame Place in San Diego now and in the future. But first, wouldn’t you love to know how you can get in free?
Free Tickets to Sesame Place San Diego – 2 Ways
There are 2 free options to get into Sesame Place San Diego now.
- Children under 2 years old get in free (23 months old or less). There’s no other special kids pricing.
- Guest Tickets (Free Friend tickets) bundled with annual passes. But there are limitations. Read all about them further down the page in the Guest Ticket User’s Guide section.
But there may be 6 more freebies in the future if they’re following their original Philadelphia amusement park’s successful business model.
- Active military
- Teachers pass
- First responders
- Group chaperone complimentary tickets
- Group bus drivers
- Sunny Day tickets (rainchecks/bad weather)
If and when these additional free admission options are adopted by the San Diego location I’ll write about it here.
4 Sesame Place San Diego Guest Ticket Facts You Need to Know
Sesame Place “Friend for Free” guest tickets bundled with San Diego park annual passes are single-day, for one use only. And there are restrictions on when and how they can be used. I’ve included most below. But read the fine print on your annual pass purchase agreement in case more conditions have been added.
1) Free guest passes are valid immediately. You can use all of your complimentary tickets on the same day that you purchase an annual pass. But…
2) Guest tickets must be redeemed online. Log into the “Pass Portal”. Choose the number of guest tickets you want. Select a date. Then add your free guest tickets to your cart and check out. You’ll be sent an email confirmation with your guest Etickets.
3) You must accompany your guests. Free guest ticket users will not be allowed into the park without the presence of the annual pass holder.
4) Complimentary Guest pass use dates can be changed. If you cannot bring your guest(s) on the day that you specified contact the park by calling (619-222-4732) or rebook through the Pass Portal.
12 Free Sesame Place San Diego Opportunities to Watch For
Ordinarily, it would be almost impossible to predict which free admission opportunities would be offered by an amusement park. However, the first Sesame Place opened in Philadelphia in 1980. And the San Diego management is likely to copy many of the policies and offers that have made the original park a success.
Here’s a list of all of the free service group offers that I found on the Philadelphia Sesame Place website that aren’t valid in San Diego. I will expand on the details of each new freebie if and when they are available at the southern California location.
- Teacher pass
Military Free Days
- Active duty
- Air Force
- Coast Guard
- Law Enforcement Officers
- Emergency Medical Technicians
- 911 dispatchers
If you can’t get into the park free, the next question to answer is…should you buy Sesame Place tickets individually or buy annual passes? Which one is cheaper for you, your family and friends?
Daily Tickets vs. Annual Sesame Place San Diego Passes
Choosing the least expensive Sesame Place admission options between single-day entries and annual passes is not straightforward as you’d think. Even if you only plan on visiting once, an annual pass may be the least expensive choice.
To help you make up your mind I’ve created a chart which shows how many visits you’d need to break even at every annual pass level.
|Sesame Place San Diego Ticket Type||Price||# Visits/Year to break even|
|Date Specific online 1-day Pass ($30 Parking not included)||$49.99||—|
|Silver Pass – aRes discount link – Free general parking||$129||3 visits|
|Gold Annual Pass||$165||4 visits|
|Platinum Annual Pass||$282||6 visits|
Consider buying just one season pass or one higher-level pass and have that person drive and make all of the in-park purchases. Annual passes offer numerous discounts beyond unlimited admission any day the park is open. They also include freebies and discounts up to 50% on:
- Free guest tickets (discussed above)
- Free parking ($30 off per vehicle per visit)
- Discounted food, beverages, merchandise up to 25%
- Reduced stroller rental prices up to 20% off
- Up to 20% Cabana discounts
- Magic Queue (Fastpass) up to 50% off
- Periodic reduced-price guest ticket specials
- Add-on SeaWorld Annual Pass discounts up to 50% off
The Cabana discounts alone may be worth it (Cabana prices & information HERE). They can drastically increase your enjoyment of the park, especially if you don’t live close by. You’ll have a shaded space to rest in, a rare commodity on crowded, hot days. And you can bypass the long, hot restaurant food lines by using their in-Cabana food and beverage service (which costs extra).
The biggest annual pass perk for most people is free parking. Here are a few details that you need to know about Sesame Place parking.
Sesame Place San Diego Parking FAQs & Tips
Parking at Sesame Place San Diego isn’t free. It costs a minimum of $30 per visit per vehicle. Preferred parking closer to the park’s entry gate is priced at $35. Car entry fees are waived with the purchase of a Silver, Gold, or Platinum pass. Show your annual pass to the lot attendant for no-cost parking.
There is no public parking allowed on the park’s feeder streets, including Entertainment Circle and Heritage Road.
Because of the lack of off-site parking options, Sesame Place strongly encourages you to purchase your parking online before your visit. Do it HERE.
Here are 3 good reasons to buy your parking online. First, the lots fill up quickly on busy days. Second, waving your email receipt and driving straight through to your parking space is much easier than fumbling for your credit card while people behind you fume. Third, do it for the Earth. You’ll spend less time idling your car in line.
The only downside to buying in advance is that parking passes are non-refundable. You can rebook with at least 24 hours’ advance notice. But if something last-minute stops you from visiting the park you lose your money.
How do you get to Sesame Place without a car?
The best way to travel to Sesame Place’s Chula Vista location is by using someone else’s car via a ridesharing service like Lyft or Uber.
That’s because a mass transit trip will take much longer. From downtown San Diego to Sesame Place rideshare will only take 25 minutes. The same trip via MTS (Metropolitan Transit System) vehicles will take you more than 1 hour, 30 minutes. Check San Diego bus and light rail routes using the MTS Moovit app.
Another downside to taking San Diego public transit is that their closest stop is 2 miles south of the park on the corner of Heritage Road and Otay Mesa Road. The average walking time from that bus stop to the park is 42 minutes.
3 Daily Ticket Deals for Sesame Place San Diego
Sesame Place San Diego Gate Price is $79.99 for ages 2+
This is the standard price that you’ll pay per person if you buy your tickets at the admission gate. It’s also the most expensive option. If you buy online and in advance, you can save significant amounts of cash.
Keep in mind that day tickets do not include a parking pass.
What’s most important is that you choose a reliable source for your tickets. I’ve included the 4 best sources below. They include 3 Sesame Place authorized ticket sellers.
1-Day Ticket Deals Directly From Sesame Place in Chula Vista
Buying Date-Specific Tickets in Advance Costs $20 – $30 dollars Less.
The discount you get from the Sesame Place San Diego website depends upon the day and season when you choose to attend. Admission is cheaper on weekdays, especially mid-week. You’ll pay more on weekends and busy holidays.
Check HERE for Sesame Place’s current prices on their website. You will be charged an additional $9.99 in fees and taxes per transaction when you order online. These tickets are good for one visit on one operating day of your choice to Sesame Place during the current year. They are non-transferable.
You can also call 619-222-4732. But their representatives are overworked. I’ve called them three times for information in this article and had to wait an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes! And their on-hold callback service is not reliable.
aRes Travel 1-Day Any Day Sesame Place San Diego Ticket Deal
This local authorized ticket seller averages 28% off the gate price for single-day tickets. And their e-tickets allow you to go straight to the gate and just show your phone to enter.
Why buy through aRes? They’re flexible. aRes Travel 1-Day Any Day passes are good for any day during the current operating year. If you buy directly from the Sesame Place website you have to commit to one specific day for your visit.
aRes gets good deals from local attractions and hotels because they’ve been here forever. They helped the Zoo create their first online ticket sales portal and they’re still working together. That’s also how they’re able to keep their per transaction and tax fees so low at $2.
They’ll actually TALK to you quickly. Email, or call them at 800-719-8961. Phoning can save you money. Sometimes they have “Call Center Exclusive” hotel and package deals! And because they’re local, you can even go visit them at their office in Pacific Beach (link to Google Maps location).
AAA 1-Day Any Day Discount for Sesame Place San Diego
AAA California averages 28% off of the gate price for daily tickets for members. When you’re looking at their website ticket price remember to add their $7 per transaction charge for fees & taxes. FYI, a AAA membership costs about $60/year.
Groupon 1-Day Any Day Discount Tickets
Groupon’s Sesame Place ticket deals average 25% off the gate price. However, they’re notorious for going back to the attractions’ standard price once their deal’s deadline has passed.
Before you hit the buy button, make sure that you compare their “deal” price to the other two authorized ticket sellers that I talked about previously.
Save 43% With 1-Day Group Tickets at Sesame Place San Diego
You can save $30 on each ticket if you can get 15+ people (aged 2+) together for your Sesame Place San Diego visit. You have to specify a single date. There is a $9.99 charge per transaction for taxes and fees. Make sure that you check the fine print for other conditions before you click the buy button.
Parking is not included in the cost of the group tickets. Make sure to notify your group’s drivers so they aren’t surprised by the $30+ per vehicle parking lot entry fee.
Encourage all drivers within your group to pre-purchase parking at the Sesame Place website. Parking is limited. On busy days your group members will want to make sure that they have a spot reserved because there is no on-street parking nearby.
5 Sesame Place San Diego Group Ticket Discounts to Watch For
The Philadelphia Sesame Place location has 5 more special group discount options than the California one. It seems reasonable that in time (and with customer requests) these deals will be introduced in their west coast kids attraction as well.
So…if you’re planning events for one of the group types listed below, ask if and when they’ll be available. You may be surprised.
The discounts listed below are percentages off the Philadelphia Sesame Place standard at the gate price. All groups must have 15+ guests over 2 years old.
- Scout Group (78% off)
- Summer Camp Group (70% off)
- School & Daycare Group (79% off)
- Free Chaperone tickets (1 for every 10 paying kids group guests)
- Free Group Bus Driver ticket – must have CDL
6 Annual Pass Deals for Sesame Place San Diego
Sesame Place annual passes for San Diego provide unlimited visits, without blackout dates. The Silver, Gold, and Platinum passes differ in price, the number of bundled free guest tickets, free general or up-close parking, and percentages off in-park purchases, food, experiences, and special rewards.
|Sesame Place Annual Pass Benefits||# Guest Tickets||In-park Purchase Discounts|
|Silver Pass (Free general parking)||2||Up to 20%|
|Gold Pass (Free up-close parking)||4||Up to 30%|
|Platinum Pass (Free up-close parking)||6||Up to 50%|
|aRes Travel – Silver Pass – Free general parking||2||Up to 20%|
|AAA- Silver Pass (Free general parking)||2||Up to 20%|
|Groupon – Silver Pass (Free general parking)||2||Up to 20%|
You probably noticed that my chart includes 3 reliable authorized ticket sellers. They offer Silver passes with all the perks for less than you’ll pay directly through Sesame Place. The only downside is that they do not offer a monthly payment plan.
Annual pass holders will receive emails with attached PDFs that can be printed or scanned to enter the park for the first time. For subsequent visits, entry barcodes can be obtained from the Season Pass Member website. A business-card-sized pass can also be printed for you at Guest Relations.
The Best Time To Buy Sesame Place San Diego Season Passes
If you want cheap tickets for Sesame Place San Diego buy annual passes in November or December. That’s because the last two months of the year are usually included if you buy the next year’s season pass at that time. They also may be offering Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals online.
Read on to find out more about each annual pass type.
Silver Pass for Sesame Place San Diego – What’s Included?
2022 Sesame Place Silver Season passes can be bought via a one-time payment of $129 or you can pay $21.50 per month for 6 months. The pass is good until 1/2/2023 and there are no block-out dates.
What do you get when you buy a Silver Pass?
Two complimentary guest passes are included with your Silver Pass. Read my Sesame Place San Diego guest pass users guide on this page for tips and restrictions on the guest passes.
The Silver tier pass comes with free general parking. At a cost of $30 per vehicle per visit, free parking is a major saving.
You’ll get many 10% to 15% discounts with your Silver Pass. This includes 10% on food, beverages, and stroller rentals. Take 15% off on in-park merchandise, printed souvenir pictures, and frames.
On busy days skip the lines for less. Use your 20% discount on Magic Queue to go directly to the front of the regular lines. Enjoy priority boarding at the most popular rides and attractions in the park.
And finally, you can purchase a Silver SeaWorld San Diego annual pass for 40% off the regular price. The SeaWorld pass comes with 2 guest tickets and free general parking as well as more discounts.
Gold Pass Sesame Place San Diego
Pump up the fun and the savings with a 2022 Gold Season Pass for Sesame Place San Diego.
2022 Gold Season passes cost $165 for a one-time payment or $27.50 per month for 6 months. It’s good any day the park’s open through 1/2/2023 with no blackout dates.
What benefits do you get when you buy a Gold season pass?
You get 4 free guest passes when you buy a Gold pass. Check out my Sesame Place San Diego guest pass users guide on this page for a short primer on how and when you can use them. And definitely read your annual pass purchase agreement for every last detail.
Gold passes at San Diego Sesame Place come with free “Up-Close” parking privileges. This will save you $35 on a spot with a shorter walk to the park’s entrance. These are good for one vehicle per visit.
Discounts for Gold pass holders range from 15% to 20%. This includes 15% on food, beverages, and stroller rentals. Take 20% off on in-park merchandise, printed souvenir pictures, and frames.
The Magic Queue discount at the Gold pass level is 20%. This allows you to skip to the front of the regular lines. Cutting lines without a Quick (or Magic) Queue add-on will get you kicked out of the park. Enjoy priority boarding at the most popular rides and attractions in the park.
With a Gold pass purchase, you can get a 50% discount off the regular price on the purchase of a Gold SeaWorld San Diego annual pass. This SeaWorld pass comes with 4 complimentary guest tickets and free ‘up-close’ parking along with more discounts at the seaside attraction.
Platinum Pass Benefits from Sesame Place San Diego
The 2022 Platinum Pass is a great deal for those who are planning a year of traveling across the US.
It provides unlimited entry to 11 water and amusement parks from Florida to California including Sesame Place (Philadelphia and San Diego), Busch Gardens (Williamsburg and Tampa), SeaWorld and Aquatica Parks (Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego), Discovery Cove, Water Country USA, and Adventure Island.
2022 Platinum passes cost $165 for a one-time payment or $47.00 per month for 6 months. It’s good any day the park’s open through 1/2/2023 with no blackout dates.
You get 6 free guest passes when you buy a Platinum pass. Check out my Sesame Place San Diego guest pass users guide on this page for a short primer on how and when you can use them. And definitely read your annual pass purchase agreement for every last detail.
Platinum passes at San Diego Sesame Place have free “Up-Close” parking privileges. Save $35 on a space with a shorter walk to the park’s entrance. These are good for one vehicle per visit.
Platinum pass holder in-park purchase discounts range from 20% to 50%. This includes 20% on food, beverages, and stroller rentals. Take 25% off on in-park merchandise, printed souvenir pictures, and frames.
You’ll also get the PhotoKey service free all season so that you can keep the memories alive without risking getting your cellphone dunked.
50% off is the Magic Queue savings at the Platinum level. You can move to the front of the regular lines without getting kicked out of the park. The most popular rides and attractions in the park will be easy to do again and again with this perk.
Teacher & Military Sesame Place San Diego Discounts?
The San Diego Sesame Place location does not yet offer the popular teacher passes, or free military and first responder discounts. These programs are found at the Philadelphia park only.
If and when these group benefits are added I will include them here. For now, you can still get a decent discount on the standard park price through aRes Travel in San Diego. They’re my favorite authorized ticket seller because you can actually phone them and talk to a real person without a ridiculously long wait.
Black Friday, McDonald’s & Other Sesame Place Deals
Because Sesame Place in San Diego is so new most of the extreme discounts that you’ll find on a Google search may work for their Philadelphia location, but will not be valid for the California park. I’m going to go through a few of them to help you separate pure fiction from future possibilities.
Does Sesame Place San Diego have Black Friday Sales?
Sesame Place in Philadelphia had Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals up to 50% off. The Chula Vista kids water park opened in March 2022, so there haven’t been any there yet. But expect to see them in late November, particularly if gas prices reduce attendance throughout the year.
Buying Sesame Place Tickets on CraigsList, eBay, or Reddit
I’ve seen Sesame Place cheap tickets listed up to 70% off on CraigsList, eBay, Reddit, and other online forums. Don’t trust them. The Sesame Place website states that tickets, “may not be copied, transferred, resold or refunded and is only valid for the person listed on the ticket. Not redeemable for cash.”
Worse, the scammers posting these offers might be after more than just the cost of a ticket. Dealing with these people risks identity theft, and no one wants that.
Your safest, least expensive option is to either wait for a seasonal sale or purchase your tickets from a legitimate authorized ticket seller like aRes Travel of San Diego.
Sesame Place San Diego Coupons?
Sesame Place coupons from Burger King and McDonald’s are ancient history. The only references that I could find for these discount tickets were over 10 years old. Don’t hold your breath for their return. You’ll turn as blue as Cookie Monster and pass out.
If you’re interested in more inexpensive fun with your kids in San Diego, check out these ideas:
Sesame Place San Diego Discount Ticket Savings Summary
I think by now that you’ll agree that Sesame Place San Diego admission deals are surprisingly easy to find. You’d expect that this kids’ amusement park would try to charge extra just because it’s new. But that isn’t the case. Lucky you! They’re offering many free and discounted ticket options right now when you take your kids to Sesame Place in San Diego.