This past Sunday, April 27th, we were invited to an Autism Awareness Day at Sesame Place. This is not the first year that this event was held, however, it was my first time attending. My brother Christian is on the autism spectrum.
I live about a 20-minute drive from Sesame Place and the drive up wasn’t bad. Parking was $25 and would benefit several autism charities. We got there around 11 AM and it was starting to get crowded. The park opened at 10 AM. Once our tickets were validated, bags checked, we entered the park and were greeted by dozens of tables from several organizations with resources for children and adults with autism. Everything from independent living, to art classes, higher education, horseback riding, job training, I mean everything! My mom and I spent the first hour chatting with the representatives of these organizations in hopes that we can help Chris.
I loved that Sesame Place was very accommodating with sensory-friendly shows, lighting and music. I took my brother on a trip to Walt Disney World back in 2012 and two years later, he’s finally ready to go back. Although he tells me he had the best time of his life, he felt overstimulated, and I can understand that. Sunday at Sesame Place, he was not ready to go home when closing time came around 🙂
The characters were out and we took pictures with them.
The parks were very crowded, lines at the rides were very long – Christian waited over an hour for the tea cups – Monster Mix-Up. I was worried about him standing so long in line, but once the 2 minute ride was over, he said, “Long wait, but it was worth it.” Best highlight of my day. Sadly, that was the only ride he could get on. Lines for the rides were just too long and it was too cold for the water rides, although children were in the pool.
The Neighborhood Street Parade was great, and worth waiting for. Although the parks were mobbed, it only took us less than 5 minutes to exit the parking lot. When parking, I say, “Kids, remember we’re parked at Snuffy Green.” Coming back, my mom says, “Aren’t we parked at Green Hornet?” Umm…Green Hornet is not a Sesame Street character, goofball! So much for paying attention like you said you would 🙂
Anyway, in conclusion: It was an amazing day for everyone! We got so much information on autism resources and interacted with several families whose children are on the spectrum. It was awesome having an entire day in a theme park where autistic children can be themselves and have a great time without judgment. Sesame Place was so accommodating. Thank you Autism Speaks, Variety Philadelphia and Sesame Place for this wonderful day!
Hope to participate in this event next year!
Until next time,