Hersheypark, Pennsylvania: A Delicious Park for the Whole Family - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  


Hersheypark, Pennsylvania: A Delicious Park for the Whole Family

by Mary Kraemer, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 11/20/2008
  



PassPorter.com > Articles > U.S. Travel > General Travel  

Milton Hershey established a chocolate factory in the rolling green hills of Derry Church, Pennsylvania. In 1907, Hersheypark opened as a leisure park for Hershey employees.


The park eventually opened to the public and has expanded considerably. Today the park spreads over 110 acres and features more than 60 rides and attractions. It consistently provides a wholesome atmosphere for families and offers attractions geared toward pleasing every member of the family. It is clean, well maintained, and without exception, every employee I met on a recent visit was extraordinarily pleasant. To reinforce wholesome standards, even the park brochure politely details what kinds of clothing are not considered appropriate, which even includes "some language, gestures, and suggestive art" and the park "reserves the right to address these issues with all guests."

After parking in one of the large lots and riding a tram to the entrance, visitors have the choice of going directly to the park or visiting Hershey's Chocolate World, which is located just outside the main gate. Hershey's Chocolate World features a ride that gives visitors a glimpse into the chocolate-making process that has made Hershey so famous in America. The ride is entertaining, featuring a trio of singing cows, and at the end, visitors are rewarded with a free chocolate! Of course, Hershey's Chocolate World is also very possibly the largest emporium of all things Hershey in the universe.

One especially nice feature of Hersheypark is its system of measuring kids and issuing height-related wristbands. Their ride-height requirements use a "candy system" of different Hershey products and are set up in 6-inch increments. The gentlest rides are reserved for the Assorted Miniatures (up to 36 inches), then come Kisses (36-42 inches), Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (42-48 inches), Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars (48-54 inches), Twizzlers (54-60 inches), and Jolly Rancher (over 60 inches). As a reward for being measured, kids also receive a free candy that corresponds to their height. The candy logos and images are found at ride entrances, and it's an easy system for kids to understand. Measuring kids once in the day is efficient, and ride operators only have to check wristbands rather than measure kids.

Photo illustrating U.S. Travel - General Travel
The ferris wheel gives a great view of the entire park.

Inside the park, there is a paradise of rides just for little kids, and some of these rides have height restrictions that limit how tall riders can be! Hersheypark offers nearly two dozen charming rides specifically for younger guests, and some of them, like the Mini Pirate, are scaled-down versions of other park rides. These kiddie rides are gentle and creatively presented, with names such as the Bizzy Bees, the Balloon Flite, or the Dinosaur-Go-Round. For families with young children, Hersheypark delivers wonderful options for rides.

But Hersheypark aims to keep every member of the family happy, and on the other end of the spectrum, there are nearly a dozen coasters to make thrill seekers very satisfied. From the classic Trailblazer--a fairly standard steel coaster--to the Lightning Racer--a double-track wooden coaster that sends two trains simultaneously to race one another--to the first steel looping coaster on the East Coast, the SuperDooperLooper, Hersheypark has been building rides bigger, better, and faster over the years. The park's newest coaster, Fahrenheit, made my youngest daughter delighted to be a Twizzler (and made me feel just fine about watching her ride from a nearby bench!). This imposing coaster has a 90-degree vertical ascent right before its 97-degree negative drop, followed by some inverted loops, corkscrews, s-rolls, and high-speed curves. No wonder it's considered an 'aggressive' thrill ride!

Summers in Pennsylvania can be hot and humid. Well, Hersheypark has the answer for you with a large water park area called The Boardwalk. Going to the Boardwalk is nearly like going to a separate park within Hersheypark because guests in the Boardwalk area must wear swimsuits--not any street clothes or cutoffs--and the swim wear is not allowed in the rest of the park unless it is covered with street clothes.

We thought that the highlight of the Boardwalk area was the East Coast Waterworks, which is the largest water-play structure in the world. It is amazingly large and complex, with multiple slides (some of them several stories tall), hundreds of interactive water toys, pull ropes, tip cones, and two enormous buckets that dump a lot of water at once! My kids and I had to pick a meeting place because we constantly lost one another in this huge watery labyrinth. It was gloriously fun. If these waterworks are too overwhelming for little ones, there's the Bayside Pier area and Sandcastle Cove, which provide a much gentler water experience with zero-entry pools, bubbling fountains, small slides, water cannons, and jets.

The Boardwalk area also includes a set of four impressive water slides that start from 50 feet in the air, and a surfing "competition" ride. Then, if you think a water park is good, coasters are good, and a combination of the two must be awesome, there's The Roller Soaker, which lets riders dump water onto spectators but gives spectators the chance to even the score with sprayers to soak the riders.

Hersheypark is adjacent to ZooAmerica, and admission to the zoo in included in Hersheypark admission. (You can, however, visit ZooAmerica separately, without Hersheypark admission.) The town of Hershey has had a zoo nearly as long as it's had an amusement park, but it has changed over the years. The present zoo exhibits animals that are native to North America. The animal habitats are set up in sections that relate to their homelands: grassy waters (Everglades), north woods (evergreen forests), cactus community (Sonoran desert), big sky country (Midwestern prairies), and eastern woodlands.

The fun does not stop when summer ends, however. Hersheypark offers seasonal special events at Halloween and Christmas. Hersheypark in the Dark has special trick or treating for kids (and considering the sponsor, it's a pretty safe bet there will be loads of candy), rides, special shows, and entertainment, as well as admission to Creatures of the Night at ZooAmerica. At Christmas, Hersheypark is bedecked in twinkling lights, festive decorations, and visitors can enjoy rides and visit with Santa and his reindeer as well as see cheery holiday shows.

If you have time after experiencing everything that Hersheypark has to offer, take a drive through the main part of town. A unique feature of Hershey, Pennsylvania is the streetlights, which are topped with gigantic Hershey Kisses (wrapped and unwrapped)! Perhaps you could consider a stay at the Hotel Hershey, with its fabled Chocolate Spa, where the pampering includes chocolate in new and interesting ways!

For more information about Hershey (the city and all its attractions), visit http://www.hersheypa.com and for more information on Hersheypark visit http://www.hersheypark.com



The Claw looked really, really scary. We almost got cold feet. It goes completely upside down while swinging back and forth and in a circle. It was so much fun!!



About the Author:
Mary Kraemer, a travel consultant with CruisingCo/MouseEarVacations, loves to travel with her husband and four children. She is an avid Disney fan who visits Disneyland several times a year and is looking forward to a fall trip to Walt Disney World and a week on the Disney Cruise Line!


Recent U.S. Travel Articles:
Honolulu and and Waikiki - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-30-2015
The Eastern Coast of Oahu, Hawaii - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-23-2015
The Pearl Harbor Memorial - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-16-2015
Kennedy Space Center - Things to Do Near Port Canaveral last updated 04-09-2015
The Bishop Museum in Oahu - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-09-2015

More Related Links:


Serendipity 3 in New York City - A Dining Review last updated 12/29/2008
Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates - A New Year In A New Disney Park last updated 12/18/2008
Valencia, Spain - Travel Tips last updated 11/27/2008
Bellagio of Las Vegas - Simply Bellissimo! last updated 1/08/2009
Hever Castle - Kent, England last updated 1/15/2009




Reader Comments:


So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 11/20/2008 - Article #97 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by CruisingCo.com


What Are your Must Dos in San Francisco?
by HollyH
20 May 2015 at 9:44pm
We're planning a big summer trip to California. We'll spend 8 days in SF (staying with relatives) before we head south down the Pacific Coast...
(click title above to view replies)

Amsterdam to Barcelona, Fall 2016
by sakana
18 May 2015 at 12:41am
Greetings, I am in the beginning stages of planning a mostly France trip in September and October 2016. We plan on about 50 days. I'm going to use...
(click title above to view replies)

San Francisco fishermans wharf
by phoebec
17 May 2015 at 11:25am
Anyone have any experience with the holiday inn at fishermans wharf? My dad is traveling with us and he has points with HI that would dramatically...
(click title above to view replies)

Outer Banks, NC
by luvnwdwgal
12 May 2015 at 6:18pm
Does anyone have any experience with vacation rentals in the Outer Banks? I'm thinking I'd rather go this route, but have never done this before and...
(click title above to view replies)

Advice: where to stay near Everglades National Park
by poohmaine
27 Apr 2015 at 5:30pm
On our next vacation, we are devoting at least two days to exploring Everglades National Park. Can any Passporters recommend a hotel or B+B to stay...
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 5828


PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.