Earlier this month our family visited Hershey Park, “the sweetest place on earth” and I wanted to share a few thoughts about our time there. Whenever we’re planning a vacation I always end up on some stranger’s blog reading about their experiences and it always helps us plan our trip. Hopefully this may help you plan yours.
Hershey park or Dutch Wonderland? That’s the first question people with small children ask when heading to central Pennsylvania. The former is a full fledged park while the latter is geared toward smaller children. My daugthers were six and four when we went and we chose Hershey Park and it was clearly the right choice for us. Hershey had a number of small rides for them scattered about the park and also had a Ferris wheel, water park, and zoo. We also had our faces painted, watched a country song and dance show, and an aquatic show featuring a sea lion and seal. We were in the park for 2 hours one night, 8 hours the next day, and then 5 hours again and barely even got into the water park.
Hershey park is also next to Chocolate World, a single building center that has a slow moving ride showing how candy gets made, a souvenir area, a 4-d movie, chocolate tasting, food court, and a make your own chocolate bar area. The 4-d movie wasn’t worth the extra ticket we had to buy but the make your own bar was. Though the price escapes me now, I know it wasn’t cheap, but it seemed like the once-in-a-vacation thing you do on vacation. We each chose the ingredients for our bar and then watched as it was created along a processing line that mimics the Hershey factories. The park required a ticket but Chocolate World is free.
Hershey Lodge was where we had a group rate and it was adequate. There wasn’t anything to complain about but there isn’t anything to complain about at a Marriott either. Aside from chocolate bars upon check-in and Hershey kisses with turn down service it was an average hotel with a decent sized pool. The other hotels in the area looked nice and I wouldn’t hesitate to look for some place else to stay the next time.
Shopping isn’t a big feature of our vacations but we filled a few hours at the outlets there and had to stop too at a K-mart to buy headphones for a child. There was also a nice looking grocery store there if you choose to do your own food.
Food. For meals we ate with family in the area for a pair of meals, had lunch at the park which was typical amusement park food, and then ate at The Bear’s Den at the lodge. All were decent meals. My one food gripe was the $4.01 we paid for a soft pretzel in the park. I’m willing to acknowledge a premium price for food in amusement parks, but that much for a soft pretzel?
Will we return? Maybe.
Closer to home we have both Cedar Point and King’s Island as well as parks in Southern Michigan and Indiana. We’ve also been to Disney a time or two, which is in another league entirely. If we’re in the area I suspect we would stop, but as a stand alone trip I doubt it.
Here’s a video from the chocolate making: