Hershey Park, “Wherever it is, no matter how far, you´re always near a Hershey Bar!”
Hershey, Pennsylvania is one of the sweetest towns in my home state. I say this because it is home to Hershey Chocolates. This is the company that makes (among other things) Hershey bars, Hershey Kisses, Mr. Good Bar, Twizzlers, Kit Kat, Almond Joy, Reese´s Peanut Butter Cups, Jolly Ranchers, etc. There is also, of course, Hershey´s Ice Cream, chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup…the list goes on and on with sweet treats.
I´ll start with a short bit of history about the Hershey company. The chocolate making business began in 1900 manufacturing chocolate bars, wafers, and confections. Milton Hershey had the idea to make his chocolates of good quality and low cost. “A palatable confection and a most nourishing food.” By 1905 he had built a factory in South Central Pennsylvania (close to both New York and Philadelphia) and was successfully making a name for himself and his chocolates. The Hershey family gave back to the community founding the Milton Hershey School for orphan boys. The school continues to operate in Pennsylvania and through “Project Fellowship” pairs students with volunteer families for a well rounded education.
Hershey Park itself was built in 1907 as a place where employees could go to relax on breaks and with their families. The park grew from a dance pavilion and picnic tables into the large amusement park we can visit today. It is obvious that the park has a lot of history and sentimental value in this part of Pennsylvania, and the park draws tourists from around the world looking for a sweet getaway.
Actually, as soon as you ride into town, if you roll down the car windows you can smell chocolate! The street lamps are shaped like Hershey´s kisses and everything points toward the amusement park and chocolate world.
Hershey is home to the Hotel Hershey, which of course has any number of chocolate themed treatments and spa packages. I have never had the opportunity to enjoy this hotel, but I have heard that it is worth the trip. If you are only staying for the day, however, there are lots of nearby attractions including Lancaster County´s PA Dutch Country, Gettysburg (famous for the Civil War battle), Harrisburg (the state capital), and the Outlet stores.
The day I went to Hershey Park, I was with a good friend and we decided to revisit our favorite childhood spot: Chocolate World. I will admit that this is nothing more than an enormous shop with all kinds of Hershey´s Chocolate Products and tee shirts, however, it cannot be missed. When you enter Chocolate World, you first go on a ride. It is a little train that takes you through an exhibit. As you watch the different images and scenes, a recording explains the way that Hershey´s makes their chocolate. The ride is free and at the end an employee gives you a simple of a new Hershey´s product. I have great memories from my childhood, mostly filled with anticipation because as you leave the ride you enter into a world of chocolate. A huge store of all the Hershey´s products you can imagine. Huge chocolate bars, stuffed bears wearing Hershey´s tee shirts, etc. Of course, as a small child this was like a wonderland. A real life Willy Wonka! My friend and I couldn´t resist buying a chocolate bar for the long line we knew awaited us to get into the amusement park.
We continued down the lane to arrive at the entrance to Hershey Park. The actual entrance looks like a small german house, and on the other side are bunches of roller coasters, bumper cars, carousels, and characters walking around in costume like living chocolate bars! In order to know which rides you are allowed to ride, you must first measure yourself against the markers. Each height is a different candy. Then, at each attraction, the candy´s (or heights) that are allowed to ride are clearly posted. A grown up, we found out, is a Jolly Rancher.
Once we entered, my friend and I decided to ride the roller coasters first (before the lines got too long.) It is true that Hershey Park is known for its coasters such as the Side Winder which goes forwards and backwards, and the Great Bear. This year they had a coaster that had an almost completely vertical drop! We waited almost an hour in line for that one!
Then we decided it was time to stop for lunch. Hershey Park also has an area with a huge wave pool and some water slides. Although we didn´t bring our bathing suits, it´s possible to spend the day jumping between the two parks. In the area in between the swimming area and the regular amusement park there are a lot of little stands selling food. We got lemonade, hot dogs and French fries to eat while we watched the parade of people all enjoying a summer day at the park.
After eating we needed some slower rides, so we took a trip on the huge ferris wheel and rode the kissing tower up to the top. From the kissing tower you have a 360 degree view of Hershey Pennsylvania. It’s a great spot, whether you are with that special someone, or with your friends! Lastly, we rode the carousel and took some photos with our favorite candies before leaving the park.
Hershey is a great spot for kids of all ages. In fact, there is even a zoo! If you have more time, you can visit the animals (most of which are native to America). It is called ZooAmerica. Located at 201 Park Avenue, Hershey, PA. I would highly recommend a trip to Hershey if you are in the Pennsylvania area. You will not regret a day spent here! I ruskommend Hershey Park with 5 boquerones.
Information about Hershey Park
- Address: 100 West Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA 17033
- Telephone: (717) 534-3860