It probably wouldn't come as a surprise to learn that candy is prominently featured at Hersheypark. Characters dressed as Hershey Kisses, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and other treats roam the park. And ride height requirements are categorized according to different candy brands such as Twizzlers (54 to 60 inches tall) and Jolly Rancher (60 inches or taller).
Because the world-famous bars and other confections are manufactured in the nearby factory, the entire town even smells like chocolate. Begun as a recreation center for the workers in Milton Hershey's factory in 1906, the park has a long history and a palpable sense of nostalgia.
Hersheypark has a huge assortment of rides and attractions, including a world-class array of roller coasters. In fact, with 14 rides, the coaster-crazy park has one of the world's largest collection of thrill machines.
The park also offers a good selection of rides for younger kids as well as shows for the whole family. ZOOAMERICA, which is included with admission, features animals native to North America. After the regular season ends, Hersheypark opens for Halloween and Christmas events.
With its hotels, amphitheater, sports arena, gardens, and Chocolate World, Hersheypark falls somewhere between a destination park and a regional amusement park. By adding a visit to nearby Pennsylvania Dutch Country, a trip to Hershey could be part of a multi-day vacation.
Featured Coasters and Other Attractions
- Hersheypark is home to the top-10 wooden coaster, Lightning Racer. The dual-track ride is a racing and dueling coaster.
- One of the most thrilling rides in the park, Skyrush climbs 200 feet, accelerates to 75 mph as it soars down an 85-degree first drop, and includes five moments of free-floating airtime.
- Great Bear is an inverted coaster, which means that the trains hang suspended from the track. It includes four inversions.
- Storm Runner, a rocket coaster, uses a hydraulic launch system to accelerate from 0 to 72 mph in two seconds. The launch is followed by three inversions.
- First opened in 1946, Comet is a classic wooden coaster.
- Among other thrilling attractions are the Hershey Triple Tower, which offers three different drop tower rides, and The Claw, a high-flying pendulum ride.
The Boardwalk has an impressive collection of water slides and other wet attractions and is larger than many theme park/water park hybrids (and bigger even than some standalone water parks). Admission to the water park attractions is included with admission to Hersheypark.
- Breakers Edge, an uphill water coaster
- Waverider, a FlowRider surfing ride
- Coastline Plunge tube slides
- Intercoastal Waterway, a lazy river
- Whitecap Racer, a multi-lane, mat-racing slide
- East Coast Waterworks, an interactive water play structure with multiple dump buckets
- The Shore, a wave pool
What’s New at Hersheypark?
The park is building a new land, Hershey’s Chocolatetown, at its front entrance. it will feature Candymonium, a 210-foot-tall hypercoaster from the ride manufacturer geniuses at Bolliger & Mabillard. It should be incredibly smooth and loaded with airtime. The land will also include Hyperdeck, a virtual reality experience, The Chocolatier, a full-service restaurant, The Sweeterie, a confectionary kitchen, and Milton’s Ice Cream Parlor, which will serve house-made treats.
Hershey's Chocolate World
Located just outside the main entrance, Hershey’s Chocolate World includes a free ride-through “tour” of a simulated chocolate factory, free candy bar samples, the 4D Chocolate Mystery, a digital animation presentation, a huge candy store, a bakery, and an ice cream shop.
Hersheypark offers pay-one-price all-day passes both at the gate and online. The water park rides are included with admission. ZOOAMERICA is also included with admission. Discount tickets are available for children and seniors. The park offers reduced prices for two- and three-day admission tickets as well as "Sunset" specials for late-in-the-day entries.
Admission is free to Hershey’s Chocolate World, which is not part of Hersheypark. The “factory tour” ride is complimentary, but the 4D film and other attractions require additional charges.
What to Eat?
The usual park fare, including pizza, burgers, and fries, is available. More intriguing options include Gyro.GRK, which offers Mediterranean fare, a taco food truck, a second food truck offering barbecue dishes, the Spring Creek Smokehouse with ribs and turkey legs, and the Gourmet Grille, which has a wide variety of Southwest and Mediterranean fare.
Location and Directions
The park is located at 100 West Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
- From Baltimore: I83N to York and Harrisburg. Near Harrisburg, continue on I83N to 322E to Hershey. Exit at Hersheypark Drive/Route 39W.
- From Central New Jersey: I95S to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I76). I76W to Exit 266. Turn left onto 72N to 322W. Route 322 becomes Hersheypark Drive/Route 39W.
- From New York City: I78W to I81S. Take Exit 77 and follow Route 39S to Hershey.
- From Philadelphia: Schuykill Expressway (I76W) to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I76). I76W to Exit 266. Turn left onto 72N to 322W. Route 322 becomes Hersheypark Drive/Route 39W.
Hershey operates three nearby resorts: the elegant Hotel Hershey, the Hershey Lodge, and the Hersheypark Camping Resort.