Accommodations at The Hotel Hershey were provided in order to facilitate this post. This post has not been monetarily compensated. Please note that, as always, any personal opinions expressed are my own.
You may recall that last month I visited Hershey, PA. I’ve already shared info on Hersheypark lodging, and would now like to share my experience on the park itself. We spent an amazing afternoon there that I truly enjoyed. Because there’s so much to do there, I’ve put together a list of the top ten things that you definitely do not want to miss while visiting Hersheypark.
The building in that picture just above doesn’t look very impressive, does it? You know that old saying – never judge a book by its cover. That picture was taken earlier this year. It’s the exterior of the building that houses Laff Trakk. Laff Trakk is Hershey’s parks 13th and newest coaster. Laff Trakk is also the first indoor, spinning, glow-coaster in the United States. The fun of this coaster actually starts before you ever get on the ride, as the queue area was designed to be a part of the attraction. I didn’t get a chance to check out this ride in person as construction was still going on when I was there. But, a month has passed since then. The ride did open recently, and I have a piece of video that should give you an idea of what it’s like.
Fahrenheit is exhilerating! It’s a “vertical lift inverted loop coaster” that ascends 121 feet before plummeting down a 97-degree drop. This coaster took my breath away. I admit, I was both excited and nervous getting on it. When I came off of the ride I felt empowered, as if I could take on any ride.
Great Bear is a looping, inverted steel coaster. On this type of coaster you’re sort of sitting, and you ride below the track instead of on top of it. The ride starts by lifting you 90 feet off the ground. It speeds up to 61 miles per hour, loops and then goes into an immelman before crossing the sooperdooperLooper and coming to a finish. This coaster also took my breath away, and it makes you feel sort of like you’re flying.
I rode the SooperDooperLooper when I was a teenager. It’s still there and it’s still a blast! It’s like a piece of Hershey and roller coaster history, as it was the first looping roller coaster on the East Coast.
Lightning Racer is a blast with its two staggered lifts. It’s just plain fun listening to the clickety clackety sounds while you’re riding along the wooden tracks along side another coaster, wondering who will get to the end first. Another piece of history, Lightning Racer was the first wooden racing/dueling coaster in the United States.
I only mentioned five roller coasters above. In case you’re wondering, there are eight more coasters to help satisfy your inner thrill seeker.
The Boardwalk wasn’t open yet when we visited last month. It’s super humid today here in my area of Jersey and I know I’d appreciate visiting the Hersheypark Boardwalk in a big way right about now. The Boardwalk is a big water park, complete with a giant wave pool and a number of water attractions.
There’s no shortage of tasty foods to eat at Hersheypark. Over the past year they’ve even updated some of their dining facilities to better accommodate all park visitors, including folks with food allergies. I loved learning about The Outpost, which is a dedicated gluten-free and nut-free stand with meals and snacks.
If you’re ready to make your sweet tooth happy, be sure to visit Makin’ Whoopie Pies™. Here you can build your own whoopie-pie. Visitors can choose from a variety of whoopie pie shell flavors and then choose specially crafted filling flavors.
The Kissing Tower is a family ride. It contains a completely enclosed cabin with windows shaped like Hershey’s Kisses. The tower climbs 250 feet and rotates in a clockwise direction, providing riders a panoramic view of Hershey. The view up there is incredible. Not only could we see so much of the park, but we could also see The Hotel Hershey where we were staying. (You can see it at the very top of the photo on the right half of the photo.)
I’ve mentioned ZooAmerica in the past. It’s a wonderful little 11-acre zoo featuring only North American animals. Admission to the zoo is included with your admission ticket to Hersheypark.There’s even a special entrance right in the middle of the park to take you to the zoo, eliminating the need to leave the amusement park, find and move your car and park again.
The Zoo is a fun place to spend a few hours, on your own or with family. But if you’re an animal lover and really want to experience something fantastic, you need to take one of the special tours. I took the After Hours Tour, which is a 2-hour behind the scenes look at the Zoo and some of its inhabitants. The After Hours Tour is a great way to get a better look at some of the more nocturnal animals. Tour participants receive a flashlight, since the Zoo looks completely different at night. Your tour guide will lead you through certain areas of the Zoo. While walking you’ll learn more facts about the animals. You’ll also get to see some animals being fed. For me the real treat was getting to hold Luna, a screech owl. She looks like she might weight a couple of pounds but in actuality only weighs 6 ounces. She, like a number of other animals there, had been injured and rescued and can no longer live in the wild. I also got to feed Butch, a Black Bear. He was rescued from a basement in West Virginia.
Zoo America also offers an Early Morning Tour, which gives participants the opportunity to tour a different area of the Zoo and see its inhabitants up close. There’s also a special Photography Tour, which lets participants choose from five animals, then have access to certain areas of an exhibit that isn’t usually open to the public.
Chocolate World is really quite a place! Located just outside of Hersheypark, Chocolate World is an enormous store dedicated to all things Hershey. Plus, it contains the Hershey’s Great American Chocolate Tour, a free family ride which explains how a little bean becomes chocolate. Free sample at the end of the ride included!
Hersheypark is great place to take the family for a day. There’s so much to do that you could easily spend two days there and not do the same thing twice. With over 70 rides, including 13 roller coasters and more than 20 kiddie rides, Hersheypark has something to please everyone.