Dozens of Attractions at Hersheypark, Pennsylvania

This year is the one hundredth anniversary of the opening of sweet ol’ Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Its humble beginnings as a leisure park for Hershey Chocolate Company employees have been almost forgotten now as it’s transformed into a 110-acre fun park open for everyone. These days the Hersheypark complex includes an amusement park with 60 rides (including ten roller coasters), the ZooAmerica next door, and Hershey’s Chocolate World (yum!). Their slogan tells us that we’re visiting “the sweetest place on earth”, and that’s gotta be a good thing.

What to Do in Hersheypark:

The ten roller coasters at Hersheypark are obviously a good place to start a fun day out. The Sooperdooperlooper was the first looping roller coaster on the east coast, and reaches a maximum speed of 45 mph. Nearby is the wooden roller coaster named Comet, originally built in 1946 (but remodeled since), the maximum drop during this ride is 96 feet. For a slightly gentler ride, you can try the Roller Soaker, but here you have to be prepared to get completely soaked through (with the bonus that you can also get other people wet, too!).

You can also buy a joint ticket to combine your amusement park stay with a visit to ZooAmerica next door. Here you can see a range of animals exhibited by habitat, including mountain lions and bison in the Big Sky Country area, and black bears, deer and bobcat in the Eastern Woodlands environment.

Chocolate World ICreative Commons License photo credit: acidcookie

Chocolate World

And you can’t leave Hersheypark without experiencing Hershey’s Chocolate World, of course. You can take the Great American Chocolate Tour to learn how Hershey’s bars are produced (and maybe get to taste one or two along the way), try your hand at operating the Hershey’s Kisses packaging line and even create your own personalized Hershey’s chocolate bar wrapper.

New at Hersheypark:

The attractions at Hersheypark are constantly getting upgraded and added to, and the newest roller coaster called Storm Runner was installed as recently as 2004. And just this year, the Boardwalk at Hersheypark opened as the water and pool play area, featuring the Waverider for surfing contests, the Coastline Plunge (with four water slides) and the East Coast Waterworks (seven slides). Plus there’s a gentle pool for relaxing in during the summer, and a kiddie pool area called Sandcastle Cove. Just remember not to go swimming on a stomach full of chocolate!

Hotel Hershey and Spa

Hotel Hershey and Spa

Staying at Hersheypark:

There are several on site accommodation options if you plan to stay overnight at Hersheypark, including the Hershey Lodge [web], the Hotel Hershey [web] and the Hershey Highmeadow Campground.

Visiting Hersheypark:

Check Hersheypark’s driving directions to find the best route from major cities including Baltimore, New York, Washington DC and Pittsburgh; it’s almost three hours’ drive from New York City or two hours from Washington DC. You can also take a Hershey shuttle train from the Harrisburg Train Station. Hersheypark is closed during January, February and March; from September to November and during April it opens on selected weekends. Between May and August Hersheypark is open daily from 10.00am but the closing times vary daily, so check the website for more details when planning your trip.

Creative Commons License photo credit: gigi4791