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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Family Fun at Hershey's Chocolate World

Hershey's Chocolate World is open year-round (except for major holidays) and has free admission. It is one of the very few free activities that you can enjoy while visiting Hershey Pennsylvania. If you want to avoid crowds and long will want to visit September through early May. Throughout the year they hold a wide variety of seasonal events.

During the summer tourist season you will find a fee for parking if you plan on staying 3 hours or more. If you are there for less than 3 hours, parking is free. If you need handicap parking you will find that near the entrance under a roofed pavilion.

You will have to enter the facility through the main entrance which is well marked. If you want to leave your baby stroller outside, they have an area right near the front door where you can check it in and go inside. If you are visiting on an extremely crowded day, that is what I recommend that you do because you will NEVER be able to maneuver around the crowds pushing a stroller.
Once inside the front doors, the public restrooms sit to the left. I suggest you and the family use them before venturing further inside to shop or participate in many of the attractions.

* Hershey's Great American Chocolate Tour Ride (free)
* Hershey's Create Your Own Candy Bar (fee charged)
* Hershey's Great Chocolate Factor in 4D (fee charged)
* Hershey's Chocolate Tasting Adventure (fee charged)

On the day that we visited, we went on the Hershey's Great American Chocolate Tour Ride which is 100% free. We had to stand in line for approximately 20 minutes before we could get on it. Each car has two seats and each car will hold approximately 6 people. Two cars are connected together and then the ride begins.
The ride begins with music and then they go into the history of Milton Hershey and how he went into the chocolate making business. There are lights, animations, etc. on both sides and your car will turn back and forth automatically so you can take-in all of the animations and displays.

We had our 5 year old grand daughter with us and she was immediately smitten with Gabby, Harmony and Olympia...the Hershey Chocolate World singing cows! I have to admit, they are totally adorable!
You proceed on and you see how chocolate starts out as a cocoa bean, how it is harvest, melted down, added to recipes and basically how chocolate is made. This was pretty cool and is very educational for the kids.

There is a section on this tour where you pass through a pretend oven and the Princess really enjoyed that part. Don't worry though, it is just lit up like an oven but is really a tunnel that your car passes through. You won't cook or get over-heated at all!
Once you get through that section you will see my animated factory displays where they show you how various Hershey's Chocolate Bars are made. As you are seeing all of this...let me just say that you will smell the goodness of chocolate as you are taking this tour! Oh my gosh...pure chocolate heaven!
Along the way you are introduced to some of the cutest animated farm cows I have ever seen! They talk and sing to entertain you which is really cool, especially for the kids to see. Near the end of the ride they will tell you to "smile" for the camera and you will want to do that. Once you get off the ride you are given the opportunity to purchase a picture that the camera took. We declined because it was over $20.00 and I thought that was way too much money for one photo.

After we got off the tour ride we headed down the ramps and did a little shopping for Hershey's products. We picked up 9 bags of Hershey's chocolate candy and some syrups which my family loves. The prices are pretty comparable to what you pay for candy at your local grocery store. With that said, they have a lot more variety in candy flavors and package sizes than what you find out in the retail marketplace. 

We had a great time visiting Hershey's Chocolate World but it was extremely crowded on the day that we visited. From now on, we will be visiting during the Spring and Fall months when the tourist season isn't in full swing. Next time around I want to visit the food court and try out some delicious Hershey desserts!


Garrison Hayko said...

The roasting tunnel isn't just lit up. It's also heated.

Garrison Hayko said...

The tunnel isn't just lit up. It's also heated.