Hershey Park has been rated one of the top 10 theme parks in the country by USA Today!!
My family really enjoys Hershey Park. I have to say though, you really need to plan out our day or you end up walking from one end of the park to the other. There are three different parks within Hershey Park to explore. Within the three parks, there are eight different areas, so you really want to figure out the rides and attractions you want to go on and plan accordingly. I personally like a mix of excitement with big rides and more reserved fun with smaller rides.
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Where is Hershey Park?
Hershey Park is located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Yes, that’s right this theme park has a whole town named just for this inventor of sweet chocolate. However, the theme park isn’t the only thing in this town.
Hershey Park is located on Rt 422. This is located between the major highways I-78, I-76 & I-283 which are to the east of Harrisburg, PA. Any GPS will easily bring you to Hershey Park or the hotels, however, below is an approximate travel time from a few locations.
Hershey, PA is just
- 25 minuntes from Harrisburg, PA
- 1 hour from Gettysburg, PA
- 1-1/2 hours from Baltimore, MD
- 2 hours from Philadelphia, PA
- 2-1/2 hours from Washington, DC
- 3 hours from New York City
- 3-1/2 hours from Pittsburg, PA
Where to Stay While Visiting Hershey Park
I highly recommend staying on property at either The Hershey Hotel, Hershey Lodge, or the Hershey Campgrounds. There are many perks to staying on property so you should undoubtedly take advantage of them. One of my favorite perks is getting up to 3 hours in the park the night before your first day. This is a great way to get in a ride or two and get the lay of the land.
And You Need to Stay Here While Visiting Hershey Park will answer all your questions about staying on property at Hershey Park.
Of course, if you want some downtime while visiting Hershey Park, I’d suggest getting a spa treatment to really relax.
What is the Cost of Hershey Park Tickets?
My best advice when buying tickets to Hershey Park is always to buy early in the season. In other words, way before the park even opens for the season. You’ll certainly get the best deals then.
However, if you haven’t taken advantage of the early bird special, fear not. This year the park has an amazing deal til the end of May 2022, Everyone Pays Kids’ Prices!!! What a fabulous deal this is.
In addition to these great prices, Hershey Park tickets aren’t bought for a specific day. They are good from the day you buy them till the end of that year! This is such a great feature since you aren’t locked into a date that may need to change.
Hershey Park’s season passes are also a great deal. Honestly, if you think you’ll go to the park more than 3 or 4 days for the year it’s totally worth getting a season pass. The perks alone are worth the passes.
Of course, you can’t forget the Add-Ons. Things like fast track, parking, drink plan or meal plan, and photo pass. Add on these extras to make your day even more memorable.
When is Hershey Park Open?
This year Hershey Park is open from April 2, 2022, until January 1, 2023. When you buy tickets they are good on any day during this time frame. Such a great perk.
Hershey Park opens at 11 am. Closing times vary during the year from 6 pm but during the summer months, they stay open till 9 pm.
Hershey Park Breakdown
Let’s break down the park into its eight areas. They are as follows from the entrance back and around to the left as the park is oriented.
- Hershey’s Chocolatetown
- Founder’s Way
- The Hollow
- Kissing Tower Hill
- Pioneer Frontier
- The Boardwalk at HersheyPark – the water park
- Midway America
Each of these areas has food and drink options that are super convenient. Allowing you to stay in each area, grab a snack, and get right back to the action.
Chocolatetown is the entrance to Hershey Park. To the left is the carrousel, but straight in front of you is the enormous Candymonium. This is Hershey Park’s tallest, fastest and longest rollercoaster to date. I have to say, walking into the park and seeing this rollercoaster is impressive. What a perfect way to start off your day. Riders must be 54″ to ride this coaster.
Founder’s Way at Hershey Park
Founder’s Way is a great family area of Hershey Park. It has rides for younger kids such as Mini-Himalaya, Space Age, and Starship America are sure to be a hit with your youngest riders. However, a must-ride in Founder’s Way is Cocoa Cruiser. This should be everyone’s first rollercoaster. Parents need to ride with kids under 48″.
The second, not to be missed ride, is Reese’s Cupfusion. Here riders become agents helping to protect the factory so no one is without Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. There are six ways to play this interactive video game which is great for everyone to play. My kids really love all the different character’s in this ride. Parents need to ride with kids under 48″.
The Hollow at Hershey Park
The Hollow boasts Hershey Park’s oldest rollercoaster, the Comet. This wooden rollercoaster will still have you scared as you come to the crest of the first hill. I guess the old saying is always true, the first one is always a doozy. But all jokes aside, this is a great rollercoaster and a way to show younger kids how the old coasters are still awesome. Riders as small as 42″ can ride with an adult.
The two other big coasters in The Hollows are SooperDooperLooper and Skyrush. Both are great coasters for the thrill-seekers in your group. Make sure to note the height restrictions on these rides. You can ride SooperDooperLooper at 42″ with an adult rider but for Skyrush the rider needs to be at least 54″ tall.
Kissing Tower Hill at Hershey Park
Great Bear is the biggest coaster in this part of Hershey Park. If you are a daredevil then this coaster is for you. I’ll give you my two main reasons for this description, first, it’s a hanging coaster. Now, I don’t know about you but I prefer terra firma, or at least to have my feet on the bottom of the car for the rollercoaster. Dangling is just not my thing. For some reason, I always feel like my feet will graze along the ground as we come down. Crazy, I know but nonetheless, my fear. Plus, and this is great for you daredevils, this is a loop-dee-loop and corkscrew coaster. Riders need to be 54″ for this coaster.
Two other rides in Kissing Tower Hill are Hershey Triple Tower and Kissing Tower. Again you daredevils will love Hershey Triple Tower. It’s one of those sheer drop rides that scare me but others seem to love. Riders need to be 48″ for this ride.
Kissing Tower is kind of unique in that it’s not really a coaster but rather an enclosed observation tower. You get to see Hershey Park and the surrounding town of Hershey.
However, don’t miss the Twin Turnpike – Speedway. This race car track will take your youngest driver through the paces and win the race. Riders as small as 36″ can ride with an adult but must be 48″ to ride independently.
ZooAmerica at Hershey Park
ZooAmerica is an 11-acre animal park attached to Hershey Park via a walkway bridge in the Kissing Tower Hill part of Hershey. Your admission to ZooAmerica is included in your park ticket.
This is a great small zoo with lots of different animals to visit. For small kids that need a break from the fast-paced activities in Hershey, this is a great place to get a break. However, with the wide variety of animals, everyone in your group will love their time in ZooAmerica. For instance, I’m sure kids of all ages will love seeing the mountain lion, black bear, Canadian Lynx, and the Bald eagle. Yet, the true animal lovers will go crazy for the armadillo, alligator, and the Gila monster.
Pioneer Frontier at Hershey Park
Pioneer Frontier land as I like to call it has the arcades and lots of places to eat and 4 amazing rollercoasters plus a brand new ride for 2022. Now you came to Hershey for the rollercoaster after all so let’s talk about them.
First, Storm Runner might only be 1 minute long but it packs a punch in that one minute. How you ask? Well, for instance, there is a 135-foot cobra roll and barrel rolls and it has a flying snake dive. And all this is done at 72 miles per hour, yes you are literally flying through the air. Thrill-seekers wanted! Riders must be 54″ to ride.
One of the Original Rides at Hershey Park – Trail Blazer
Then there’s Trail Blazer, more of a family rollercoaster with speeds only up to 45 miles per hour. My older daughter, who isn’t a big rollercoaster kid, really liked this one though. She even went on it 4 times! In a row! That says a lot for this rollercoaster. Riders as small as 36″ can ride with an adult but you must be 48″ to ride independently.
Jolly Rancher ReMix -Revamped for 2022 at Hershey Park
Next, we have a new twist on an old favorite, Jolly Rancher ReMix. This is the old Sidewinder ride with a new look and a new twist. If you aren’t familiar with the Sidewinder, it’s a back and forth coaster. In other words, you ride the same track forwards and backward. The new addition to the ride has you going through a ‘flavor tunnel’ with the addition of colors, music, and flavors. There are 5 different flavors you can see randomly therefore you never know what this ride might be at the beginning. A pretty cool experience for sure. Riders need to be 48″ to ride.
New at Hershey Park is Mix’d
Another new addition in the middle of all that Jolly Rancher fun is a new ride this year called Mix’d. This ride has you on 1 of 4 arms twirling and rotating you as you circle around all with amazing views of the Jolly Rancher ReMix ride. Riders as small as 42″ can ride with an adult but you must be 48″ to ride independently.
The claw will have you swinging back and forth while you are spinning. All this fun is happening while you swing up to 64′ in the air. This is a fun ride for sure but not for the faint of heart.
Lastly, in Pioneer Frontier (land) at Hershey Park is Fahrenheit. This is another rollercoaster that isn’t for the faint of heart. The initial 97° drop is so steep but that is just the start. Next, you will be plunged into loops, corkscrew, and dives. This really is a thrill seeker’s dream. Riders must be 54″ to ride.
The Boardwalk at Hershey Park
The Boardwalk at Hershey Park is only open from Memorial Day through Labor Day so plan accordingly if you want to play here. We went during July so we really enjoyed cooling off at the water park. Not only does the water park have two splash areas and a zero-entry pool but also a lazy river for those looking to take it easy.
Must Have’s in The Broadway at Hershey Park
You really do need these essentials when going to the Boardwalk at Hershey Park. I love rash guards and swim shorts for my kids. They try super fast and are easy to wear. You will see signs as you leave the Boardwalk area that says “no bathing suits beyond this point”. It’s really for this reason that I love the water shorts and rash guards. But also make sure to bring a change of clothes. We found it was nice to change out of the swimwear later in the day. There are lockers available in the Broadway area for your use.
But for those more adventurous folks, there are a few really fun water coasters. Everything from riding small and large rafts to mats to a large flume ride.
Breakers Edge Water Coaster
Breakers Edge Water Coaster is one of my favorites. With 4 riders front to back in one raft you ride the tube with hills and valley then open up to the flying saucer where you don’t know if you will ride the rest of the way down forward or backward. This is one of my favorite rides in the water park. Riders as small as 42″ can ride with an adult but must be 48″ to ride independently.
Coastline Plus at Hershey Park with 6 Options
Then you have the coastline plus, with 6 options of slides. From single rider to double rider rafts and light tubes to dark tubes, these slides have a great variety for you to try. I say try them all to see which one is your favorite. For Vortex and Whirlwind, you need to be 48″ to ride and for all the others you can ride with an adult at 42″.
White Cap Racer
But if you have any sibling rivalries in your group, I highly suggest going on White Cap Racer. There are 6 slides where you can duke it out for bragging rights for the fastest rider. Riders need to be 42″ to ride.
Midway America at Hershey Park
Midway America is the last area in the park but has a few of our favorite rollercoasters. Here you have the old and the new. Two of the best wooden rollercoasters you will ever ride are in MidAmerica as well as two new coasters that are super fun.
First, you have Lightning Racer, this is a duel wooden coaster. You definitely need to ride twice to see which lane is faster. This is one of those wooden coasters that you won’t soon forget. Riders need to be 48″ to ride.
Next, you have WIldcat where you can see for miles from the top of this large wooden rollercoaster. My personal favorite part of this ride is the first big drop and turn, it feels amazing. Certainly, a great rollercoaster to ride again and again. Riders need to be 48″ to ride.
Laff Trakk is the first Fun House rollercoaster I’ve ever ridden. First, you get to play in the hall of mirrors then you get to be in the Fun House. Rollercoaster connoisseurs will love that each ride is different. Honestly, my daughter and I liked this coaster so much that we went on it 4 times. It was that much fun. Riders as small as 42″ can ride with an adult but must be 48″ to ride independently.
The last rollercoaster in Midway America is Wild Mouse. This ride appears to be simple but don’t let it fool you, it is scary. It whips you around in ‘S’ turns up at 45 feet in the air. More than once you will believe you are about to fall off the tracks. Like I said, simple but oh so fun. It’s a must-ride while at the park. Riders as small as 48″ can ride with an adult but must be 54″ to ride independently.
The Ferris Wheel at Hershey Park
Midway America is also home to the park’s Ferris Wheel. This classic ride warms the hearts of everyone who rides it. And let’s face it, it’s awesome to see so far.
Food at Hershey Park
The variety of food places in the park is quite extensive. I dare to say they cover everyone’s favorite foods, from BBQ to tacos to hamburgers to pizza. You certainly won’t go hungry while at Hershey.
However, I highly suggest you get a reservation at The Chocolatier. This restaurant and bar serves everything from flatbreads with chocolate-infused balsamic glaze to cocoa dusted steak to mac-n-cheese. After that, you’ll need to top off your meal with one of their signature desserts.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
You shouldn’t miss out on the experiences that Hershey offers at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Yes, it is a world of its own. You will need to book their activities prior to your arrival. It is best to book these when you are buying your tickets.
Hershey’s World has a “create your own candy bar” activity plus a tour, a ride, a movie, and even a science show based on chocolate. Plus souvenirs, a food court with a bakery, milkshakes and ice cream, and for the adults, a wine and chocolate pair event. Check their schedule for what’s available during your visit.
Another thing to be aware of is that Hershey’s World hours are 9 am – 5/6 pm during the spring, summer, and early fall. During late fall and winter, they are open 10 am – 5 pm. This is fabulous since the park doesn’t open until 11 am. You can spend your morning in Hershey’s World then head over to the park.
How Many Days Should I Spend at Hershey Park?
I left this section till the end of my post because I wanted you to see how much Hershey Park really has to offer. Hershey’s World alone with all its rides, shows, and attractions can be an entire day by itself. Then you have the spa and the three different parks within Hershey Park. Again it is super easy to spend another day just in the water park.
So the age-old question, how many days do I need to explore Hershey Park. I’d say 3 days which will really give you time to explore all the rides and attractions this top ten theme park has to offer. I hope you enjoy Hershey Park as much as my family.
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Final Thoughts on Hershey Park
In a word, GO!! Being named One of the Country’s top 10 Theme Parks by USA Today says a lot. Remember tickets are good for the rest of the year so buy early and enjoy this wonderful American Treasure.
Let me know if you’ve ever been to Hershey Park and what you like best about the park.