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Old 08-01-2011, 08:35 PM
 
205 posts, read 690,402 times
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Hi everyone. My husband and I are taking our 2 girls (age 8 & 6) to Hersehy Park on Wednesday.

When we "do Disney" I research and map out which rides to hit first before the lines get even longer. But there just is not that much information about which rides are the most popular or have the longest lines, as I would like to try to ride them first thing.

In general, my plan is to do the dry rides in the morning and the water park later on. My girls are tall for their ages so definitely meet the 48" height requirement and my even be close to "54. They are good with most thrill rides except my youngest is not a fan of upside down roller coasters. However, my oldest could ride with my husband, while I take my youngest to other family friendly rides.

Would love some input on the "must-dos" at Hershey Park. Thank you so much for your input.

ps: We plan to do the Chocolate Factory tour on Thursday. How long should we plan to be there, and is the movie worth it?
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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Default Forfeit Hershey Park for Knoebels!

Just a word of caution, you can EASILY drop hundreds of dollars at Hershey Park - this park is outrageous in admission price and the food inside is hideously expensive!

However, up the road "a piece" (about 50 miles) is a FREE NO ADMISSION AMUSEMENT PARK - Knoebels Grove. You can google them - they have a web site - it is free - Tickets books are $5, $10 or $20 a book. Or you can get a handstamp. They have an awesome swimming pool/water slide area. Hotels in the area are relatively inexpensive (Danville, PA area).

I have been raised in this area - been to Hershey more times than I can count (ditto for Dorney). I am at Knoebels almost 2 x a month - just to stop out to get something to eat on a Saturday night.

Save your money - your kids will love Knoebels!
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:07 PM
 
205 posts, read 690,402 times
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M and M, thanks for your input.

I am already commited to visiting Hershey because we have already purchased our tickets. We were lucky to be part of a group rate so the tickets seemed fairly reasonable to me. Good to tuck the other amusement park info away for future reference.

In the meantime, still would appreciate any input on rides at Hershey. Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:51 PM
 
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Default Hershey Park

Since you didn't get a lot of responses I thought I would give you a website to check out if you haven't already.

I didn't read all the postings to see if there is anything that will help you but it is worth a try.

Hershey Park - Hershey - Reviews of Hershey Park - TripAdvisor
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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Chocolate World (not the factory, the tour moved out of the factory 30+ years ago) is certainly something to do if you're at the park already. They have a free tour ride with a tiny free sample at the end. To my mind the movie is kinda loud and possibly a little scary for 8 and 6 year olds depending on what they are used to for entertainment (plus I don't have 3D vision so that's another strike against it for me anyway). The attraction (I think it's called FactoryWorks) where you pack a plastic gear with Kisses is perhaps a better use of money than the movie. It's off to the side to the right as you head towards the Create Your Own Candy Bar.

That Create Your Own Candy Bar is an opportunity to see actual factory equipment, but each participant is charged $15 or whatever. You do get an apron, a large candy bar, and an overwrapped box, which is not a rip off compared to the Turkey Hill Experience where you get an e-mail for $12. If you do either of these bear in mind that chocolate melts in summer heat, so usually one hits the extra Chocolate World attractions and the gift shop after one is done with the Park.

Weekday lines are not easy to predict because they depend on which and how many buses show up that day.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:14 PM
 
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I'm also going to Hershey in a couple of weeks and would love some input from experienced people on good places to eat (not chains, but fun/kitschy is good) and things to do that AREN'T the park.
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:29 PM
 
645 posts, read 1,270,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M AND M MORE THAN WELCOME View Post
Just a word of caution, you can EASILY drop hundreds of dollars at Hershey Park - this park is outrageous in admission price and the food inside is hideously expensive!

However, up the road "a piece" (about 50 miles) is a FREE NO ADMISSION AMUSEMENT PARK - Knoebels Grove. You can google them - they have a web site - it is free - Tickets books are $5, $10 or $20 a book. Or you can get a handstamp. They have an awesome swimming pool/water slide area. Hotels in the area are relatively inexpensive (Danville, PA area).

I have been raised in this area - been to Hershey more times than I can count (ditto for Dorney). I am at Knoebels almost 2 x a month - just to stop out to get something to eat on a Saturday night.

Save your money - your kids will love Knoebels!


To further what M AND M MORE THAN WELCOME has said, if you’re into commercialized latest rage overpriced amusement parks that are designed to extract your last red cent, you’ll love Hershey Park. There’s absolutely no shade and plenty of macadam. The sun will bake the macadam until it’s 40 degrees warmer than the air temperature so you are forced to keep buying their overpriced drinks. At times, it’s so jam packed, that you’ll have a 50 plus minute wait for each ride.

On the other hand Knoebels, is set underneath a large deciduous eastern woodlands forest, so even on hot humid summer days, it’s exponentially cooler than Hershey Park.

I have not been to Hershey Park since 1996. I used to go there quite a bit all during the 70s and 80s, but by the early 90s, I got sick of how commercialized the park became. I watched it go from a Knoebels Grove type park to what it is today. From the middle 90s onward, I switched to Knoebels.

I’ve known people that love all the latest greatest rides. They don’t mind that it’s hot, the waits for rides are long, and the fact that it costs them 55 dollars per person and 10 dollars just to park. They want to stay there all day and go on every ride multiple times. That’s just not my thing. I got to the park for a few hours, four max. I don’t want to wait in lines, and I don’t want to get baked in the sun. Additionally, if I do want to eat, I don’t want to pay 20 bucks for some shriveled up burger and coke. I like the fact that I can pack my own lunch when I go to Knoebels. I just thought I’d throw that out there. My friends that love billions of rides, will put up with prices, temperatures, and crowds like Hershey Park over Knoebels.

Knoebels Mobile (http://www.knoebels.com/mobileSite/ - broken link)
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:10 PM
 
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Some input about the park that is not 'go somewhere else.'

You should be alright going in the middle of the week. Hershey Park is divided into 'areas' each with its own layout and ride set. Every area has roller coasters - I think there are 14 in all. One small roller coaster always has a short wait: Trailblazer (quick little coaster with no upside down). It's in the Pioneer Frontier section of the park. That section, along with Comet Hollow are usually the least crowded. The areas near the Boardwalk is where all the people migrate.

If you want to ride the roller coasters plan to only ride 2-3 all day and be standing in lines the rest of the time. The park fills up fast despite the size and the price. On a typical summer weekday there can be about 10,000 people in the park which is typically a 45 minute ride for the thrill rides. When you hit around 15,000 people (nice weekdays in the summer) those lines will creep up over the 1 hour wait. Weekends in the summer will have over 25,000 people in the park which is where the longest lines come into play (over 2 hours for some rides).

The Boardwalk is one of the newer areas of the park. There is a lagoon and a wave pool - a lot of half naked people sit around sunning themselves. I really don't understand paying $50 a day to do that - but to each his own.

You are not allowed to bring coolers or food into the park. They do have security that checks bags before you enter. You can usually get away with a pack of crackers but don't push your luck. Being that the park usually opens around 10am I suggest eating a 'big' brunch and then just stick to snacks in the park except for one meal to last the whole day. Stick with the basics and don't try to get fancy when ordering. The difference between a hamburger and cheeseburger is a $.10 slice of cheese that will cost you about $2 more. To save a little coin - ask for tap water at the refreshment stands. By HP policy they cannot deny anyone a free drink of tap water if they are asked. The locations are limited based on which stand has running water - but most employees will know where the closest one is at. From experience: speak with the 'older generation' employees. Those are the year round employees who pride themselves on working there. The 'young generation' is the summer temp help that really don't care.

If you need a break from walking around or the heat check out one of the shows found everywhere around the park. Most are musical type acts. Some are good, some are terrible.

I will say that as part of my job I plan events. One event we have is a trip to Hershey Park (I also plan trips to Kennywood, Dorney, Knoebels, and more). Hershey is very good at working with groups. If you got a group rate, see if there is anything else your group is providing. The person in charge can also ask their park contact what the attendance numbers are typically like for the day you will be attending. Keep in mind those numbers would be from last year but it does give a pretty good feel for what to expect.

Enjoy your time at Hershey Park. Just go into it knowing you may not get on a lot of different rides so take advantage of people watching and getting your exercise. Enjoy the day with your family because that is the most important part!

Other things in the area: Hershey Auto Museum, Outlet shopping (if you like that), Hershey Gardens, and there is even a camp ground close by. Yes they are all things to spend money on - but let's face it - it's a tourist town.


For everyone else suggesting Knoebels - yes it is a nice park as well. You can get a hand stamp during the week which makes it very affordable. Most of their rides are older (they are all inspected so I'm not saying that it's a bad thing) but you won't get the level of thrill rides that you will at Hershey Park. Knoebels does have a very high ranked roller coaster - the Phoenix. That is one of 2 or 3 total coasters they have. Hershey really has the niche with coasters - something for everyone.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:30 AM
 
4,277 posts, read 11,696,537 times
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Originally Posted by TJLamb0518 View Post
I'm also going to Hershey in a couple of weeks and would love some input from experienced people on good places to eat (not chains, but fun/kitschy is good) and things to do that AREN'T the park.
This is not an area that does fun/kitsch well, especially in a non-chain format. A local chain Isaac's Isaac's Famous Grilled Sandwiches might hit the mark if they paid more attention to ingredient quality. They have a new location off the traffic light on the west end of Hersheypark Drive, with a Hummelstown postal address. Turning there and heading west out from the drive into Hummelstown Borough proper, one comes first to the local only Soda Jerk diner (variable but mostly OK) and then to the square with the huge local only store Awesome Unique Childs Toys Hershey Hummelstown Childs Unique Toys Unusual Unique Baby Toy Store (much better in real form than its website) and the excellent neighborhood gathering spot The Warwick Hotel and Restaurant (not quite as fancy as its website but always great food).

Hershey's Chocolate World HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction is next to but not the park. It's free and short term parking is also free. The OP had the right idea to catch that in the morning on the way out. I'll repeat that chocolate melts in the summer, so even if you're going right back to the car with what you buy in the undiscounted but comprehensive gift shop, bring a cooler. There are some extra attractions, such as the "create your own candy bar" that is an opportunity to see actual not simulated candy-making equipment at $15 or so a person.

The local museum moved "downtown" to become one of 2 buildings there (the other has 2 upscale chain restaurants) and changed its name to the Hershey Story The Hershey Story : Welcome to the Hershey Story . Adjacent free parking garage labeled "intermodal parking" or you can take a shuttle from the park. The museum is now pretty pricey for its size. We haven't tried its "chocolate lab" yet but heard that it's good for tweens.

The antique car museum Antique Auto Museum at Hershey, Pennsylvania is just north of town and neither tiny nor overwhelming (if you want overwhelming, come back at the beginning of October for the world's largest antique car show).

Nearby Harrisburg has The National Civil War Museum (http://www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org/index_1.php - broken link) - not easy to reach from the highway though and not surounded by the best neighborhoods either.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:56 AM
 
2,366 posts, read 1,733,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
This is not an area that does fun/kitsch well, especially in a non-chain format. A local chain Isaac's Isaac's Famous Grilled Sandwiches might hit the mark if they paid more attention to ingredient quality. They have a new location off the traffic light on the west end of Hersheypark Drive, with a Hummelstown postal address. Turning there and heading west out from the drive into Hummelstown Borough proper, one comes first to the local only Soda Jerk diner (variable but mostly OK) and then to the square with the huge local only store Awesome Unique Childs Toys Hershey Hummelstown Childs Unique Toys Unusual Unique Baby Toy Store (much better in real form than its website) and the excellent neighborhood gathering spot The Warwick Hotel and Restaurant (not quite as fancy as its website but always great food).

Hershey's Chocolate World HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction is next to but not the park. It's free and short term parking is also free. The OP had the right idea to catch that in the morning on the way out. I'll repeat that chocolate melts in the summer, so even if you're going right back to the car with what you buy in the undiscounted but comprehensive gift shop, bring a cooler. There are some extra attractions, such as the "create your own candy bar" that is an opportunity to see actual not simulated candy-making equipment at $15 or so a person.

The local museum moved "downtown" to become one of 2 buildings there (the other has 2 upscale chain restaurants) and changed its name to the Hershey Story The Hershey Story : Welcome to the Hershey Story . Adjacent free parking garage labeled "intermodal parking" or you can take a shuttle from the park. The museum is now pretty pricey for its size. We haven't tried its "chocolate lab" yet but heard that it's good for tweens.

The antique car museum Antique Auto Museum at Hershey, Pennsylvania is just north of town and neither tiny nor overwhelming (if you want overwhelming, come back at the beginning of October for the world's largest antique car show).

Nearby Harrisburg has The National Civil War Museum (http://www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org/index_1.php - broken link) - not easy to reach from the highway though and not surounded by the best neighborhoods either.


Wow, thanks! While the Civil War Museum sounds great, we're going with 5 kids and I may haave to keep that in my pocket unless it rains.
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