Have you ever had an adrenaline rush while on a sugar high? Now’s your chance. What began as a perk for Hershey’s Chocolate Factory employees way back in 1906 is today a world-class amusement park with a sweet twist. The sprawling, T-shaped Hersheypark features 13 twisting, flipping, dropping roller coasters including the Cocoa Cruiser and SooperdooperLooper, plus 65 other rides and attractions scattered throughout its 121 acres (49 hectares). More than 20 rides are specifically for young kids.
In addition to the roller coasters, admission also includes access to ZooAmerica, an 11-acre (4.5-hectare) attraction home to 200 animals from throughout the United States such as owls, mountain lions, river otters, and wolves. In summer, tickets include entry to the Boardwalk at Hersheypark, a waterpark with slides, a huge wave pool, and a lazy river. All-season passes are available, while single-, 2-, and 3-day admission prices vary by season. Fast Track passes are offered, allowing guests to skip lines on select attractions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the park, and lockers are available to rent.
- A number of dining options are available, from snack booths to sit-down restaurants, while sweets-laden gift shops sell giant Reese’s cups and huge silvery Hershey’s kisses.
- The park offers designated quiet areas and a Ride Accessibility Program to allow guests with limited mobility to find the appropriate attractions for them.
- For a worry-free stay, check in to one of the two company-affiliated hotels—Hershey Lodge or the Hotel Hershey. Both offer park packages and shuttles to the park.
How to Get There
The park is set at 100 Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, Pennsylvania, about a 2-hour drive west of Philadelphia and 40 minutes northwest of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Paid parking is available, and a helpful “Find My Car” app ensures you relocate yours after a long day. Shuttles run in a continuous loop during opening hours to take guests from various areas of the parking lot to the park entrance.
When to Get There
Though ZooAmerica is open year-round, opening dates and hours for much of Hersheypark vary greatly by season. Halloween- and Christmas- themed events are popular, but the park is at its busiest from Memorial Day to Labor Day, when the rides at the Boardwalk open and kids are off from school. Visit outside of the peak summer season or visit early in the morning to avoid the longest lines and beat the heat.
Visiting Hershey’s Chocolate World
The nearby Hershey’s Chocolate World, the company’s elaborate visitor’s center, features shopping, food courts, and opportunities for chocolate tours. Learn how a chocolate factory operates, experience a chocolate tasting, and create your own milk chocolate bar. Hershey Trolley Works connects Hershey’s Chocolate World with Hershey Park and includes stops at other chocolatey sites such as real-life Willy Wonka Milton Hershey’s birthplace and “Chocolate Avenue,” the site of Hershey’s original chocolate factory.