You may not know that your favorite brand of chocolate also has a great amusement park. Since we have visited in the past, I wanted to share some of the top amusement park survival tips for Hershey Park. This will help you to enjoy our time in this great location with your family!
Tip For Amusement Park Survival At Hershey Park
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I know you have heard of Hershey, it is an iconic brand of candy that everyone has tasted. Well did you know there is also an amusement park, Hershey Park in Hershey, PA? This is more than just an amusement parks destination. This was an experience into the history of chocolate and the amazing generosity of a man, Milton Hershey. This is one of the only amusement parks I am familiar with that you can ride rides, go to a zoo, and visit a waterpark for one admission price!
We had not heard much about this park, nor knew it was so close to Richmond, VA. With it being only 3 1/2 hours away, we departed at 5am to make a day of our amusement park adventure. Someone mentioned their weekend trip to my husband and that is what got us interested in visiting this unique amusement park.
There are 2 official hotel properties, the Hershey Hotel, and the Hershey Lodge. We were provided a room at the Hershey Lodge, a little off the property in exchange for our review here. One of the best perks right away was that they offer free shuttle rides to the amusement park from their properties! Yay for no parking fees or tons of walking before we even entered the park!
We had a room in the tower, which personally was better for us than the other rooms which have more of the “motel” feeling with the parking directly outside the rooms. It was super quiet in our rooms considering how many children this place housed. The room was decently sized but appointed with Hershey Kisses on the sheets and bathroom wallpaper and even chocolate scented shampoos. The keys were even looked like Hershey bars. It almost Felt like we were entering Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
We arrived on Saturday morning before check-in, but the front desk provided us with a “dummy” key that we could use at the park for most charges. No worries about carrying around cash or credit cards. A definite bonus. Plus we were able to take advantage of the hotel guest amenities. If you prefer to keep your wallet on you in the park, you can go old school with a hip pack (aka fanny pack) and keep them secure without having to carry a purse or backpack. They may not be fashion forward, but they are perfect for holding hand sanitizer, a first aid kit, keys, and identification.
Here are some tips for surviving an amusement park!
Tip #1 Check to see if the amusement park has affiliated hotels as they may have an early park entry time! It may be worth paying a little extra for the hotel. Hershey Park lets you arrive 1 hour before general public but also lets you go the night before for a few hours if you have a ticket for the next day. That is 4 free hours.
Tip #2–research transportation to the amusement park from your hotel. At Hershey Lodge, it was complimentary and ran from 8 am (park opened at 9 for guests until 11pm (park closed at 10pm) we never had to wait for a bus either.
Tip #3–Ask for rooms with refrigerators Hershey Lodges rooms all have a fridge which is great for kids drinks and snacks. This can cut back on your food expenses big time!
Tip #4– Look for stay and play deals. Hershey Park Hotels have some stay and play deals going on during the beginning of the season. Kids stay eat and play for free with parents. Check out the Hershey Park Resorts website for details and restrictions.
Tip #5 Ask about kids check in and activities. Hershey Lodge had open kids check in from 4 -6, smores at night, crafts, character appearance, and more. The Hershey Park is more than an Amusement Park destination, you could stay a few nights and enjoy all the amenities. We did not have enough time to do everything.
Tip #6 Pack a backpack with plenty of sunscreens, swim suits, and plastic baggies for cell phones and wet clothing. With water rides and a water park inside some amusement parks, you may want the kids to just wear their suits and pack dry clothes for later in the evening. Hershey park has a very efficient water ride. It is quick but you get drenched! There are always bag checks on the rides and lockers in the water park, so your items never got wet. Hershey park recently added 2 new water slides and a splash pad.
TIP #7 Have fun but know your children’s limits. Since we were up so early my kids were tired by 3pm and we thought we might go back to the hotel for a nap and dinner and return to the amusement park from 7-10. We never made it. We ended up playing free miniature golf, and the kids swam for a while. Just as fun and no crowds or missing children.
TIP #8--Have your cell phone somewhere on your children. We have used Safteytats or just a sharpie marker. You never want to lose a child. Trust me we lost my 3-year-old at Disney at night, after the fireworks. If you have ever experienced that event, you know how terrifying it can be.
TIP #9- Check out fast pass policies and kiddie swap programs for kids not eligible to ride rides. Hershey Park charges for fast pass and fortunately it was not crowded so we never felt we should have purchased one
TIP #10– Know where drinking water is. You are allowed to bring one sealed water bottle into Hershey park but one of the workers told us that you can always get a cup of ice water for free at any of the restaurants. After spending $9 on 3 water bottles earlier in the day, this was a great tip!
Tip #11– Download any amusement park apps on your mobile devices. Some apps will tell you where you are in the park as well as wait times for rides. Hershey Park has an app and free wifi within the park!!
I will be sharing our next day at Hershey Chocolate world in a separate post!! So if you are a thrill seeking family or just want to learn more about how the Hershey empire was created, check out Hershey PA for your next family vacation. There is something for everyone there and plenty of little kids rides near the big kids rides so families don’t have to break up too long! It is a clean amusement park that is quite beautiful too. Definitely a trip worth taking!
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