Readers' Opinions

From Tim Chatlos on July 25, 2013 at 9:03 PM
Hersheypark is a very nice park, one of better really, but when we visit it is all about The Great American Chocolate Ride. It is like a long lost spiritual cousin to an old EPCOT attraction that somehow lives on. The recent refurbishment added some sparkle and shine but the old-fashioned spirit lives on. We love it.
From 216.164.57.15 on July 25, 2013 at 10:50 PM
My PA based family has a tradition of a yearly afternoon trip to Herseys Chocolate World. Only once have been to Herseypark
From 107.219.189.242 on July 25, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Just to respond to your opening comments about what people imagine Hersheypark to be like--growing up in the 1970s, I read in some magazine that the town of Hershey, PA had giant Hershey Kiss-shaped street lamps in the city, and a chocolate factory and an amusement park owned by the chocolate company. Back then I probably imagined something like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, but from reading this website over the years, I think I expected a generic amusement park like a Six Flags.
From Tony Perkins on July 26, 2013 at 1:02 AM
Thank you for the learned discussion about the difference between an iron park and a theme park. These days, I'm only interested in the latter, and Chocolate World is much more appealing than Hershey Park. I remember going when I was a kid, and even then enjoyed the Chocolate World so much more than the iron park.
From 24.127.245.3 on July 26, 2013 at 2:30 AM
I went the day after Christmas in 1999 and it's more or less the same. The walk around characters are interesting, the dark ride amusing, and the store was expansive. It's no replacement for a thrill park but it makes a nice diversion and the new attractions seem to flesh out the experience a bit more.

From Jim Williams on July 26, 2013 at 4:32 AM
And to confuse you even more, there is "The Hershey Story" in downtown Hershey that is owned by The M.S. Hershey Foundation. http://www.hersheystory.org/

This has a museum, hands-on classes at the Chocolate Lab, and a cafe, where you can buy a sampler to taste chocolate from different countries.

From Jim Williams on July 26, 2013 at 4:31 AM
sorry for the double post
From Mike Brilhart on July 26, 2013 at 4:49 AM
They ruined the ride when they added the singing cows. I wish they would have just kept the old version of the Chocolate Tour ride; much less annoying and nostalgic. Now it's about as bad as it's a small world.
From Russell Meyer on July 26, 2013 at 7:30 AM
I don't know, I like the cows. It makes the attraction more accessible to kids, especially the ones that would rather just get off to grab that free piece of candy at the exit.

I've run into the same connundrum as Robert. We'll spend much of the day in Hersheypark, and have already spent money on park admission and/or concert tickets. We'll visit Chocolate World on our way out, and it's just not worth it to spend more money for their add-on attractions. Not only that, but we're typically pretty tired after a day walking around Hersheypark (rather hilly on the east side of the park), so we don't feel like doing the other Chocolate World attractions, especially since they cost more money. We're pretty happy soaking in the air conditioned dark ride, grabbing a freebie on the way off the ride, and walking around the store before driving home (nearly 3 hours for us).

From Mike Gallagher on July 26, 2013 at 7:36 AM
Don't dis the cows, Mike. :)
From Amy Tucker on July 26, 2013 at 9:05 AM
We've made an annual visit to Hersheypark ever since moving within driving distance. I love the park for it's rides. And, though it doesn't have the most thorough theming, something that was not mentioned in yesterday's or today's article was the street shows. These are great, themed shows mainly aimed at kids but are enjoyable for adults, too. We always make time to stop and see them.
We also make sure to stop in to Chocolate World with every visit, and, as someone above said, it's mostly to cool off and sample some chocolate. We did do the make-your-own Hershey bar once, and it was a lot of fun to go through the process and watch your creation made in front of you. We also splurged on the new 4-D video this year just to see what it was all about (cute for kids, but I never have to see it again). In my opinion, a visit to the park isn't complete without a stop to see the singing cows on the way to the car. : )
From 189.100.17.43 on July 26, 2013 at 10:09 AM
What a shame you didn't want to do the entire Chocolate World experience, Robert!
I grant you the 4D isn't really worth its price, but making your own chocolate bar was definitly a MUST-HAVE experience. Getting to know the entire line of production is really cool, and the bar I made was one of the best I've eaten in my life (the best chocolate I've eaten by Hershey, for sure!). Not because my creation skills are amazing; the chocolate itself and the ingredientes were the best they could offer, so the taste turned out to be unbelivable!
The tour is amazing, since Hershey's history (the man and the town included) is so incredible to get to know!
Also, the section were you create your own kisses packages is a great treat for the young ones.
Something that is importante to mention: I attended the park 2 days after Sandy hit the East Coast, and must say that the staff was really accesible and didn't reflect the "local atmosphere" of an after-disaster week. Points for Hershey!
From 189.100.17.43 on July 26, 2013 at 10:14 AM
Ah, I forgot to mention: my family and I stayed at the Hotel Hershey, which was the perfect complement for our visit. Beautiful, not so expensive (considering the luxuries), with treats as "chocolate bars for every guest when you check in" and Kisses, Kisses and more Kisses on the restaurants, inside the room, etc, I definitely recommend it!!
From 198.181.11.138 on July 26, 2013 at 12:35 PM
I think a key difference is also how memorable the experience is. When you went over your Hersheypark trip report, I had quite a few, 'oh yeah, I remember that one' moments. But they were modest memories. I could, however, draw the floor plan of Hershey's Chocolate World and remember tons of details. And that's what builds a brand long-term (and I went home and bought the stock too).

You did miss out on the Trolley and the Museum portions. The trolley guides are Tokyo Disneyland quality and the museum was pretty interesting. It can't keep up with the speed of the amusement park, but Chocolate World is a great time.

From Jack Curley on July 26, 2013 at 4:38 PM
It's a real shame that your wife and kids like Chocolate World better than Hersheypark. Don't get me wrong, no trip to Hersheypark is complete without a ride on the Chocolate Tour (not to mention buying a few fresh-baked chocolate and/or peanut butter chip cookies), but Hersheypark is one of my two favorite seasonal parks (along with BGW). It's so much nicer (and cleaner) than any of the Cedar Fair or Six Flags parks. I have gone to a bunch of parks by myself, but I'd never go to Hershey alone. It's got such a family atmosphere, that I'd miss having friends with me.
From 96.253.214.215 on July 26, 2013 at 8:57 PM
I've never done the full Chocolate World experience either, but I've done the free ride many many MANY times and the movie a few times. The movie, while cheesy, is good enough to be worth the $8 for someone like yourself. You probably should have done it.