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Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

Houston, TX
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95 posts
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Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

We have just one day at Hersheypark (plus the evening preview the night before). My family is 49 (DH), 47 (me), 14 (boy), 13 (girl) and we love amusements parks (big coasters, the works). We'll be at the park on Wed., 7/6 (evening) and Thurs., 7/7 (all day). What's the best way to hit all the big rides without having to wait in line forever? I see some sights say hit the boardwalk first, but we don't want to be drenched for the rest of the day.

Also, I was planning to do Chocolate World and the Hershey Story the next day, but do you think doing it all in one day is reasonable or insane? Just want some advice from an insider. I am a planner all the way, and don't like any surprises.

At both Choc. World and Hershey Story, they have "create you own candy bar." Which is better?

I know parking is not free after 2 hours at Choc. World. Would we need to stay longer than that? How much is parking after 2 hours? Is there free parking at Hershey Story?

Sorry for so many questions.

PA
Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
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161 reviews
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1. Re: Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

I will try to address as many of your concerns as I can. First, your itinerary is a bit aggressive given your time frame and desire to hit all the big rides, Boardwalk, Chocolate World & the Hershey Story. It is impossible to predict the crowds/lines during your visit which in turn will determine how quickly you will be able to hit all the big rides, etc.

It is usually recommended to do the Boardwalk first. The lines for the tube slides get quite long as the day goes on, a line can form for the wave pool, and the availability of chairs can get limited. Typically, this occurs more frequently on weekends than weekdays. You won't have to remain drenched for the day as there are plenty of bath houses to change clothes. However, given your desire to ride the coasters, you might be better hitting those first, particularily Fahrenheit. Since you are taking advantage of the evening preview plan, if the lines are smaller, you may be able to hit several of the coasters in the evening. Again, crowds/lines are hard to predict.

Parking - you will want to park in the Hersheypark parking lot, not Chocolate World since you will be parked for more than 2 hours. I don't know the exact amount charged for time in excess of 2 hours; however, I know other posters have commented it is expensive. There is a free shuttle from Chocolate World to The Hershey Story thus eliminating the need to move your car.

If you are going to ride the Chocolate Tour Ride and do some of the other activities at Chocolate World, you might want to allow an hour and half to two hours, maybe less depending on how quickly you want to pass through. I have not done the Create Your Own Candy Bar, so can't comment on that. I have not yet visited The Hershey Story; however, from other posts, it appears that two hours is a minimum to allow for a visit. This may help plan your daily schedule.

In the past several years, my personal experience with crowds at HP on the days following the 4th of July is the crowds are not that large. Hopefully, this will be the case for your visit.

Houston, TX
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95 posts
31 reviews
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2. Re: Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

Thanks so much for your response! I have actually planned two days (one for Hersheypark and one for Choc. World and Hershey Story) - just wanted to see if one day was feasible. We're planning to do Amish country (Lancaster county) on the third day we're there then drive down to DC. Since it will probably take us most of the morning the second day to do Choc. World and Hershey Story, is there anything else around there that you recommend for tweens on the afternoon of the second day?

Elizabethtown...
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3. Re: Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

I strongly recommend hitting the water park first thing. There are lockers for rent, so you don't have to carry your stuff with you all day. I think it is worth it, because once you get stuck in a long line for a water slide, you waste a lot of time.

We typically only go to the Boardwalk once a Summer despite being season ticket holders, just because I don't want to drag a change of clothes and rent a locker every time we go. But last Summer, we found ourselves meeting friends from out of town on a Saturday in July, and they had promised their daughter the water park. We got ourselves over there first thing, and were able to enjoy the intercoastal waterway (lazy river), the shore (wave pool) and ride all four main water slides with virtually no wait - we hit a couple slides twice. All of a sudden at noon, the waits were over an hour to go on the water slides, and you even had a long wait for the wave pool. When you wait in line for a long time at the slides, it is truly miserable as you are carrying your tube with you and standing on steps.

I would do as many of the biggest coasters during your evening preview as you can fit in. Also use this time to get a "lay of the land" and decide what rides are most important for the next day. Assuming you hit the Boardwalk as soon as you arrive, I would finish up there around noon or 1 p.m. (If there is one thing you can skip, I would say it is the Roller Soaker coaster - not a great coaster, and lines are slow due to the way it is loaded. But before you take off your suits, head out to Tidal Force) Change, grab some lunch and focus on the rides that are most important to you but you weren't able to get on the night before. If it is a hot day, I have been told many times that lines for coasters are shorter since so many people head to the water park to cool off. I tend to go at "off" times, so I haven't experienced this.

You won't have time on that second day to hit the Hershey Story, but Chocolate World is just outside the park, and doesn't take long. Did you mean you were planning to do those on 7/8? If so, plenty of time. One hr. for Chocolate World and 2 hrs. for Hershey Story - you would have time to do the Trolley tour, and it comes highly recommended, although I admit I've never done it. There is free parking in the parking garage downtown next to The Hershey Story. I have only done the Chocolate Lab at Hershey Story and thought it was great, but can't really compare it to the "Build your own Chocolate Bar" at Chocolate World. I believe that the chocolate bar in Chocolate World is bigger, and you get fancy packaging. At the Hershey Story, you take a class about the manufacturing of chocolate then build a small bar and take it home in a little wax paper bag. My kids are younger than yours, but loved the "apprentice" program at The Hershey Story - I found it worth the extra money. The kids get a lot more out of the museum, it is almost like a scavenger hunt and they get little prizes at each "station". It makes a great souvenir.

You're going to have a great trip! Enjoy!

Houston, TX
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95 posts
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4. Re: Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

Wow, thanks so much for the lengthy reply. This is just the kind of info. I'm looking for!! I now have a plan of attack!

Can you recommend a local place to eat? I love to eat at restaurants that are specific to the area (ones that I can't get here in Houston). I saw someone post that Bricker's Pizza was good - any opinion?

Elizabethtown...
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5. Re: Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

I actually am not a big fan of Bricker's pizza, sorry, and it is a very simple take-out type place. I prefer Fenicci's for pizza. It is a sit-down red sauce Italian place on Chocolate Ave. (other side of street form Hershey Story) If your family wants casual, relatively fast and nearby, Fenicci's is a good bet. Personally, I would stick to the pizza, I find their red sauce too sweet for me, but that is a matter of taste. There is also Devon Seafood Grill and Houlihan's on that same stretch (same side as Hershey Story) and Chocolate Ave. Grill a little farther down (just past Fenicci's). I have had good meals at all three, they are nicer places that will take up a little more of your time. Devon is a little fancier, obviously almost all seafood. It is a higher end chain, but I think there are only 3 others in the country (I know there is one in Philadelphia). Houlihan's is a national chain, so you probably have one in Houston, but I've never really been disappointed there, and the kids are always happy. Chocolate Ave. Grill is truly local, and I think it is a little gem. The menu is varied, a step up from Houlihan's, but not as "special" as Devon. Farther away at the strip mall where Rt. 39 and Rt. 322 come together is a local chain (primarily in Lancaster Co.), Isaac's Deli. It is always a hit with my kids. It is truly a deli, so the focus is on sandwiches, they also have soups and salads. It is simple, but I really like it.

You will end up eating at the park at some point. My preferred place is Gourmet Grille up near the entrance to the Great Bear. It is a break from the usual pizza, burgers, chicken fingers and chicken caesar salad you find at most spots in the park. There is also the Mixed Grill and Mixed Grill Express for something different (wraps, gyros). This link is intended for people with food allergies, but is really the best place to get an idea of the offerings in the park:

hersheypark.com/food_and_shops/…index.php

http://www.isaacsdeli.com/index.asp

http://www.feniccis.com/

www.devonseafood.com/home.aspx…

http://www.chocolateavenuegrill.com/

http://www.houlihans.com/home.aspx

PA
Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
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6. Re: Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

You might want to consider a visit to nearby Indian Echo Caverns for the afternoon of the second day.

http://www.indianechocaverns.com/index.htm

At the entrance to the caverns is Challenge Family Fun Center with mini golf and an arcade.

http://www.challengefamilyfun.com/

PA
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for Hershey, Harrisburg
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161 reviews
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7. Re: Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

I would also recommend The Warwick Hotel, 12 West Main Street, Hummelstown for lunch or dinner. If you go to Indian Echo Caverns, it is very close.

http://www.thewarwickhotel.com/index.php

Elizabethtown...
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8. Re: Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

Agreed about Indian Echo Caverns, and "The Wick" is a great choice that is close by - very corner tavern like. Another option would be The Gas Station - a lot of people seem to think of it as just a bar, but the food is really different and really good - and my kids actually love it there.

http://www.thegasstation.us/

Houston, TX
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95 posts
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9. Re: Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

Wow! Thanks so much for the suggestions! I'll be checking out the websites this evening!!!! It sure helps to have a forum like this to be able to hear opinions from locals.

10. Re: Hersheypark, Choc. World, and Hershey Story

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