One of the greatest attractions in the city of Hershey, Pennsylvania, besides the world-famous Hershey factory is HersheyPark. It draws tourists from around the entire globe. If you haven’t yet been there, or worse yet, if you haven’t heard about it, then here are 20 things you didn’t know about Hersheypark that will make you want to start planning a visit.
1. It’s a theme park
Hersheypark is an internationally acclaimed theme park that contains so many different attractions and fun rides that there’s something there to entertain everyone. There are rides for people of all ages from the very small upwards. The park features 26 kiddie rides that are guaranteed to give the little ones a thrill. Older kids and adults will have a ball on any of the thirteen roller coasters that are set up on the massive expanse of property. It’s also a lot of fun and a very cooling experience in the summer because Hersheypark has fifteen different water attractions. It’s one of the most amazing theme parks in all of Pennsylvania.
2. There is an amazing zoo at Hersheypark
While you’re at the park having fun on the rides, you can also take a break in the high-thrill action and slow it down a few notches. Take a stroll through the immensely popular Zoo America. You can get into the zoo while you’re at the park because admission is included with each purchased ticket. There are ears, bald eagles, wolves, and porcupines. This wonderful display of the wild birds and animals are set up to show them in their natural habitats with some really interesting exhibits. They’re guaranteed to make you smile.
3. There is also a museum
The Museum Experience at Hersheypark is a great way to find out all that there is to know about the Hershey story. Hershey is an iconic brand in chocolate confections in the United States and there is a truly rich story behind their legacy and heritage. While you’re at Hersheypark, plan on visiting the museum to find out about how the Hershey empire was built. They offer a ton of interactive activities for kids and adults which includes puzzles, games, quizzes and other activities to make it a day of fun and sheer enjoyment while learning new facts about the Hershey’s story. You can even find out about how the Hersey company has evolved and see what their products looked like from the creation of their huge variety of confections to their completion when they are packaged.
4. Hersheypark started out as a smaller picnic area
Here is a fun fact about Hersheypark that most people don’t know. Before it ever became the massively sprawling theme park, zoo, and museum facility that it is today, it was a simple picnic area. It was a park that people could come to when they wanted to just get away and enjoy a simple picnic lunch or play a game of frisbee or catch. Who could have imagined that it would grow into the fun and fabulous world-famous attraction that it is today? It all started as a place for the employees of Milton Hershey and their families to go for a little enjoyment.
5. Hersheypark offers perks for Hershey employees
Today, Hersheypark grants all employees of Hersheypark free access. This includes their families. Anyone who works within the massive Hershey Entertainment & Resorts network of companies can get free admission to Hersheypark. When you think about it, this is quite an excellent benefit. Not all large corporations are this generous with their workers and it shows us that Hershey’s is a company that cares about their employees and their families and they recognize the importance of letting down and having some good clean fun.
6. The first rollercoaster at Hersheypark was built in the 1920s
When you take a long look at Hersheypark, you’ll notice that the thirteen roller coasters that are contained in the park vary greatly in their age. TheSome of them are over 70 years of age, but there is no need to worry about the safety of the vintage rides. They undergo stringent testing and maintenance. They’re very well kept. The older and newer roller coasters are as safe as amusement park rides can be. The very first roller coaster ever used at Hersheypark was built back in 1923. In the place where the original used to sit, Hersheypark built a brand new one that they named the Wild Cat roller coaster in honor of the first one built to mark the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the town.
7. You can see Milton Hershey immortalized
It’s one thing to look at the many pictures that Hershey offers of its beloved founder Milton Hershey, but there is a way to know what he was like in real life. A life-sized statue of the founder has been erected at the front of Hersheypark. It’s called the Milton Hershey Statue and it welcomes guests as they enter the park for a day of fun and recreation. The statue is five feet and 7 inches tall, which was the actual height of Milton Hershey. They did a great job in recreating his likeness. Guests at the park enjoy stopping by the statue to have their pictures taken with the representation of the famous historical figure.
8. Hersheypark has a very special carousel
There are several carousels featured at Hersheypark, but one of them is very special. You may not have ever become aware of this fact unless we’d told you beforehand. Only one horse on the carousel has a closed mouth. All of the rest of the horses on the carousels have opened mouths. In addition to this, one of the horses on the carousel has been pained in honor of the memory of Milton S. Hershey, the founder. When you visit, see if you can find them both. The honorary horse is painted in chocolate brown and gold, which are the colors of the school that he founded.
9. Hersheypark performs maintenance in the winter
The staff at Hersheypark take extended measures to ensure that every ride they operate is in top operating condition. In the winter time, they take apart every ride car and every coaster from the tracks. They take each of them apart, perform a thorough inspection of all of the parts, and then they put them back together. This is how they spot potential issues before they become a major problem. This maintenance is performed during every off-season.
10. You benefit from staying on the property
When you stay at a Hersheypark resort or if you are the holder of a Season Pass, you get what is referred to as a Sweet Start benefit. This means that you are allowed to enter the park one full hour before it opens. Everyone else has to wait until the park opens. This gives you plenty of time to look around and make your plans of which attractions you want to experience first. It also means that you won’t be the ones waiting in long lines to begin the fun.
11. The park used to sponsor vaudeville acts
This is another fun fact about Hersheypark. Way back in 1903, the very first act that ever performed at the park was a vaudeville show. When the original main buildings were there just after the turn of the century, they featured a pavilion and a stage for theater and vaudeville shows. Back in the day, these were the most popular forms of entertainment at the park.
12. Hersheypark offers the first choose-your-thrill-ride
This is a novel concept that many people have not yet heard of. The Hershey Triple Tower gives their guests the chance to choose the level of terror that they would like to experience with a ride that is 189 feet in eight and it jets riders to the top before it hits a 45 miles per hour speed while rocketing them back to the ground. There are three towers that range in height from the Hershey’s Kisses Tower at 80 feet, The Reese’s Tower at 131 feet and the Hershey’s Tower at 189 feet which offers the ultimate thrill which is not for the faint of heart.
13. Hersheypark is home of the first looping coaster
Hersheypark is an innovative theme park that opened up a new and revolutionary ride. The Sooperdooperlooper was first introduced to the park when it opened in 1977. It was the first looping coaster to ever be built at any theme park on the East Coast. The ride has been a popular tourist attraction for more than forty years now and it still hasn’t lost its appeal to those who are daring and who are seeking a thrill.
14. Your ticket includes a hidden benefit
Most people are not aware of this fact, but when you read the fine print, you’ll see it. When you purchase a ticket to get into Hersheypark, and most people buy them in advance, it allows you early access. You don’t have to wait until the next day to gain access. The ticket lets you get into the park the night before it’s actually good for admission. You can go in the night prior for over two and a half hours before the park closes, to get a previous of what to expect on the next day. Isn’t that a cool perk?
15. They have big theme characters
Similar to what Disneyland and Disney world offers, Hersheypark has theme characters that wander around the grounds to keep children and adults entertained. These wonderful mascots are larger than life and they are dressed up as candy characters. You’ll see the huge Hershey’s Kiss, a Hershey’s Bar and many more candy characters walking around the grounds and greeting visitors so make sure to keep your eye out for them because you never know when they’re going to show up.
16. Concert tickets come with perks
At Hersheypark, when you go to see a concert you get an added benefit. The purchase of a concert will also get you a discount on park admission. Concerts are held at Hersheypark Stadium. You can either present the concert or show ticket the day before the concert, the day of the concert or the day after the show. You’ll be given your discount on the ticket, but you have to show them the concert ticket first.
17. Hershey had its own band
The Hershey band used to play every evening when the park was first established. This is a fun fact about how the founder bought a variety of musical instruments and he encouraged the employees to learn how to play them so they could join the band. It’s not something that is still done today, but back in the days when the park was new and novel, it was a lot of fun for the workers and for their guests.
18. Hersheypark has a kissing tower
The Kissing Tower is one of the most remarkable rides at the park. The tower features observation windows that are formed in the shape of a Hershey’s Kiss. The windows give guests to get one of the most spectacular views. They get a good look at the city of Hershey, Pennsylvania with a 360-degree view and it’s absolutely breathtaking.
19. You can enjoy the park in all four seasons
Hersheypark does have its off-seasons where they perform the necessary maintenance on their rides, but they are committed to providing a full four seasons of joy and entertainment for their guests. Summer is among the most popular time to visit the park, but they also offer events in the fall, in the winter time with Christmas Candyland and also in the spring. There’s almost always something going on at Hersheypark.
20. Hersheypark is sensitive to allergies
Hersheypark is aware that there will be many guests who visit the attraction who have food allergies and sensitivity to certain foods. In order to better accommodate these guests, they have ensured that The Outpost food stand offers food options including those which are nut-free and gluten-free among other menu items. If you’re visiting the park and you have a particular allergy or sensitivity, make sure that you enquire at the Outpost.