Hershey’s Chocolate World: A Disney-like experience
Want a taste of Disney without the cost or hassle of going to Disney? For your next family vacation consider visiting Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, PA. On our recent trip to Legoland New York we stopped at Hershey to learn how chocolate is made and to make our own candy bars.
Hershey’s Chocolate World opened next door to HersheyPark in June of 1973. Tours at the Hershey chocolate plant proper had reached its capacity and could no longer support the number of visitors wanting to see (and perhaps get a taste) of how chocolate is made. Chocolate World offered all that and more, so it was no longer necessary for guests to visit the downtown chocolate factory. Chocolate World is open year round and offers a number of fun and family-friendly attractions:
Chocolate Tour Ride
If you’re a fan of endless transit systems, or omnimover, attractions found at Walt Disney World (such as the Haunted Mansion, Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear, The Seas with Nemo an Friends, Spaceship Earth, etc.) then you’ll love Hershey’s Chocolate Tour Ride. Built by Arrow Development, the company that worked on many of the original Disneyland rides, and themed by R. Duell and Associates, the Chocolate Tour Ride opened in 1973 and explains how Hershey’s chocolate is made in an entertaining way. The ride is well done and very Disney-esque, complete with animatronics and singing cows! The best part is it’s free of charge to ride and you get a Hershey chocolate bar at the end! Seriously, if you’re a fan of dark rides it’s one of the best outside of a Disney or Universal theme park.
Make Your Own Candy Bar
Don a hair net and apron and make your own candy bar, including designing the packaging. Choose your base chocolate, fillings, and toppings then watch your bar go down the assembly line. They’re big candy bars too, about the size of a dollar bill.
Hershey’s Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D
The Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D combines a 3D movie with live digital puppetry and an ever-changing sequence of plot points. Theme Park University has a great write up about how this unique attraction works:
“What makes the Great Chocolate Factory Mystery stand out is it’s the first interactive 3D show that uses digital puppeteering to create over one hundred different variations. For example, if you have ever seen Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor at the Magic Kingdom, you know it’s a show that is done with several performers, is only a 2D production, and features no action sequences. This show takes the live performer piece and layers in a 3D movie with over 100 variations complete with unique special effects.”
We didn’t do the show on our most recent visit but we have done it in the past and again it is a very Disney-like show outside of Disney.
HersheyPark & ZooAmerica
While HersheyPark was closed on the Thursday of our visit, I can tell you from previous experience it is a great amusement park. Last summer, Shane and Kyle got to ride the park’s newest and tallest coaster, Candymonium. Hershey is also home to one of the few true monorails still operating at a theme park in America today.
Other attractions include a Trolley Tour, Hershey’s Unwrapped show, giant candy stores, and more! If you want a taste of Disney – high quality family fun – try checking out Hershey’s Chocolate Word – you won’t be disappointed.
Have you done any of the attractions in Hershey’s Chocolate World before? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!