On Thursday, we woke up early, hopped in the car, and made the two-plus hour trek to Hershey, PA. Fortunately, I was able to borrow my father-in-law’s Chrysler minivan, which has satellite television (Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network), which made the ride about as smooth as it could have been with four kids in the car. We were getting ready to spend the day at Hershey Park, but our first stop was Hershey’s Chocolate World.
I’ve written about Hershey’s Chocolate World twice before (see 9 Sweet Treats & Tours for Chocolate Lovers and Crayola to Jelly Belly: 7 Fun Factory Tours for Kids), but believe it or not, I’d yet to check out the factory tour for myself. I went online to first plan out the visit, and loved the Trip Planner feature, which helps you to narrow down the attractions to see and how much time to spend at Chocolate World.
There are many attractions to visit at Hershey’s Chocolate World, but since I knew we wanted to spend the bulk of our time at Hershey Park I narrowed it down to just three activities that took maybe one to one and half hours, which was an ideal amount of time for us to spend at Chocolate World.
Great American Chocolate Tour Ride. This ten-minute simulated factory tour ride is a great way to learn how chocolate is made from bean to bar (it really is an incredible process), and your kids will absolutely love the singing cows. Plus, it’s free and no tickets are required. Just walk right up and hop on. Even better, you’ll get a free packet of chocolates when you exit the ride.
Really Big 3D Show. When we first walked in to Chocolate World, we bought tickets right away for this short animated movie. It’s $5.95 for adults and $4.95 for kids (ages 3-12). The movie is maybe 20 minutes long, which is the perfect length for my kids. We loved the cartoon characters, as well as the special effects, like the chocolate scent that got piped in and the bubbles that fell from above. Plus, we got a snack-size Hershey bar when we left the theatre.
Gift Shop Walk-Around: Of course, all roads at Chocolate World lead to the gift shop, but it really was amazing to see so many different types of chocolates, even Twizzlers, which I had no idea was a part of the Hershey’s family. We checked it out, and then came back at the end of the day to keep the chocolates from melting all over the car while we were at Hershey Park.
As I noted above, there are quite a few attractions at Chocolate World. The one I most considered was Hershey Trolley Works, which is a one-hour tour on a trolley around Hershey. The tour features historical and entertaining facts shared by singing trolley conductors in period costumes. In the end, I decided it was probably too long and a little more than my kids wanted to take in with Hershey Park on their minds.
Most of the other activities were a little too over-priced and commercial for me, like creating a custom Hershey bar wrapper or syrup bottle with your photo on it (two for $19.95) and creating your own candy bar ($14.95). I also would have had to keep the candy bars in our car on a 90 degree day, so another reason I passed these up this time.
Have you ever been to Hershey’s Chocolate World? Let me know about your favorite attractions in the comments section below.