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Discover the Sweetest Rides & Attractions at Hersheypark

Discover the Sweetest Rides & Attractions at Hersheypark

When you think of Hershey, Pennsylvania, you probably picture your favorite candy bars. There's so much more to this charming town, however, which promises its fair share of thrills alongside its iconic treats.

Hershey's Chocolate World is not to be missed if you want to satisfy both your sweet tooth and your love of history — but if you mostly crave excitement, Hersheypark is the place to go.

Hersheypark's History: Over a Century of Family Fun

Hersheypark may have a fresh feel, but this iconic attraction is, in reality, nearly as old as the town and the chocolate business itself.

It all began with founder Milton Hershey's desire to create leisure opportunities for his hardworking employees. This delightful space opened to the public in 1906, but its original form looked little like the amusement park we know and love today. Rather, this was a place of respite, ideal for relaxed picnics and canoe rides.

Eventually, a merry-go-round was added — and this sparked the slow shift towards the amusement park status that the attraction retains to this day. Soon, the park also boasted an amphitheater, multiple bowling alleys, and even a scenic railroad. A giant carousel joined the mix in 1912, with a roller coaster following over a decade later. Flume rides, fun houses, and penny arcades soon followed.

The next big transformation arrived in the early 1970s, as the park began its shift from a regional attraction to a national sensation. The Hersheypark water park provided a refreshing new source of thrills in 2007. With groundbreaking rides and features added on a regular basis, you can always feel confident that there will be something new and exciting to check out.

Hersheypark Hours & Dates: Planning the Perfect Day

Hersheypark Hours & Dates: Planning the Perfect Day

If you love thrill rides and tasty treats, Hersheypark is for you. You'll want to make a day of it, as the dozens of rides are bound to keep you busy.

If you're an early bird, you may be disappointed to discover that Hersheypark hours frequently don't begin until 11:00 am. For many, however, this is part of the appeal: you can enjoy a leisurely morning at your hotel before you commit the rest of your day to thrill rides.

In the summer, the park provides a slightly earlier opening time; make the most of this if you want to skip the crowds and heat.

As with any amusement park, weekends get extremely busy — so if you want to make the most of your time and avoid long waits, Tuesday or Wednesday visits are preferable.

When & Where to Buy Tickets

Given the scope of the attraction, tickets to Hersheypark, including the Boardwalk and ZooAmerica, are reasonably priced. Avoid long waits at the entrance by purchasing them online to save the most.

We'll discuss the Fast Track program later on — but for now, it's enough to know that this is an available add-on worth considering if you want to make the most of every minute.

The park also offers all-day drink and all-day dining plans that encourage you to eat your fill for a single, very reasonable price. This can also be purchased when you buy your tickets online, as can an online photo pass voucher.

Hersheypark Parking

Like many Hersheypark tickets and most add-ons, parking is best purchased in advance. If you wait until you arrive, you'll pay $25 for a standard-sized vehicle. The lot opens two hours prior to the park itself, but overnight parking is prohibited.

Top Rides at Hersheypark

Top Rides at Hersheypark

From aggressive steel coasters to laid-back family rides, Hersheypark offers something for everyone. It takes considerable effort to pack the entire ride lineup into a single day, but it's possible if you play your cards right. Otherwise, you won't feel like you've missed out if you make time for these essentials:

Roller Coasters

If you're all about thrills, Hersheypark will be a dream come true. A wide range of roller coasters will have you shouting with joy as you reach both extreme heights and speeds. Many of these can accurately be described as aggressive, although there are a few moderate options for those who require something a bit less jarring.

Add these favorites to your Hersheypark itinerary:

  • Wildcat’s Revenge: If you plan on visiting this summer, you won’t want to skip out on this new ride. Full of adventure and thrill.

  • Candymonium. If you're a thrill junkie, this is the ride for you. As the park's tallest and fastest coaster, this unforgettable ride reaches speeds of up to 76 miles per hour. Its milk chocolate track is a sight to behold even if you aren't brave enough to tackle this journey.

  • Great Bear. You'll be head over heels for this compelling coaster, which incorporates corkscrews, loops, and even a zero-g roll. It was the very first inverted coaster in Pennsylvania and remains a fan favorite to this day.

  • Laff Track. As America's very first indoor glow-coaster, Laff Track delivers new sources of thrills with its sheer visual spectacle. It's a memorable take on the fun house concept built around independently spinning cars.

  • Lighting Racer. The classic wooden coaster still holds plenty of appeal, but this version is anything but ordinary. Its dueling design adds an element of competition to the experience, delivering additional thrills without increasing the intensity.

Family-Friendly Rides

Not everyone is cut out for roller coasters — and that's perfectly okay. There are plenty of other options to keep visitors of all ages busy. Favorites include:

  • Dry Gulch Railroad. Operated by real-life engineers, this charming steam-powered reproduction is worth a ride, especially if you're visiting with small children.

  • Caroussel. This may not be the original caroussel that graced Hersheypark, but it still holds plenty of historic appeal. The horses date back to 1916 and all 66 are original. The horses are gorgeous, as is the music provided by the Wurlitzer organ.

  • Reese's Cupfusion. This imaginative game turns every rider into a super agent, charged with protecting a factory. There are many ways to play, so don't be surprised if you hit up this ride on multiple occasions.

  • Skyview. Discover the lay of the land with this pleasant gondola ride, which takes you on a round trip through the park. You'll get a great preview of several rides, including the nearby Great Bear.

Water Park

On a hot summer day, few Pennsylvania attractions are as compelling as the Hersheypark water park. There, you'll find both laid-back water rides and speedy slides that you'll want to enjoy again and again.

  • Breakers Edge. Combining the best elements of a roller coaster with a water slide, Breakers Edge is a hit when high temperatures strike. This hydro-magnetic coaster takes you and your loved ones through open-air turns referred to as flying saucers, plus lightning-speed tunnels.

  • Whitecap Racer. Test your speed as you navigate the world's longest mat-racing slide. Check out the competition at the rally point before you race to the end. Later, you can compare race times with your competitors and laugh at the free ride photos.

  • The Shore. Perfect for visitors of all ages, this delightful wave pool deepens gradually to accommodate all types of swimmers. This is where you can cool off quickly before you hit the line for your favorite slide.

Making the Most of Hershey's Fast Track

Like many popular attractions, Hersheypark offers opportunities to limit wait times for its most iconic rides. The park's Fast Track program resembles Disney's Genie+ Lightning Lane, with both encompassing expedited lines for an additional fee.

Prices can vary greatly depending not only on demand, but also on whether you're willing to skip the lines just once per ride or prefer unlimited access. Either way, this is a compelling option on the busiest days, when wait times can reach an hour per ride.

Where to Eat

Where to Eat

As we've mentioned, you're on your own for breakfast, as Hersheypark opens rather late. When lunch and dinner hours arrive, however, you'll find plenty of enticing options that live up to the Hershey's name.

Familiar spots such as Dunkin', Dippin' Dots, Subway, and Chick-fil-A are available, as well as unique food trucks and even sit-down restaurants. When in doubt, fill up at these favorites:

  • Milton's Ice Cream Parlor. Inspired by Mr. Hershey's early days in the confection business, this adorable shop serves delectable house-made ice cream, complete with delightful sauces and toppings. Fries, chicken bites, and soft pretzels are available when you need something a bit more savory.

  • 1906 Grill. Eat your fill of char-grilled burgers and cheese curds at this laid-back spot, which also has kid's meals, gluten-free options, and even craft beer.

  • Flying Fare. Finding tasty theme park meals can be a struggle for guests with dietary restrictions, but this is never a problem at Flying Fare. Several gluten-free and nut-free options are provided, plus detailed information about ingredients and allergens.

  • The Chocolatier. As a full-service restaurant located outside of the main gates, The Chocolatier is not to be missed when you desire a sit-down experience. Grab a handcrafted cocktail at the bar or order one of the many unique dishes that incorporate cocoa.

Finding the Best Hotels Near Hersheypark

A day at Hersheypark can be a delight, but where will you relax after all those lines and rides? There are lots of great hotels near Hersheypark, but there's something to be said for moving beyond this bustling town. Drive a little further, and you'll find impressive options in the heart of Amish Country.

The Eden Resort is an excellent option when you want easy access to the best attractions in Hershey but also need a place of respite. Your luxurious room, suite, or villa will help you unwind, while amenities such as pools and playgrounds should keep kids entertained when they're not actively sightseeing. Onsite restaurants ensure that, when you're not eating your fill in Hershey, you can still treat yourself to a great meal.

The Eden Resort: Your Home Base for the Sweetest Trip to Hersheypark

Ready for an amusement park experience like no other? A little planning can level up your experience, so take a second look at your itinerary and accommodations. You'll thank yourself for booking a room or suite at the Eden Resort, where you can relax in style. Check out our accommodations or get in touch to learn more.

Book your stay with us.