Saturday, August 8, 2015

8/8/15: 10 Tips for Visiting Hersheypark

Our main reason for travelling to Pennsylvania was to visit Hersheypark.  I had never been before and wanted to take the family.  There is so much to see and do.  Not only is there amusement park with lots of fun rides but there is a water park and zoo to see.  Here are our families highlights and my 10 tips for visiting Hersheypark.
Tip #1: Measure kids at the gate.  This is a super cute photo opportunity but will also tell you what rides they can ride.  There are many levels of heights at Hersheypark not just the standard under and over 48".  Evan measured up to be a Twizzler.
Lauren measured up to be a Hershey Bar.  Right as you enter the park there is a kiosk on the right that is an official measuring station.  This will give your child a wristband with their height character.  This makes it easier for ride operators to know right away that they are alright to go on the ride.
Tip #2:  Download the Hersheypark App.  This provides wait times on select rides, provide an interactive map allowing you to see what attractions are close to you, dining options and character shows.  In the app you can filter by your child's height, proximity, and wait times.  You can even mark where your car is so you can locate it when leaving the park at the end of the day.  
You can also select take me there and it will show you how to get to the attraction you are trying to go to.  See all Rides here.
There are 13 roller coasters!  I absolutely love roller coasters so I was in my glory that I was able to ride 8 of them in a day.  Plus many of them are wooden coasters which I adore.  Not all of them are just for the daring riders.  There are what I would like to call some transition roller coasters which are perfect for kids who are a bit old for the kiddie coasters but afraid to ride the real thrilling roller coasters.  Tip #3:  If you want to ride some of the larger roller coasters ride them early following park opening.
The first ride I went on was Fahrenheit shortly after park opening and it was only a 5 minute wait.  You can't see me but I am on the roller coaster in this picture.  This is close to the back of the park.  It worked out perfectly as we needed to drop off our bag at the water park lockers in the Boardwalk area.  
Tip #4:  Walk to the back of the park and start riding rides there first.  The newest coaster Laff Trakk, an indoor spinning roller coaster for families is back there and so is the Boardwalk.  Tip #5:  Leave your bag in the Boadwalk water park lockers.  So walk back there first.  The lockers cost $15 for smaller ones, and $20 for larger lockers.
We started with one of the most tame, the Wild Mouse.  This has gradual descents.
My kids are not usually in to big roller coasters but they rode 5 of them!  The Trailblazer is an awesome transition roller coasters as it is not as slow as a kiddie roller coaster (which they have called Cocoa Cruiser) but is a good step up for kids that are in between.  My kids also enjoyed the Lightning Racer.  There are two tracks that race side by side.
Lauren was daring and went on the Wildcat with me.  I was so excited!

I was so proud of her.  Look at this coaster she went on!  Plus after she went on it she wanted to go on more!  She had never ridden anything even close to this.
 I also loved the Great Bear.  I love roller coasters that you hang from.
But my all time favorite roller coaster at Hersheypark was....drum roll please....Skyrush!
But there is so much more.  There is a monorail.  Tip #6:  Take the monorail ride early in the day to orient yourself to where attractions are in the park.  Tip #7:  Get a refillable cup and get .99 cent refills all day.  Also if you have a water bottle you can refill them with water from the soda machines or refill your refillable cup for free with water and ice.
Here you can see the monorail, the Falcon, and the Kissing Tower.
The Pirate ship ride was lots of fun.
 Train ride which my son loves.
 The Flying Falcon was really fun.  It went really high.
 The Whip was fun.
The Reese's Extreme Cup Challenge was a lot of fun.  You shoot at targets to gain points and see if Chocolate or Peanut Butter wins.  Tip #8:  Ride this early in the day as it can build up long wait times.
The Twin Turnpike is lots of fun with racing cars and antique cars right next to each other.
Plus there is a water park in The Boardwalk!  We were there on a really hot day so we headed there mid-day to cool off.  There is a lazy river, a wave pool, slides and plenty of places to cool off.
The Waverider has the longest line so line up for this first.  You are given a time limit to go and surf the waves.
It is an awesome place to cool off.  Plan about 1-2 hours as there are waits for attractions.  Even the Intercoastal Waterway (lazy river) had a wait.  The nice thing about the waterway though is that once you get in you can go around as many times as you want.  There are some cute photo opportunities in the Boardwalk area and also a Nathan's if you want to get some lunch.
There are several water slides also.
Tip #9:  If you are looking for characters check out the Character Shows here.  The schedule will be on the app and online.  We went to the Reese's Boardwalk Bash and got to see some fun characters.  Hersey's Cocoa was the kids and my favorite.
 NutRageous was pretty cute too!
We went to the Hershey's Character Party and met more characters.
 This could be my favorite picture of the whole vacation.  I love the Rolo in the back photo bombing!
You can also meet the Hershey's Kiss at the Kissing Tower.  She typically is out for 20 minute and goes in for 10 minutes.
The Hershey Bar was supposed to be near the Carousel on the right but we were not able to find him.  This is the closest I have to a picture with him.
As if that wasn't enough fun, there is also ZooAmerica!  Tip #10:  Make sure to check the operating hours as the Zoo and Boardwalk Water Rides close earlier than Hersheypark.  Make sure to plan accordingly to fit it all in.
This Zoo is on the smaller side but will take about an hour to go through.  It was a nice break late in the day.
 There is a suggested path that we followed through the Zoo.  There is a Tortoise area.
Connected to it was a dark area.  At first Lauren didn't want to go through as she thought it would be bats.  It was not and my husband came out to get us so we could see the Jaguar.  The lighting was tough but here he is.
There were some pretty cool animals to see.  The kids liked this bear.
ZooAmerica is included in your park admission so make sure to take advantage of it.
 Hersheypark does not disappoint and has something for everyone.
I highly suggest visiting Hersheypark and enjoying a day of family fun!
Disclosure:  I was provided a family four pack of tickets for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and all opinions as always are my own.


Cheri Gargalianos said...

Yay! Can't wait to go.

Annie Stow said...

We have never been either! Dying to get their some day! Your entire PA adventure looked like a blast! So many pictures - as usual! So glad you had fun!

NotaSupermom said...

Great tips! We go to Hershey once a year or so. A great place to take family!

jentsavor said...

We went there 3 years ago and I did not even realize there was a zoo - oops! Next time we go, the app is a HAPP-ening.

Lori Popkewitz Alper said...

What fun! We've never been. I'm wondering if my boys are too old? What do you think? You've done some great traveling this summer. Enjoy the last few weeks!

Erin Lane said...

I want to go here so bad but it's a bit of a trek. Some day.