Friday to Saturday (4/18-4/19/14) my mom and I took my 5 and 3.5 year old to Hersheypark. We stayed at the Hershey Lodge and our total experience was beyond amazing. I haven’t been to Hersheypark since I was a teenager and the place was as incredible as I always remembered it.
Hersheypark, a 110-acre theme park with more than 70 rides and attractions, features 12 roller coasters and more than 20 kiddie rides. Live daily entertainment is offered on six stages and three performance areas as well as by five strolling shows. Food and beverage is served at 46 locations and shopping is available at 26 locations. In addition 38 family games are located throughout the Park. New for 2014 are three family attractions — Cocoa Cruiser, a family gravity roller coaster; Tea Cups, an iconic family ride; and Sweet Swing, a large bench swing with two sides. New food choices include the legendary Philadelphia/South Jersey eatery Chickie’s & Pete’s and a frozen yogurt stand.
Friday night we went on a tour at The Chocolate World and then Saturday we were at the park from 10:30am until about 8:30pm and went on just about every kiddie ride (Hershey Kiss height category). Next year when we go, and I’m not pregnant, we will definitely take advantage of the preview pass where you can start on rides 2.5 hours before the park closes using your next days ticket! That same one-price admission ticket provides access to all the rides, attractions, entertainment and The Boardwalk at Hersheypark, a waterpark consisting of five acres inside the boundaries of Hersheypark. The Boardwalk includes nine unique water attractions and 29 private rental cabanas (seasonal, of course). Admission also includes entry to ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, an 11-acre, walk-through zoo that cares for more than 200 animals representing more than 60 species.
The Hershey Lodge was staffed by nothing but the kindest people in Hershey, PA. They were very helpful and welcoming. There was a children’s check-in where they signed a book, got a lanyard with name tag, and did a number guess of chocolates in a jar. Super cute. We were in the Hershey Kiss wing so our bathroom had wallpaper with Kisses on it and we were given Kisses by the hospitality staff upon arrival and when they came back to turn down the beds. The girls found this super exciting. The Lodge has 665 rooms, including 16 suites, and 3 swimming pools (indoor and outdoor). There is also a health and fitness center, outdoor basketball and tennis courts, a renovated Game Room, an 18-hole miniature golf course on site, and 45 holes of golf in the Hershey Golf Collection. All Lodge guests enjoy the Hershey Resorts Advantage. This includes the best price on Hersheypark tickets; complimentary shuttle bus service to the Park; exclusive early Park admission via Hersheypark Sweet Start; priority access to rent a private cabana at The Boardwalk at Hersheypark; free admission to Hershey Gardens and The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue; access to Hershey Golf Collection’s four distinctive golf courses; and more. We seriously could have, and wish we would have, stayed 2 more nights!
Also, just in time for the summer season, The Hotel Hershey welcomes a new fitness center, renovated indoor pool and an innovative 18-hole putting course at the legendary property. The fitness center will connect to the West Tower by a colonnade that is heated in the winter and includes:
*New locker rooms and washrooms.
*A mind & body studio which will host the existing fitness classes available to all guests, including Pilates, Tai Chi and Water Fitness
*State-of-the-art workout equipment
The renovated indoor pool will feature brand new flooring and the baby pool will be removed and replaced with a splash pad. New restrooms will be built and new furniture will adorn the pool deck.
The ground-breaking, all-grass putting course will feature 15,000 square feet of bentgrass. The 18-holes will rotate position frequently giving guests the opportunity to continually experience an endless series of “courses.” Guests of Hershey Resorts will be able to enjoy the course for a nominal fee.
“At The Hotel Hershey, we take pride in offering our guests premier service and memorable experiences,” said Brian O’Day, General Manager of The Hotel Hershey. “With the addition of these new enhancements, we are pleased to offer our guests even more activities to enjoy during their stay with us.”
All three additions are anticipated to be ready by Memorial Day.
Another new feature is that Park guests will be able to easily locate the new rides and food locations by using the 2014 enhanced and customized Hersheypark Map App. The new App, ready to download now, offers guests the ability to search attractions based on rider height, locate all items from baby food to roller coasters, and utilize a “take me there” directional function allowing guests to map their route to and from any location within the Park. Users will be able to connect to the App through Facebook or personal email. Some rides even note the wait time! This app was a key “ingredient” in our organized tour of the park.
Hersheypark has so much to offer for a family with children of all ages, or not children at all! It’s clean, well laid out, and staffed by super kind people. I would like to give a shout out to Shannon, who was working the Merry Derry Dip Fun Slide when we were there. Since I could only take one child at a time down the slide, she let the other sit on her “staff” stool and watch. My 3.5 year old started crying because she apparently missed me. Shannon picked her up and comforted her and in a very natural way, just encouraged her to cheer up. It was something I felt our regular babysitter would have done, and here this employee didn’t even know us. Really made me grateful of the employees that Hershey hires.
So, ready to plan your trip? It’s spring and the park is open and ready for you from 10am-9pm. Check their website for other details. Have yourself a Sweet, Sweet Hershey day!!!
Disclosure: In exchange for this honest review and press release, my family was given the media rate for our hotel room and complimentary tickets to the park. We were also given “Hershey Bucks” toward our two delicious meals (we ate dinner at The Bears’ Den and breakfast buffet at Lebbie Lebkicher’s- both in The Lodge). All opinions expressed in this write up are mine.