If you know my family, you know we LOVE to travel, especially during the summer. Our recent family adventure took us to Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Since I was a child, Hershey Park has been one of our favorite amusement parks to visit and even when my kid were little we would go there often. However, it had been many years since we visited so it felt good to bring back that childhood nostalgia. This trip left us with priceless memories and renewed our appreciation for this iconic amusement park. From the moment we stepped foot onto its grounds, we were enveloped in a world of excitement and joy. With its seamless accessibility program, exhilarating rides, captivating water park features, engaging games, and delicious dining options, Hershey Park proved yet again to be a great place for family fun and an experience that we wholeheartedly recommend to others.
Before I dive into our experience at Hershey Park, one thing you need to know upfront is Hershey Park is now a cashless park. This means no cash is accepted anywhere on the premises. They take credit cards, debit cards, Apply Pay or Google Pay. You can also use one of their machines to put your cash on a card, but save your self the hassle of converting your money and just come prepared with your electronic payment in hand. Also, save money by purchasing your parking pass at least 24 hours in advance.
Now let’s get into my family’s trip to Hershey Park.
Inclusive Accessibility Program: The Easiest Process Ever
Can I just brag for a minute on Hershey Park’s Accessibility Program? It is the easiest process I’ve ever experienced when going to an amusement park. As a family with diverse needs, Hershey Park’s commitment to accessibility and ease of the process took a lot of stress out of our day. My mom and I both needed to rent electric wheelchairs but beyond that I have a nephew and daughter who both need accommodations for standing in line and other attractions. We came prepared with all the paperwork and documents we are used to having to show at other parks, only to find out all we had to do was fill out a form, answer a few questions to determine which pass is best and then we got our accessibility pass. The worker let us know he didn’t need any paperwork and they were not allowed to ask any questions other than the questions used to determine which pass you should get.
They have two different programs: Fast Pass and Accessibility Program. We were able to get the Accessibility pass after completing a form which allowed us to enter at the accessibility entrance and board the line. The only caveat is they have time restrictions on certain high attraction lines. So for instance if you ride a Tier 3 ride and the wait time is 45 minutes, then you have to wait 45 minutes to ride another Tier 3 ride. However, while waiting you can ride as many Tier 1 rides as you like. It was different than what we were used to, took some navigating to figure it out, but overall the experience was worth it. Their dedicated Accessibility Program ensured that our visit was smooth and hassle-free.
The girls taking a break on our rides during lunch.
Started our Day in the Water Park
Once we got situated with our accessibility passes, electric wheelchairs and admission into the park, we headed to enjoy the Boardwalk at Hershey Park. Now if you have any problems with walking long distances, I definitely recommend you rent a wheelchair because this park is spread out and the water parked is tucked away in the back of the park.
Our family’s love for water adventures was met with sheer delight at Hershey Park’s water park. We couldn’t get enough of the wave pool or the lazy river. The Wave Pool’s gentle surges created endless laughter as we enjoyed our time in the water. Also, I love that the lazy river has seat style inner tubes so no we didn’t have to fight with trying to get on the regular inner tubes. If you have ever had to fight to get in and out of a inner tube, you know how much of plus it is to have chair inner tubes. This is definitely a plus and promotes accessibility to most. The water park’s variety ensured that each member of the family had a memorable time.
Food for Everyone to Enjoy
After spending the morning in the water park, it was time for lunch. Hershey Park has multiple places to eat throughout the park. From food trucks to the food court, there is something for everyone. The park’s dining facilities were conveniently located, allowing us each to choose what we wanted to eat and took away the argument of having to choose a place. We went to their food court and were able to indulge at Philly Cheesesteak Co., Chickie & Pete’s and Moe’s Southwest Grill. We also took advantage of the souvenir mug deal which provided free refills all day. Another thing I forgot to mention is you can bring an empty refillable water bottle into the park which is a bonus for those of us who need to drink water all day and don’t want to keep buying bottles of water; another win for Hershey Park! Indulging in Hershey’s chocolate creations was a dream come true, and the diverse dining options catered to various dietary preferences. Whether we craved sweet treats or savory delights, Hershey Park’s food choices exceeded our expectations.
An Afternoon of Rides, Thrills, and Animals
After lunch, we spent the afternoon enjoying the other attractions at the park. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, Hershey Park’s assortment of rides and roller coasters did not disappoint. From rides to rollercoasters to touring ZooAmerica, we found something that everyone could enjoy. My kids and nephew are thrill seekers so they enjoyed the rollercoasters such as Jolly Rancher Remix and Lightning Racer. It’s funny because my normal thrillseeking kids found the “rush” of Hershey Park’s rollercoasters to be a little too much for them but they still had fun. My daughters even enjoyed the Wild Mouse which is an easy rollercoaster for those a little less adventurous. There are truly a variety of rides for everyone to enjoy.
After riding for a few hours, we took some time in our day to visit ZooAmerica. A simple walk on an overpass led us directly into the ZooAmerica where we saw a variety of animals from bird to alligators to elks to bears and more, we got to experience animals from all around. It was a nice way to break up the day and a good experience with learning about the different animals and their habitats.
Games and Treats
We ended our evening playing a few games and one thing that has changed is you now purchase a game card to play the various games they have there. My family is all about basketball so we spent most of our time at the basketball game, shooting shots for prizes.Of course our competitive spirits were unleashed as we played basketball, and the joy of winning prizes added an extra layer of excitement. Everyone walked away a winner and it was so much fun.
Then on the way out we stopped in The Chocolatier and did some shopping. We got some delectable desserts such as cupcakes, chocolate covered pretzels, specially flavored chocolate candies and more. Overall the day was full of great food, fun, and entertainment.
Definitely A Trip Worth Taking
Our visit to Hershey Park proved to be an unforgettable family getaway that ticked all the boxes for adventure, entertainment, and relaxation. I will say that one day was not enough to enjoy all the attractions and features so you’ll want to take advantage of their multi-day ticket specials and ticket add-ons, because you are definitely going to want to spend more than one day in the park. The park’s unwavering dedication to inclusivity through its accessibility program, along with the thrilling water park, heart-pounding rides, engaging games, and mouthwatering food options, made it clear why Hershey Park is a must-visit destination for all families. If you are seeking a wholesome and delightful escape that will create lasting memories and endless fun for all, definitely add Hershey Park to your list of attractions to visit.