8/1/16 to 8/3/16
We made a 3-night reservation at the Hershey Park Campground which is affiliated with Hershey Park. Since Hershey is only 60 miles from Gettysburg and check in time was 3:00 we didn't leave Gettysburg until around 2:00. This was one of the nicest campgrounds we have stayed at. They had free shuttle service to Hershey Park and Hershey Chocolate World. Plus you could buy discount admission tickets right at the campground store. Not only did we save money on tickets we also saved money on parking.
Hershey, PA was built because of Milton Hershey. He built the chocolate factory in Derry Township, where he was born. Like many forward-thinking industrialists of the age, he believed workers who were treated fairly and who lived in comfortable environments would be better workers. He established a model community that included housing, schools, churches, parks — even a trolley system. The unprecedented range of amenities made Hershey, Pennsylvania, a whole new kind of industrial town. It's a pretty interesting story and we learned a lot about him when we toured the town on Hershey Trolley Works.
Tuesday 8/2/16 The next day we started at Hershey Chocolate World. I was a little disappointed with this place. I thought you could actually take a tour of the Hershey factory but this was a giant candy store with a few activities. They had a 4D film, Create Your Own Candy Bar, Chocolate Tasting Experience, and the Hershey Trolley. The "Factory Tour" was a short ride that showed you, through video simulations, how chocolate is made. We decided to do the Trolley, The 4D Chocolate Mystery and of course walk around the candy store. And yes, the streetlights in town are in the shape of Hershey Kisses!
We also drove to The Hotel Hershey to check it out. The Hotel Hershey was opened on May 26, 1933, and is a historical landmark. It's located on a hilltop overlooking Hershey, Pennsylvania. It has 276 guest rooms and 23,500 square feet of event space. The Hotel Hershey's architectural style has Spanish and Italian influences, mosaic tiles and archways, and a villa-style balcony overlooking the twinkling lights of Hershey and the expanse of Hershey Gardens. And of course, Milton Hershey also built it.
Our Hershey Park tickets included an evening before bonus which let us get into the theme park after 6 PM. So after seeing Chocolate World, we went in hoping that the crowds may be smaller after 6 and we could get on some of the bigger rides. It worked out pretty well, we learned the layout of the park for the next day and got to ride 5 roller coasters with names like Skyrush, Storm Runner, Great Bear, and Sidewinder. And we got discount tickets because Hershey Park considers us "Seniors".
Wednesday 8/3/16 The next day was spent at Hershey Park. Because we stayed at Hershey Campgrounds we got in an hour earlier (9:00 am) than the general public. It's a pretty nice park but of course not as great as our all-time favorite Cedar Point. Our goal was to ride every roller coaster, and we did! Some of the better ones twice since the lines were not that long. Hershey Park has a very big water park that we didn't use. Some of the pictures of the water park are from the top of the Giant Ferris Wheel. We had a great time and left around 9:00 pm so we could catch the free shuttle back to the campground.
We were so busy in Hershey that I wanted to stay another day in the campgrounds to just relax but when I asked about staying another night they said my site was reserved for the next night. So we packed up and headed to the Finger Lakes Regions, Watkins Glen, and Corning, NY.
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