In my first (and only?) trip to Hersheypark as a kid, I remember my favorite part. It was the part that ironically didn’t cost a dime!
Here are a few confessions. It’s not really a chocolate factory, but then it never has been. It’s a ride that takes you through the simulated process of turning cacao into the delicious rich milk chocolate we know and love.
Even through all its iterations, it’s still iconic. We love to ride every time we visit and it doesn’t hurt that there’s a free little candy bar waiting at the end of the ride. In fact, Hershey’s Chocolate World, the building that houses Hershey’s Chocolate Tour, is absolutely free. Admission is free. The tour is free. And even parking is free (up to 3 hours).
But until my last visit to Hersheypark, I didn’t realize that there’s enough at Hershey’s Chocolate World to make a whole day out it.
I’ve been touting Hersheypark all year as a four-season park. But what do you do right now at Hershey? It’s after the holidays and too early for their Spring festivities. So it’s the perfect time to explore everything at Hershey’s Chocolate World.
As part of our complimentary visit package in December, we received admission to three attractions at Hershey’s Chocolate World as well as coupons to be used at Hershey’s Cocoa and Coffee Shop.
After being properly fueled up and taking the complimentary Hershey’s Chocolate Tour, we decided it was time for more CHOCOLATE.
First stop was Hershey’s Create Your Own Candy Bar experience. And I truly had no idea what to expect. But at $20 per person, I was hoping I’d walk away with more than an expensive candy bar.
Luckily, I did!It was truly a factory experience in that was had to get all suited up (hairnets and all) and make selections about the exact type of candy bar we wanted to make and take home.
After an orientation video, you’re led into a room with kiosks where you scan your candy bar ticket and input what type of candy bar you’d like to make.
On the day we visited, we had the ability to select a base for the candy bar made of white chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate. Once you select the base, you choose up to 2 inclusions for your bar. These are basically the toppings that will sit in your candy bar case.
My selection was white chocolate with pretzel bits and butterscotch chips. And once the selection is made, it’s time to watch the factory machinery make your specific candy bar.
All of the candy bars get covered with milk chocolate (it’s Hershey’s signature) and then the candy bar is cooled and hardened before being placed in a special tin just for your bar. (While you’re waiting, you actually design your own label).
Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the finished product. But let’s just say that my candy bar is still floating around the house nearly two months later. Yes, it’s that big.
Think you’re a chocolate lover? I mean a real chocolate lover. You might be surprised. It’s not just about the percentage of cocoa. There are so many factors involved in chocolate and this little class gives you a chance to really taste the difference.
Located through the Food Court area, you’ll join a class and be provided a kit when you enter including four different chocolate samples, a water bottle, and a chocolate wheel! (It has a lot of similarities to a wine tasting).
During the class, a Chocolate expert will walk you through each of the four samples and ask you to vote on what flavors you taste as you sample them. By the way, sampling doesn’t mean chowing down. It means listening to the sound it makes when it’s broken, smelling it, and then placing a small amount of chocolate on your tongue and letting it dissolve.
You might be surprised by what you taste when you stop long enough to savor it!
The final verdict from our group? Not all chocolate is created equal. And our tastes are so varied but I think we all agreed that Dagoba Organic Chocolate (a small company purchased by Hershey) just wasn’t our cup of tea. Or, er, cup of hot chocolate.
Still more to do…
After we finished our candy bar experience and chocolate tasting, we left a little time for shopping (you’ll find Hershey’s Largest Candy Store) before heading out.
What we didn’t have time for was the Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D. This 30 minute family experience puts you inside all the fun.
Through stunning digital animation and special effects, you become part of the show by interacting with the characters and helping solve the mystery!
You interact with the characters. You help solve the mystery! With over 100 different possible variations, you can experience it over and over and never see the same show twice!
Imagine that. With as many times as we’ve been to Hershey, there are still things we have yet to experience. That’s okay. There’s always a good time to visit Hershey!
Thanks to Hershey Entertainment & Resorts for allowing me to be part of their 2016 Sweetest Moms program. Through the program, I was able to visit the park numerous times explore some of the many family attractions around Hershey, PA. We truly love our experiences and we were happy to be able to share them over the past year!