My 2-year-old loves Hersheypark, and surprisingly, I loved taking her. The park is so family friendly, and I was surprised to see how many rides my “miniature” could ride with me.
I may just start calling her Olivia the Daredevil! She loved Starship America (we rode twice together), the Tilt-A-Whirl, the Carousel, Convoy and Bizzy Bees. Pretty much anything that spins, twirls, or goes around in circles turns out to be right up her alley.
Like mother, like daughter.
We also went on a few Moderate Thrill Rides and loved them. Although, if I’m being completely honest, she did call it quits for a bit after riding on the Flying Falcon. She didn’t scream during the ride, but did climb into her stroller afterward without a fight. The ride operator told me afterward she was surprised to see her riding it, and that she’d done better on it than some of the older kids she’d seen that day. That’s my girl.
The rider height requirements are described by different Hershey candies. My daughter (part of the under 36″ crowd) qualified as a “Hershey Miniature“, while I was a Jolly Rancher (over 60″). There are six different height categories that are clearly marked at each ride. With 68 rides in the park, Miniatures could ride half of them either by themselves or with an adult. Once she passes into the next height requirement (known as Hershey Kisses), she’ll be able to ride nearly two-thirds of the rides. Pretty amazing.
As a mom, let me tell you– there are few things cuter than seeing your little one on a ride all by herself for the first time. Even if she has a very serious face, is riding backwards, and fights you when it’s time to get off. She did NOT understand the concept of waiting in line before riding the same ride again. Neither did many of the other miniatures we were with actually.
Speaking of lines, we were very lucky on the day we went. It was Physics Day, but the middle-schoolers weren’t on many of the same rides we were. We rarely had to wait in line, and when we did, it was always less than five minutes. Even my short-tempered toddler can handle those kinds of lines.
I’m sure on busy summer days the lines can be a bit longer, so be prepared to wait for some of the more popular rides.
My advice if you plan on going to Hersheypark- plan for a full day. Plan for the weather. We brought sunscreen but forgot to put it on before we started riding the rides. I still have a bit of a burn on my nose. Drink plenty of liquids. Wear comfortable shoes, as there are quite a few hills and you’ll need sturdy shoes for some of the roller coasters. The park is 121 acres and has 68 rides, various entertainment shows and adjacent to ZooAmerica (your ticket to includes ZooAmerica)– there will be lots of walking! Bring a stoller. Don’t bring outside food in (picnic areas are located in the parking lot).
By the end of the day we were both exhausted and ready to head home and catch some zzzz. Olivia and I both slept in the next morning! Our day at Hersheypark is going down in the books!
If You Go to Hersheypark
- Hersheypark is open daily beginning May 22 – September 2. It is also open Friday, Saturdays and Sundays in May, and Saturdays and Sundays in September. Daily Hours are available here.
- The Boardwalk at Hersheypark will be open from May 25 – September 2. This area has water activities and rides for the whole family, and is included with your daily admission to the park.
- New for 2013: Shoreline sprayground, two new waterslides, seven new shows, Hershey’s Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D and new character costumes. More details here.
- Tickets start at $57.95 for adults and $36.95 for children ages 3-8 for one-day admission to Hersheypark. Children under three are free. Discounts are available for Two/Three Day Flex Tickets, Sunset Admission (when you come later in the day), Consecutive Day Admission, and Hersheypark Concert goer discounts. Group discounts are also available for 20 or more.
- Local GIANT food stores also have discount tickets for customers. Other discounts may be available online or locally.
- For more information on Hersheypark or to learn more about the Hershey experience, visit their website.