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Trip List by rocknroll52

A Day in Hershey Park - For Those that don't do Thrill Rides

19 Jul 2009  Philadelphia parent of teens
4.5 of 5 stars based on 2 votes

I'm the person who is always waiting outside the roller coasters while other members of my family ride. Now that my kids are old enough to go off on their own, I have a chance to explore other things. Here's my take on the day in Hershey.

  • Category: Perfect day
  • 1. The Boardwalk

    Good place to hang out on a summer day. Come early to get a locker and plant yourself in a chair by The Shore (wave pool). The wave pool cycles every ten minutes. No shade, so bring plenty of sunscreen The Shoreline Grill serves up a good size tasty burger topped with lettuce, tomato and onion. After you've done sunning yourself, take a lazy ride in a tube down the Intercoastal Waterway. If you are feeling adventurous, ride the Rollersoaker, a relatively tame skyride (thrill rating 3 out of 5) in which you get to dump water on unsuspecting park goers, while at the same time little kids with water guns try to spray you. The line is a little long, but what else do you have to do?

  • 2. Shows & Entertainment

    When you want to get out of the sun/heat, its time to check out the entertainment offerings at Hershey Park. The Music Box theater is an air conditioned oasis with comfortable chairs. You will be treated to a short video about Milton S. Hershey while you wait for the show. We watched Lightning Strike, a partly entertaining show with percussion, song and dance. The percussion show was fun, but the singers were (to borrow a phrase from Americal Idol judge Simon Cowell) simply dreadful, like a third rate cruise ship. For a better show, head to the Amphitheater (near the Great Bear) to see the Ultimate Road Trip, a rock and roll song and dance revue. A truly fun show that will have you tapping your feet, it includes a set of Elvis songs complete with Elvis impersonator, who reminded me of a heavier version of American Idol winner Adam Lambert. The amphitheater is open air, but shaded, and seating is bleacher style.

  • 3. Monorail

    The monorail provides a bird's eye view of the park and an interesting perspective on those thrill rides you won't be going on! The ride also gives you a view of the Hershey factory and Zoo America, where you may catch a glimpse of a buffalo or bear. Canned narration is a little annoying, but the ride is smooth and comfortable, overall a nice diversion.

  • 4. Zoo America

    Your ticket to Hershey also entitles you to visit the adjacent Zoo America, a pleasant enough place for a walk, even though the animals may not be too exciting (and most of them were sleeping when we walked through). As its name implies, the zoo focuses on the native animals, birds and reptiles of America. Some highlights include the very cute prairie dogs (who were actually awake), and an indoor desert display including numerous quail and one roadrunner. In the same building, you can also get a close up look at two alligators and a crocodile.

  • 5. Carousel

    What visit to an amusement park is complete without a ride on the carousel? Hershey Park has a nice one, built in 1945 and features beautifully painted horses and calliope music. This is also a good place to meet up with the rest of your party who have spent the day riding those crazy rollercoasters.

  • 6. Where to Get a Cold Beer

    So, as I was walking around, I dreamed of sitting somewhere out of the sun with a cold beer. But, there is no alcohol in the park. However, I did find out that you can get a beer at the Tudor Grill, a full service restaurant just outside the park entrance gate. Just remember to get your hand stamped so you can reenter the park.

  • 7. Chocolate World Ride

    Even my roller-coaster riding children want to go on the Chocolate World Ride, a Disney-like ride where you are serenaded by singing cows as you ride through a simulated factory to learn how chocolate is made. You'll get a free Hershey bar on the way out, too. This ride exits through the massive gift shop, so if you still have money left, you can bring home some souvenirs and sweets.