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When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

Louisiana
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When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

Hello, I was just wondering when would be a great time to visit the park as it would be my family first time with kids 2 and 11. We are getting a bit tired of Disney with the extremely high crowds so we would just like to give another amusement park a try. One other question would be what airport would we be arriving in? any response would be greatly appreciated.

Lancaster, PA
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1. Re: When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

The airport closest to Hershey is the Harrisburg International Airport, actually in Middletown ---the ID for it when searching for flights, etc., is MDT. You get a great view of the infamous Three Mile Island nuclear power plant during the descent to land there. Alternatives would be Philadelphia(PHL) or Baltimore(BWI) but they are each 2 hours away, whereas Harrisburg is 30 minutes from Hershey.

Hershey Park doesn't operate year-round, althought they have parts of it open on a limited basis for Christmas -- they call it Christmas Candylane. Here is a link to the Hersheypark web site: hersheypa.com/attractions/…index.asp

The park's normal season is Labor Day, or just before Labor Day through October. Sometimes the amusement park is open only on weekends at the beginning and end of the season. I just checked the website and they are having an April "preview" opening in April 6 - 8, 2007 for Easter. The website has a lot of other great info about the facilities and places to stay/other things to do in the area, but it doesn't say when the 2007 season begin. Maybe they'll tell you if you call or email them.

As for best times to visit, early in the season or late in the season are good times because kids are still in school, but you have children so that may not be an option. It can get hot and humid here in Central PA, especially in July and August. (Maybe you'd feel right at home here then.) You may want to visit while some major entertainer is performing at either the nearby Giant Center or the Hershypark Stadium. The website has links to these places as well under the "Events" tab on the home page.

The park usually offers reduced admission prices for arriving after 5 or 5:30 PM, and that can be a good time to go since the sun doesn't beat down on you as long and then the lights of the rides add to the atmosphere. A regional grocery store chain, Giant, offers discounted admission tickets at their customer service windows in the store. Note that there is a fee for parking your car in addition to the admission fees. I think the parking might be $10, but that is probably somewhere on the website as well.

The park is very well maintained and clean and there is lots to see and do nearby. (Like seeing the Amish in Lancaster county or maybe going to Gettysburg for a day.) The Chocolate World Tour is usually a big hit with kids --- it is like an amusement ride of sorts that explains how candy is made there. You can no longer go into the actual candy-making facility like I did as a kid. Hope this info helps a little.

Louisiana
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2. Re: When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

Hey Thanks Warehouse,

Thanks for all the good info, but did you say that the park don't open untill after Labor day? That would be a bummer. Please Warehouse don't tell me I have to do Disney AGAIN.................

PA
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for Hershey, Harrisburg
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3. Re: When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

HersheyPark usually opens for the summer season the second weekend in May and is open weekends until Memorial Day when it remains open daily through Labor Day. I checked their website and the 2007 summer schedule is not yet posted. I would strongly recommend visiting as early in the season as possible. The first two or three weeks of June especially on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday are usually not real crowded. This could all change though this year as HersheyPark is celebrating their 100 year anniversary and a new water park area is opening. I expect this will increase the crowds. Definitely take advantage of the discount tickets offered at the local Giant Food Stores. Depending on how many days you plan to visit the park, it may be beneificial to purchase a season pass - parking is free with a season pass. Here is their website: hersheypa.com/attractions/…index.asp

Flying into Harrisburg International is usually not as cheap as Baltimore/Washington International. With four people, it may be cheaper to take the cheaper airfare to BWI and rent a car for the less than two hour drive to Hershey.

As a side note, if you are looking for an alternative to Disney, I would recommend checking into Paramount King's Dominion in Doswell, VA (just north of Richmond, VA). I think it is nicer than HersheyPark.

Rehoboth Beach...
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4. Re: When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

some great advice here....

Warehouse dweller I think was confusing Labor Day with Memorial Day. Agree with early in the season, early in the week, and early in the day for lighter crowds, however, if your kids like "wet" rides it may not be warm enough for full enjoyment of those (some you get kinda wet, some you get REAL wet, so bring dry clothes along into the park & rent a locker).

Another tip, if they offer it again this year, is the "evening preview." With this plan, you arrive after a certain time, pay for the following day's admission & you will be admitted to the park that evening for a "free preview."

In addition to Giant supermarkets, I think the Turkey Hill Minit Markets (like 7-11's) also have the discount coupons (and maybe local Burger Kings as well)

Your two year old would probably like Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster better, but the 11 yo would like Hershey better.

Louisiana
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5. Re: When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

Thanks FlyEagle and Daddio,

some very good advice here. I will be looking forward to flying into a different airport to save some money. We don't mind driving 2 hours as far my husband is a truck driver and 2 hours is a walk in the park for him.

We were going to stay at The suites at Hershey resort but the price was outragous looking at 1,300-1,400 dollars for 3 nights with tickets in may. But most people seems to enjoy it, so I guess thats the going rate.

I definitely without a doubt have to go during low season. I'm just so over standing in a 2 hour line for a 3 minute ride. Been there and done that. THANKS again for the great advice

Manheim...
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6. Re: When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

If you are looking for less expensive lodging, try any bed & breakfast in the area; they may not have a pool, but if the kids are getting wet at Hershey, you may want some dry time. Some bed & breakfasts may mean a 20 minute ride to the park, but may be more centrally located if you are taking in other sights than Hershey. Try some of the kid friendly advertised ones on the bed & breakfast websites. Oh, and breakfast is included in the price!

Louisiana
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7. Re: When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

Thanks tkettle,

I think i'll give it a try

Central Pennsylvania
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8. Re: When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

I'd just like to add that Mother's Day is a great day to be at Hershey. Historically, it is very slow. As locals, we also prefer Sundays in the spring as many "tourists" leave the park to drive home since kids have school the next day and the last 4-5 hours at the park are less busy and perfect for those with annual passes or others who have that kind of flexibility.

PA
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for Hershey, Harrisburg
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9. Re: When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

Wow on the price of the hotel. If you want to save some money, I would also recommend staying outside of Hershey. There is a very new Super 8 motel on Route 22 (7500 Allentown Blvd., Harrisburg) about 8 miles from HersheyPark - would take you less than 10 minutes to get to the park. Although I have not stayed there, they advertise a free continental breakfast & pool and it looks nice from the outside. If you are going to be at the park most of the day, it might be worth looking into.

Illinois
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10. Re: When is the best time to visit Hershey Park????????

I second the recommendation to look for lodging in the Harrisburg area -there are many choices and you're not that far from the park. We stayed at the Days Inn in Middletown which was right off the turnpike. I believe we paid $67/night for a Friday and Saturday in July. My standards are not terribly high and the hotel was far from fancy but the room was clean and spacious with a fridge, it had free breakfast and a decent outside pool, the staff was outstanding and for the amount of time we spent in the room it was perfect.

Or, why don't you come up here to Northern Illinois and hit Six Flags Great America in Gurnee?