Hersheypark in the Dark is the seasonal Halloween event at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This family friendly, not too scary event, is great for families of all ages and a great family tradition for the fall season.
I received complimentary tickets to Hersheypark in the Dark. The opinions expressed here are honest and my own.
Hersheypark in the Dark is a weekend Halloween celebration located at Hersheypark, Hershey’s Chocolate World, and ZooAmerica. It has 13 trick or treat stops throughout the locations, musical entertainment, character meet & greets, and many of the rides and attractions are open.
What to Expect at Hersheypark in the Dark
Hersheypark in the Dark is a family fun event. It is designed for families with kids of all ages and there is not a scare factor at all. As a family we do not like haunted houses or scary things and Hersheypark in the Dark is perfect for that. We can enjoy trick or treating and Halloween themed fun without it being too scary.
When you visit expect to walk a lot! There are treat stops at Hershey Chocolate World, Hersheypark, and ZooAmerica. Each place is unique and worth spending your time.
One of the things I really like about the trick or treating at Hersheypark is TreatVille. At Hersheypark they have a designated area to trick or treat. This allows you to line up once and not miss any of the spots. The people are dressed up and the theme throughout the area is really cute.
This year at the end of TreatVille we got to meet KitKat dressed up for Halloween. In regards to dressing up, some people wear costumes and some do not. It is totally up to you. Keep in mind the weather because evenings can get chilly.
Hersheypark in the Dark 2019 Dates
- October 18th, 19th, 20th, 25th, 26th, 27th
- November 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Things to Know About Hersheypark and Hershey Chocolate World
Hersheypark, Hershey Chocolate World and ZooAmerica are located in the same area. Depending on the time you arrive you will park in the Hersheypark parking area or the Hershey Chocolate World area. The parking attendants will assist you and help you pick the best area.
You can enter Hersheypark 2.5 hours before close. For example, our ticket was for Saturday but we used it to enter Hersheypark at 7:30. Tell them at the ticket counter and they will let you keep your ticket for the next day. Check the website to see if this is offered the night of your visit.
Hershey’s Chocolate World is free to enter. There is a Hershey Factory Tour that is also free. The other attractions-trolley tour, 4D show, etc. require admission tickets. I wrote a post about visiting Hershey’s Chocolate World that you can read to help plan your visit.
If you take advantage of visiting the night before you can use your parking pass to visit the following day. Park at Hersheypark on your first night. Save your parking ticket. The next day park at Hersheypark, show them your parking ticket and Hersheypark admission ticket, and park.
Our Hersheypark in the Dark Weekend Itinerary
We arrived in Hershey at around 4:00pm and checked into our hotel. We have stayed at all three of the Hershey resort hotels and they have all been great. Make sure you book your hotel early. The events at Hersheypark bring in a lot of people and rooms sell out quickly.
Learn more about the Hersheypark Hotels:
We were only staying one night in Hershey so after check-in we made our way to Hershey Chocolate World. The resort offers a shuttle to and from the parks but we decided to drive.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
We always start our visit to Hershey with a ride on the Hershey’s Factory Tour. What better way to start with a tour and free chocolate samples. At the end of the tour you are treated with a sample of Hershey chocolate.
Hersheypark in the Dark has 3 trick or treat stations at Hershey’s Chocolate World. As we entered there was a table set up to pick up your treat bag. The 3 stations were located in the back of Hershey’s Chocolate World. We collected our treat bags and made our way to the factory tour ride. The line was short and we wanted to take advantage.
We love the Hershey Factory Tour ride. It is a basic dark ride that takes you through the process of making Hershey chocolate. The best part is the chocolate smells. It’s fun for all ages and the kids have always loved it! I think it is a great first stop when you arrive to Hershey Chocolate World.
After the chocolate tour, we stopped at the 3 stations and then made our way to Hersheypark. Hersheypark is on the same property as Hershey’s Chocolate World. You don’t have to drive to another location.
Hersheypark in the Dark
Depending on the hours of Hersheypark I suggest you arrive 15 minutes before opening. You will be required to go through bag check to enter the park. As you enter the park you want to ride the busiest attractions first if possible. Those are Laff Trakk and Reese’s Cupfusion.
Laff Trakk is an indoor roller coaster that turns the lights off for the event. Reese’s Cupfusion is a shooting attraction that is new for the 2019 season. The lines will get long for this. I suggest doing Reese’s Cupfusion first then walk back to Laff Trakk.
Hersheypark is a huge park. Before you arrive take a look at the attractions and locations on the park map. It will be a huge help for you to know which direction you are going as you enter.
Related Post: 8 Can’t Miss Attractions at Hersheypark
After that we headed over to the Trick or Treat trail. When I visit any of the Hersheypark events I always plan on attending the special event activities the first night and doing more rides on the second day, if they have preview night. If you are only visiting one day plan on riding the busiest attractions first followed by TreatVille and the special event activities.
The Hersheypark Trick or Treat Trail was so impressive. I have to admit I was a little nervous that the treat lines would be really long and it wouldn’t be worth it but that was not the case.
It was organized and really well done. You start at the pumpkin and work your way through a decorated trail. Along the trail are trick or treat stops. They kept the scare factor low to make the event fun for all ages.
Hersheypark in the Dark is not only at night. During the weekends they open for day visits. The trick-or-treat trails are open when the park opens.
ZooAmerica during Hersheypark in the Dark
During Hersheypark in the Dark you can visit ZooAmerica at night. ZooAmerica is a zoo connected to Hersheypark. It is included with your Hersheypark admission.
You can purchase flash lights and explore the zoo. We ended up using the flashlight on our phones to explore the zoo and see the animal activity at night. There are also treat stops and interactive animal exhibits. My son got to touch a snake during our visit.
Related Post: The Best Way to Tour ZooAmerica: After Hours Tour
Characters at Hersheypark in the Dark
During the event the Hersheypark characters are dressed up for Halloween. You can find them at different locations throughout the park. Check the park map to see the locations. We never had issues finding them and the lines are typically short.
Tips for planning your visit to Hersheypark in the Dark
- Arrive the day before and take advantage of early entry hours.
- Plan your day before you arrive.
- Purchase tickets online to save money.
- Feel free to dress up. There was a good mix of kids in costumes. Make sure you consider the size of costumes for riding rides.
- If you have a child with food allergies they do offer alternative candies.
Hersheypark in the Dark was a really fun event for us. We loved the trick-or-treat trail and seeing all the characters dressed up. It was a great way to enjoy some well needed quality family time.
More Posts About Visiting Hershey PA:
- Indulge in All Things Chocolate With a Visit to Hershey’s Chocolate World
- Hersheypark for the Holidays: A Christmas Family Tradition
- 7 Things You Must Do in Hershey, PA