Hershey Chocolate World is a visitors center next to Hersheypark in Hershey, PA. Although calling it that is not giving it enough credit. Hershey Chocolate World is a destination in itself. It has a facotry tour, 4D show, trolley tours, and where else can you buy gigantic candy bars! Visiting Hershey Chocolate World is a candy lovers dream and it is fun for families of all ages.
In August(2016) we decided to stop at Hershey Chocolate World as a pit stop on our way to Myrtle Beach. Here are my tips and attractions/entertainment my family enjoyed. For more planning tips on visiting Hershey check out my other posts: Myrtle Beach Road Trip, Hersheypark in the Dark, and Hersheypark Holidays.
First a little Hershey explanation. Hersheypark and Hershey Chocolate World are two different places. Hersheypark is an amusement park that you need a ticket to enter. Hershey Chocolate World is a large visitors center that offers paid attractions and a gift shop but does not charge admission.
Parking can be confusing. If you are planning on going to Hersheypark you would park in the Hersheypark parking lot but from there you can visit the amusement park and the visitors center. If you are only there to visit Hershey Chocolate World, park at Hershey Chocolate World. The prices for parking are very different and it can be confusing. Over 5 hours at HCW is $35 a day. At HP the price is $15 a day. You can check out more information on parking here.
Create your Own Candy Bar
Chocolate Tasting Experience
4D Chocolate Mystery
Hershey Trolley Works
When we visited we did the 4D Chocolate Mystery and the Hershey Trolley Works. At Christmas the Trolly is a tour through Sweet Lights. It is a drive through holiday lights and is really great! This is the one we saw. When it is not the holiday season they offer a trolley ride through Hershey and give a history on the town and Milton Hershey. (The man who started it all!)
You can purchase tickets for all of these attractions on the Hershey Chocolate World website. They also offer a discount if they are bought as a bundle. If you are buying your tickets when you arrive the ticket counter is to your right when entering the building. (The restrooms are on your left! I find it’s always helpful to know where they are!) We have yet to do the Create your Own Candy Bar or Chocolate Tasting Experience. More fun next time!!
My kids absolute favorite was the 4D Mystery Experience. When you enter you wait in a room that has different pictures of Hershey, Kiss, and Reese at different landmarks in the USA. It is really neat to walk around and see all the pictures. During this waiting time a host talks to the kids and asks them about themselves, their names, and what they like to do.
When seated an animated Reese comes on the screen and interacts with the audience and uses the information from the preshow. My kids were in awe of how they knew about them and they did an awesome job of talking to most of the audience.
From there they start the 4D show. There are a few surprises but no really scary parts during the show. If your kids get scared they can always remove the 3D glasses. During parts of the show Reese continues to interact with the audience. This is a Do Not Miss Attraction!! It entertained my kids and me and my husband. Huge hit!!
At Hershey Chocolate World they have a food court, a bakery and an ice cream parlor. So many yummy goodies. Every time we go we try something different! This time we tried an old fashioned chocolate milk shake. The milkshake was okay. I may have had high expectations because it was Chocolate World but it was poured out of a pitcher. I understand they have to produce them quickly but it was kind of a disappointment. The taste was fine but not something I can’t wait to have again.
My families favorite thing at Hershey Chocolate World is the Hershey’s Factory Tour!! This is a free attraction. You board carts that take you on a tour of a chocolate factory. My family of five fit on it together. This is not the real chocolate factory but it doesn’t have to be!! The smell of chocolate is piped through the attraction.
In 2016 they added projections and animatronics of Reese, Hershey and Kiss. My son loves Reese and this was so exciting for him. Reese smiled and waved and he felt like it was just for him. Pure magic!! At the end of the attraction you get a free sample of chocolate!!! We have had Kit-Kats, Hershey bars, and Kisses in the past. Honestly we ride this so many times that I usually come home with lots of sample size bars…if they make it home!!
They recently added a photo option before the ride. This made it a little more difficult for us to ride over and over again and slowed the line down a little. After our first ride we told the photographers that we didn’t want to take the picture and they directed us to the ride, but we still had to wait in the photo line until we got to the split. It would be great if there was a line for people that want the photos and people that want to skip it.
After the ride you are handed a book with pictures they took of your family. It is right when you get off the ride at the top of the stairs and kind of causes some confusion among people. I’m sure it is a cute keepsake but we weren’t interested in it. Hopefully as they work out the new additions to the attraction they will move the photo area to the side so people not interested can still walk through easily. After that you get your candy!! Update: On our last visit they didn’t push the photo options as much.
When we visited in November 2015 we were able to meet the characters dressed up for the holidays. They met Twizzler, Hershey and of course, Reese! It was really cute and they have photographers there to take the pictures. They also let me take pictures with my camera. There was not a lot of pressure to buy any pictures.
Our August visit didn’t have a place for characters to meet. I think the meet and greet is part of the holiday events but always check when you are there. In November they didn’t have a schedule out either. We had to ask the employees. The characters high-fived and interacted with the kids and the costumes were adorable. It was one of the highlights of our trip!
I wanted to add a quick note about strollers. Stroller parking is located outside the entrance. You are allowed to bring strollers into the center but you are not allowed to take them into/on attractions. Stroller parking for the attractions is outside, not outside the ride, outside the building. Save yourself some time and park your stroller before entering. If you have a little one that needs the stroller consider using a baby carrier and a backpack for your things.
Hershey Chocolate World is so much fun! We were there only a few weeks ago and my kids still talk about it and ask when we are going back!!