This Is How to Have the Sweetest Day at Hersheypark
Being a mama of 3 year old and 1 year old boys, there are plenty of things I am still figuring out. How to get them to brush their teeth without a fight. The art of sharing toys. And trying to get out the door in under an hour.
I guess you could say I am still kind of a newb at this mama thing. But today I want to share with you an area of Mom life that I’ve got down to a science. A trip to Hersheypark! I will even go so far as to say, that I’m kind of an expert on all things Hershey. Growing up in the area most of my life, I’ve learned first hand all of the ins and outs on how to have the most awesome day, at the sweetest place on earth. And rather than keeping them to myself, I thought I’d share my top 10 tips on how to have the sweetest trip to Hersheypark!
1) Make it a Staycation
If you are a local, you may have never thought to stay over at one of Hershey’s resorts. But trust me when I say, you really can’t get the full experience until you spend the night. You will see a side of Hersheypark that only tourists get to see, and it really is such a treat. Whether you choose our favorite, the Hersheypark Camping Resort, or prefer the world class service at the Hershey Lodge, there are so many options at every price point that are guaranteed to take your Hershey experience to the next level!
Another great reason to stay at one of the Official Resorts of Hersheypark are all the freebies! My favorite perk when staying over is the Sweet Start program! All guests of the Hersheypark resorts receive 1 hour early access to the park during the summer months. And if you have little ones like me, you know waiting in lines is not the easiest thing in the world. So we love to take advantage of this, and get in some rides before the gates open to the public. Complimentary shuttle service is also provided which saves so much time and expenses for parking.
2) Download the Hersheypark App
Before arriving at Hersheypark, make sure to download the Hersheypark mobile app. This interactive and easy to use app is chock full of valuable info like wait times, a GPS enabled map, even reminders when your favorite show is about to start! The app really was a game changer for us, so I highly suggest downloading it to really maximize your visit.
3) Wait in less lines
After lots of trial and error, I’d love to share with you my families personal formula for a trip to the park. Of course every families needs are different, but this plan works for us every time, and if you have younger kiddos, this might be a great bet for you as well.
-Arrive at the park when the gates open at 10am. You will have a short wait to get in, but they always do a fantastic job of keeping the lines moving, and getting everyone in as quickly as possible. If you are staying over, take advantage of Sweet Start at 9am.
-If you love Chick-fil-A as much as we do, why not start your day there? They open at 10:30am inside the park, and if you’re okay with eating an early lunch you can save yourself a ton of time later, as the lines for this popular restaurant get very long come noon. Just keep in mind they are closed on Sundays.
-Next up, the water park. Most of the crowds will go directly to the rollercoasters in the morning, but if you have young kids, the waterpark is the place to be early in the day! We usually get there before 11am, and we basically have the place to ourselves. I highly recommend the Shoreline Sprayground, and the Sandcastle Cove for the little ones. Our sons could stay there all day.
-Work your way from the back to the front. Since the water park is towards the back of the park, we usually dry off, get changed, and hit all the toddler rides in the back of the park. Our sons favorites are Tiny Tracks, and Granny Bugs.
-Take pictures on the way out of the park. Right outside the front gate are lots of great photo opps with the Hersheypark characters. At this age, the boys are usually tuckered out by 3:30pm. This is a great time for character pictures, as most guests are still in the park at this time.
4) Don’t forget the zoo
Your Hersheypark ticket also gives you free access to ZooAmerica, with an available entrance right inside the park. This is a must see for my boys, and provides a nice relaxing break in our day to visit the animals. We visit the zoo so often we’re on a first name basis with most of the animals. Don’t miss “Chief” the black bear, who loves to cool off in his pond, or the wiley Prairie Dogs who always know how to put on a show.
5) Take in a show
Speaking of shows, Hersheypark has so many great ones to choose from. Our hands down favorite is the Oceans of Fun show featuring Atlantic Harbor Seals and Sea Lions. Pro tip: make sure to visit “Cocoa”, Hersheyparks newest seal born this summer. She is a real scene stealer!
6) Chocolate World
Of course no day at Hersheypark would be complete without some chocolate! Hershey’s Chocolate World located right outside the park is not to be missed! Our favorite part is the free Chocolate World ride which takes you inside the making of your favorite Hershey candies. The best part? Everyone gets a piece of chocolate at the end of the ride. Sweet!
7) Buy Season Passes Now
You guessed it! The best time to buy season passes for 2019 is right now! Think what an amazing Christmas gift it would be for your family. And trust me, your “summer 2019 you” will thank you!
8) Pack lightly
There is nothing worse than having to lug a ton of things around with you all day. Stick with the essentials and only bring what you absolutely need.
9) Dress for the occasion
As a personal stylist, I’m always observing what others are wearing. And one of the biggest mistakes I see some families make is not dressing for the occasion. Lightweight walking shoes, backup clothes, a towel, and bag for wet clothes are some of my biggest tips for being cool and comfortable all day long. And sunscreen. Never forget the sunscreen!
Enjoy the day with your family, don’t worry about how many rides you go on or how much you did. Just be present, and take it easy on yourself.
If you follow these expert tips, your Hersheypark visit will not only be fun, but you’ll be smiling about the sweet memories for years to come.