Hersheypark is now open for the 2020 Season, and welcoming guests in a safe and fun way. We visited for the pass-holder preview to get all the details you need for a Sweet Summer escape!
I am a contributing member of Hershey’s Sweetest Families and my season passes are complimentary. All opinions however, are all mine.
Hersheypark opened Friday, July 3, with the debut of Hershey’s Chocolatetown, a $150 million region featuring Candymonium, the tallest, fastest, longest and sweetest coaster in Hersheypark, and other new experiences Where Fun Meets Chocolate. All I have to say about that expansion is, WOW! It has taken the park to an all new level in theme park experiences.
Inspired by the legacy of Milton S. Hershey, the area represents the largest investment in company history and features:
Re-imagined arrival experience
Candymonium hypercoaster – boasting a lift height of 210 feet, a maximum speed of 76 mph, and a track length of 4,636 feet with the most airtime of any coaster at Hersheypark
A new home for the historic 100-year-old Carousel
The first-ever Starbucks inside the park (season pass holders get 15% off!)
Hyperdeck, an immersive virtual reality experience
Hersheypark Supply Co., a premier 10,000-square-foot flagship retail experience with the largest collection of apparel, gifts, and toys.
Hersheypark looks forward to debuting the iconic Kisses Fountain in July, with more chocolate-themed surprises to come this summer. The Chocolatier Restaurant, Bar + Patio, Milton’s Ice Cream Parlor and The Sweeterie Confectionery Kitchen are slated to open in 2021.
Candymonium- Tallest, Longest, Fastest
Oh my gosh! If you want a thrill to start your day, head straight to Candymonium. This B&M Hyper Coaster does not disappoint at all. From the 210 ft first drop, to the non-stop air time, you will be only be disappointed when it ends.
The view from the lift hill is stunning, you can see all of Hershey! You better look fast because the free fall sensation that follows comes quick. Just when you think you can catch your breath the second hill gets you right back in the air. This coaster has taken Hersheypark thrills to a brand new level.
The queue is vibrant and the largest in the park, filled with animated lighting and music, to accent the giant candy wrapper-inspired decor throughout. Also, take note of the social distancing markers on the floor.
Each train is colored for one of three candy wrappers: blue for Hershey Kisses, red for Twizzlers, and orange for Reese’s.
Sweet Tip: The wait time is significantly less towards the end of the day.
Know Before you go
- Safety Initiatives
The park has implemented a variety of new safety initiatives to welcome you back to a fun and safe environment based on the current guidance and requirements that have been issued from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and various industry organizations. In order to keep park capacity controlled you MUST have valid park admission and a reservation for the day you plan to attend. You can check the calendar for reservation availability.
When we arrived in the tram circle there was clear signage about safety precautions. They ask you to wear a mask, distance yourself from others in line, and wash hands often.
Upon arrival you will have your temperature checked and asked if you have any symptoms of covid, the process is simple and takes less than 2 minutes. Once you pass through that area you can head directly to the main gate for park entry. There are clearly marked arrows to follow, depending on where you entered the temp check.
We were happy to see hand sanitizer placed throughout the park, including at entrances and exits of coasters and larger attractions. The park also has attendants walking around sanitizing benches and seating areas all day.
We noticed that most guests were sticking to the mask requirement, and not hassled by them. It wasn’t unbearable in 97 degree heat, when we needed to cool off, we went inside a dining area and took them off to grab a water or just rest for five minutes from the masks. While in lines we never saw anyone without them on, I am sure not everyone wants to follow this guideline, but you MUST! If my 11 year old can do it all day, adults surely can without complaining.
I would say that around 85% of the park was operational when we were there. Keep in mind that Hershey and its team had under a month to staff, train and reopen the park, and do it with new safety protocol! They are still actively hiring so that they can open all attractions fully. Also, attractions that may make social distancing hard are closed temporarily. We weren’t the least bit bothered.
I will note that right now they are short on lifeguards, and not all of The Boardwalk is open, so if you are going just for that you may be let down. Again, they are opening as much as they can, as fast as they can. But safety has to come before anything else.
The Boardwalk also has less seating as the chairs are distanced from one another to follow safety guidelines. So if you plan to spend the day lounging in the sun by the wave pool, I suggest you go at 10 am to secure your spot.
There are a plethora of dining options available at Hersheypark and all are practicing safe service! There is now plexi-glass between yourself and the ordering/pick up areas. We did find that we had to pull down our masks so they could hear us over the loudness in park. If you want ketchup or condiments you must ask for them, as they are individual packets this year. Also, if you have a refillable cup they will not touch your cup. The team member puts your drink in a paper cup and you can then pour into your refillable cup.
New Dining for 2020
Brews at 1906 Grill
Pull up a chair and sip on a refreshing craft beer or frozen malt beverage at Brews at 1906 Grill. Here you can enjoy local favorites including a rotating selection of Troegs beer, brewed right in Hershey!
Cookies & Donuts at 1906 Grill
You had me at donuts. Here you can enjoy King Size Donuts and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies by the bucket or dozen.
New for 2020 is The Candymonium King Shake. Chocolate lovers will rejoice with this decadent chocolate shake, topped with chocolate dipped pretzel rods, a chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing and garnished with twizzlers, reese cup and a mini hershey bar.
Caffeine lovers rejoice! For the first time ever, enjoy your favorite Starbucks coffee and snacks inside the park. Located in Chocolatetown, grab your order and head to the outdoor patio to check out the sweet views of Candymonium.
Mini Donuts Food Truck
Located just outside The Boardwalk (near Decades Grill) is the cutest little food truck, and it serves up buckets, yes buckets of mini donuts!
In A Nutshell
We have visited Hersheypark twice in the last four days. Here is my takeaway from those visits. On both visits I noticed the non mask compliant culprits to be mostly teens, and I also saw them being corrected by park security. The team members are vigilant about the mask rules, and are asking all to comply. They are even making an “all park” announcement on the pa system every 30 minutes reminding everyone to wear masks over nose and mouth while in the park.
The park, while short staffed is run very well, and kept very clean. I think that before you decide to go, you need to figure out if you can comply with the very simple rules.
Their team members are putting themselves out there everyday to ensure a safe and fun experience for all park guests. And I think we owe them the simple courtesy of compliance, and kindness.
As said by the founder of the park, Milton S. Hershey, “Give them quality. That’s the Best Advertising In The World”. I believe they are absolutely doing that so guests can have a memorable summer!