I recently posted 8 Tips To Make Your Themepark Visit More Fun (click here to read it) in which I mentioned that we were planning our annual pilgrimage to Hersheypark. Well, we just got back, so I thought I'd share some tips specific to that trip and that particular venue. Here they are:
- Download the free Hersheypark app from Google's Play Store. It's worth the effort just for the ride wait times and show times alone. I referenced the app many times during the course of our trip, especially since my daughter loves the shows.
- Before you buy tickets, Google “discount tickets for Hersheypark.” My husband did and somehow got a deal through the Boy Scouts that saved us $20 per ticket; in addition, whatever site he ordered them from made a donation to that organization. Promo codes for this park are pretty common and you just might find a good deal. One year, we scored tickets through some medical convention that saved us a bundle as well.
- Take a look at the Preview Plan for admission if you're going to be in Hershey for more than a day. We were able to enter the park at 7:30pm, the kids did all the major rides which were NOT crowded, and then we went back to The Boardwalk the next day plus the kids did the major rides all over again. By the time we left last night at 9:30pm, they were all “Hersheyed out” with no regrets over rides not ridden.
- Go during the week and earlier in the season, rather than later. We've gone to this park at various times during the summer and this past week was the best! The park was never crowded, we actually got a spot in the shade at The Boardwalk, and even took advantage of discounted merchandise at some of the gift shops.
- Bring snacks. Yes, there's a “no snack” policy, but Security checked out our backpacks and didn't blink at eye at the Ziploc bags of crackers I brought in.
- Buy the Souvenir Cup and get refills. When the water bottles we'd brought in were empty (we'd forgotten to bring in empty ones you could refill), we purchased one of the cups and kept refilling it throughout the day with free ice and water plus a few iced teas for $.99 each. We kept our family of four hydrated all day for about $15 total.
- See The LiveWire show which was really good and definitely the best show we saw there. The Slide Brigade, one of the traveling bands, was also well done. If at all possible, SKIP the Character Quiz Show! I've seen dumb shows in my life, but that one, in my humble opinion, was definitely the worst I have EVER seen. It was actually painful.
- Don't mention souvenirs to the kids until the end of the day. I made the mistake of telling Diva that she was on a $5 budget and all I heard all day was, “When am I gonna get a souvenir?” I should have known better. Please learn from my stupidity!
Why I go to Hersheypark - The Wave Pool
Anticipate that there will be meltdowns by various members of your party during the day. Diva had several, my son had one or two, and by 6pm, I was in the midst of my own. It really surprised the kids when Mommy wailed, “I wanna go home!” But we did it. We survived another trip to Hersheypark which, I honestly believe, is one of the cleanest, best-run parks in the U.S. Use my previous themepark tips and the ones above and have a great time at “The Sweetest Place On Earth.”