One sure sign of spring in Central Pennsylvania is the opening of Hersheypark for their annual Springtime in the Park. During this two weekend summer-preview event, my family always finds time to visit the park.
Our tram ride from the parking lot gave us a good view of the new Ticketing Services building across from the Chocolate World attraction. Guests must purchase their Hersheypark tickets before arriving at the main gate. Ticketing Services can also assist guests with reprints of online tickets if they have lost the originals or do not have a printer at home. We found that not having to wait for people to pay for tickets at the front gate made everything smoother and faster. What a wonderful improvement!
There is nothing quite like the first view of the Hersheypark carrousel to get you in the mood for fun. This classic Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel was made in 1919 and installed in the park in 1945. It features a 1926 Wurlitzer organ that plays traditional carousel music as well as special songs for patriotic holidays, Halloween, and Christmas. It is always our first and last ride of the day.
New to Hersheypark this year are three family rides: the Cocoa Cruiser roller coaster, the Sweet Swing family swing ride and a classic Teacup ride. Only the Sweet Swing was open when we visited, but by the time the park opens for the summer I’m sure we’ll be able to ride all three. My kids are really looking forward to riding the Cocoa Cruiser since the Trailblazer is still a little too scary for them.
Even though the park was busy we were able to ride the Monorail, the Dry Gulch Railroad, and many of the children’s favorite kiddie rides. We also had our favorite Turkey Hill soft serve ice cream from the Crossroads Creamery and delicious fries from Tower Fries.
After enjoying our ice cream we went to ZooAmerica to visit with the bears, otters and other North American wildlife. Admission to the zoo is free with your park ticket and it is a great place to let the kids unwind after all the excitement of the amusement park. Be sure to bring some quarters to feed the ducks. They walk right up to you as you feed them and the kids love it.
By the time we finished at ZooAmerica my little ones were tired of walking, so we left the park and stopped at Hershey’s Chocolate World to ride the free factory tour. Chocolate World is under renovation right now, but we still loved seeing the scenes from the factory and getting our free chocolate sample at the end.
What a great way to spend an early spring day. Can’t wait to go back in the summer!