HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD

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I have finished posting park by park reviews of our visits to the five Cedar Fair parks we toured. My intention is to have some further posts where I discuss thematic items from the parks for comparison and contrast.

But before I do that post, short series of posts, I should cover what we did on July 5, 6 and 7.

We toured King’s dominion on July 4, and didn’t get to Canada’s Wonderland until July 8. In between we had a few other things we did.

Our schedule had us meeting near Buffalo the evening of July 6 to celebrate a milestone birthday for my mother. That is what truncated our tour up the East coast.  We opted out of Carowinds in the Carolinas and Dorney Park in Pennsylvania. But it still left us 2 days to get to Buffalo, two long for that trip, but to short to add another full park.

My first suggestion was to find a metro park and ride for D.C., sidle into the capital for half a day, and move on.  But our kids weren’t into it, and ultimately It would have been more than we had time for, even at that snippet.

The other ideas I suggested, and which we explored online, was visiting just the Gettysburg visitors’ center (we wouldn’t have enough time to tour sites, but the exhibits would give us enough history for starters), or visiting Hershey’s Chocolate World. Since we were on a park tour, there was also Hershey Park, but we opted out of that for two reasons: required too much time; required too much money (no Cedar Fair, so not covered by our Platinum Passes).

When we mapped things out, it turned out Gettysburg was, by a quick or curving roads around the capital, actually on the “direct” route to Hersey. Both visitors centers showed there were free, though Hershey listed some value-added activities you could pay for.  Having remembered the History of Chocolate tour from my high school senior trip, I wanted the kids to see the free ride, and I wanted to see what had changed.

As it turned out, the Gettysburg Visitors Center Website was very misleading. It listed no fees for anything except taking photos for projects on the grounds. But when we got there, the only thing free we could do was enter the building and look through the bookstore.  Everything else connected to the place you had to purchase a ticket. Needless to say, we only stayed long enough to catch our breath and press on to Chocolate World.

Chocolate World was everything the website said, and more. And that wasn’t merely the rebound from our Gettysburg disappointment. Parking was free, entering the center was free, and it was free to take the history of chocolate tour.

The tour, had took you up a walking train on the second floor of the center, past wall posters and displays and exhibits, and then through twisting rooms with more wall information, before getting you into the car on a track that you rode in to go through the history tour. It was a very good way to disguise the 20-30 minutes of waiting in line for your 9 minute tour.

So we had our short stop for something, and it was fun, and different than when I was there in 1984. There was less video and animatronics during my first time, but it was the same type of ride a belt through scenes detailing the story that you see in my video above from 2017.

Once done, we weren’t quite ready to leave, so we decided to take the chocolate tasting experience, for $10 a person, where we learned how to properly taste (not eat) chocolate. It was a four-step process

  • Look
  • Listen
  • Smell
  • Taste

We then used this process on 4 different samples of chocolate they gave us, and decided which flavors and aromas we got and where they were on the tasting wheel. That was another half hour well spent.

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We finished our exploration by buying 4 packets of specially flavored Twizzlers (a Hershey brand), on sale in their market. Those Twizzlers were doled out slowly as treats for the rest of our trip while driving.

And thus we had a very fun day.  If you can make it to Hershey’s Chocolate World, I recommend you do so.

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