having our summer plans scrapped due to the pandemic, was disappointing for sure, but it gave us this rare opportunity to enjoy the little “trips” we so often took for granted. one of our family traditions is to visit hersheypark every year. of course we always have an incredible time on our 2-3 day visit to the park, but i never really considered it a vacation. // well, that certainly changed this year // we planned it out six weeks before we left: having to reserve the day we planned to enter the park online, ensuring pennsylvania maintained its status as one of the few states we could travel to without having to quarantine once we returned back to nj, and following the safety guidelines that hershey put in place so we felt comfortable taking the family to such a crowded location. even with having to navigate through these logistical obstacles, it was so worth it. our family had an amazing time and it was exactly the kind of trip we needed this summer. we realized that we dont need to travel abroad to have a memorable vacation // we just need each other and a highly anticipated experience //
<< some things to keep in mind if visiting hersheypark this summer >>
- almost everywhere requires a mask // the only time i really witnessed people not wearing masks was while eating // i was super happy to see so many people were following the guidelines // however getting used to wearing a mask for hours while in the heat and doing a lot of walking is challenging especially for the little ones. just be prepared to take lots of breaks and drink so much water.
- stay hydrated my friends // the park allows you to bring one bottle of water per person upon entry << honestly i took 2 per person and the security guards at the entrance didnt say anything >> you can also get a free large cup of ice water at any of the drink refill stations as frequently as you would like. i cant stress this enough, between the heat and the mask you really need to stay hydrated.
- << reservations are required >> if you want to visit chocolate world, which you should because its awesome // i mean just look at the name c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e w-o-r-l-d // you need to reserve a time online. they are in 15min increments. once inside, you can stay as long as you like // you also need to reserve your day to enter the park before you visit // this is also done online // i made reservations to chocolate world day of, without issue.
- all rides are socially distanced // most rides are either already 6 feet apart from another group << like on some rollercoasters >> or they will separate your group from another group by not allowing people to ride on the row in front or behind you. this causes a little more confusion when getting on the ride but overall, its super organized.
- << wait times >> in the past i have always planned my trip to try to go on days when the park would be less crowded to reduce wait times for rides // i am an aries and true to form, i am super impatient // no different this time, we went on a wednesday and thursday. to my surprise, the wait times were very minimal. i was expecting with the social distancing for waits to be much longer as only about half capacity of seats can be filled. this was totally not the case and unfortunately for hersheypark, it was because the park was not crowded at all. now, on the weekend, this could be very different. our average wait time was 10 mins for a rollercoaster!
- // sanitizers // i was a little shocked that rides were not being sanitized between riders, but in hindsight i now realize this would have been impossible to execute // there are too many people coming on and off the rides to properly sanitize them between riders // it was so nice to see that there were hand sanitizer stations all over the park << like literally everywhere >> and they were always filled! i did bring my own because i wasnt sure what to expect. i would say this probably is unnecessary but maybe bring some just in case.
- random laura fact // they now have a starbucks inside the park! i was so happy to see this as i am the train conductor of our chaotic family of five and caffeine is non-optional on days like these.