We enjoyed what felt like a days away vacation this week, but was actually just one very jam packed exciting day and night. I haven’t been to Hersheypark in probably 30 years and didn’t remember much beyond the chocolate world tour. With Willow we’ve been sticking close to home this summer, so it also felt pretty exciting to be gone for more than a few hours. [Willow went to a friend’s house where she enjoyed playing with their dogs-it was a vacation for her, too!.] We left on a Tuesday afternoon, checked in at our hotel, and headed out to dinner. I had read about a place that was a bar with good reviews for food. I wasn’t so sure about taking the kids in, but we didn’t get dirty looks, so it was fine. And we got to try the most interesting appetizer I’ve seen: “sausages in honey.” We ordered it specifically because someone recommended it in a review. And it was exactly that-spicy smoked sausage slices in a dish of warm liquidy honey. It was delicious! You can use your park tickets the night before (a “preview” night) so we headed in to the park for a sneak peek. It got us quite excited for the next day. We rode the bumper cars, went up the Kissing Tower, and a couple other rides.
In the morning we got to the park and were dismayed at how completely crowded it was at the entrance. Yikes! On a random Wednesday!
We visited the Chocolate World for a bit and then headed in to the park. Tabby and I kicked off the fun with a ride on The Comet-a bumpy fast wooden roller coaster. A couple more rides and then it was back to Chocolate World to use our tickets for the “Create Your Own Chocolate Bar” experience. I’m glad this was recommended to me because it was actually a lot of fun. You design what you want in your chocolate bar and watch it move along the production line.
Then you design the wrapper and at the end you get your bar in a nice keepsake tin with the wrapper around it. Fun to do, neat to see, and a delicious souvenir.
We also enjoyed the tip that it was better to eat lunch there-less crowded, not too expensive, and tasty. So we had lunch, enjoyed looking at mountains of candy for sale and this awesome sculpture (Twizzler Tut!) and then headed back into the park to buckle down to some serious rides. The wooden roller coasters were wonderful. We even got Clark to go on one and even though he was really scared, as soon as it ended he said he loved it and asked to do it again. So we did. It was the Lightning Racers and two trains depart at the same time on tracks that whiz past each other. Clark and I rode on one, and Tabby and Paul on the other. And it was so much fun to zoom past each other, screaming, and see each other! You know how at carnivals and fairs and parks you always see people walking around with oversized stuffed animals they won? I’ve never won anything or had anything won for me, so I found it delightful when Paul set about trying to win for Clark a gigantic Pikachu. Tabby and I left to go ride another gigantic and thrilling wooden roller coaster and when we came back…success! And Paul was in the process of winning one for Tabby, too. She chose Squirtle. They were both so, so happy and I’m sure that is something they will always remember.
It was a wonderful day and we fully enjoyed all the rides we wanted to, ice cream, and people watching. We left at 9 and were home by 11:30, feeling like we’d just had a full vacation.