Hershey Park and Hershey Sticker Shock? The Sweet Pass Secret to a Perfect Hershey Chocolate Vacation

Hershey ParkOur grandchildren just went to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. Every year, the mothers of the two grandchildren cousins close in age take them away for a weekend near their birthdays—they are 361 days apart.

This year they went to Hershey Park for their birthdays.  When the parents of our grandchildren returned, they raved about Hershey Park, said the food and accommodations and guide were better than Disney World.  Hershey Park has been voted one of the best family parks in the U.S.

I heard you can smell the park before you see it.  I love chocolate and would not mind smelling chocolate for days too.  Almost simultaneously, there was an article in the paper about Hershey “sticker shock.  It seems that Hershey is raising its chocolate prices for the first time in three years in response to rising cocoa and dairy prices.  They still expect sales to rise and expect continued growth in the company.  Of course, who does not like Hershey and now I hear our grandchildren, ages seven and eight, loved Hershey Park too.

Hershey Park is three hours from NYC, two hours from Philadelphia, two hours from Washington/Baltimore, and 15 minutes from an international airport at Harrisburg, Pa.
The traffic coming from the northeast on a Friday afternoon made for a longer ride to the park.

Check out the official website.  They have lodging and packages.

I wondered if “sticker shock” applied only to the increase in chocolate prices or did it apply to a visit to Hershey Park as well. Here are their tips and recommendations and the sweet secret to a perfect Hershey chocolate vacation.

When to go:  The grandchildren went in August, and the weather was beautiful.  Summertime is when to visit Hershey Park, but it opens in May, goes through September.  There are preview weekends in April, and the park opens during October for Halloween fun, plus in December for holiday fun.

Where to Stay:  They stayed at the Hotel Hershey and recommend it highly.

They said it was nicer than the Disney World hotels.  The rooms are small, but that is because there are two queen size beds, rather than two full sized beds, which makes sleeping with children a little better.  The four were able to share one room.


They said the food was better than Disney World food and there were lots of places to eat.  The prices were comparable to Disney.  They said their fabulous guide gave them recommendations as to where to eat.

If you have read this Grandma’s Disney World posts, you found that our family uses guides everywhere when available, and although expensive, actually saves time and money in the end and makes for happier grandchildren who do not do well waiting on long lines, and there were long lines.

As in Disney World, Hershey Park has guides if you purchase the Hershey Park Sweet Access Pass.  The mothers of our grandchildren said the guide, Sky, was better than our Disney guides, and what the guide could provide was better.  Since they went, they have recommended Sky by name, and she has been surprised to be asked for personally.

In Hershey, not only did the guide allow everyone to go to the beginning of the line of every ride and ride as many times as anyone wanted, the Sweet Pass provided guide allowed the grandchildren to pick their seats.  Of course, they wanted to be in the first seat every time, and they could with the Sweet Access Pass which makes a perfect Hershey Park visit.

With the pass, having a guide for six hours, the family can do in one day what would take two days without a guide, who they call a concierge escort.  So, even though this Sweet Access Pass is expensive, you can cut lodging to one night and meals and the costs lessen for the visit.  Our daughter said it included so much that they felt they got real value buying the Hershey Park Sweet Access Pass.

Here is what you get with the pass:

Hershey Park Sweet Access Pass.

A pass with VIP benefits, available exclusively to guests of The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, and Hersheypark Camping Resort. VIP Benefits: Includes admission to Hersheypark!


*Complimentary One-day admission to Hershey Park

*Complimentary shuttle bus service or preferred parking voucher

*Six-hour personalized concierge service inside Hershey Park

*Unlimited front-of-the-line ride access during concierge service (does not include Boardwalk/SEAquel attractions)

*Premium seating at all entertainment venues/shows inside Hershey Park

*Personalized ZooAmerica Animal Encounter

*Complimentary 4″x 6″ family photo

*Complimentary wheelchair and/or stroller rental for use inside Hershey Park

*Two (2) complimentary game vouchers for each tour participant

*Complimentary souvenir mug with unlimited refills for each tour participant (non-alcoholic beverages only)

*Complimentary meal voucher for each tour participant (includes one meal and one dessert per person)

*15% discount on all food and non-alcoholic beverage purchases inside Hershey Park on the day of the tour

*15% discount at all retail locations inside Hershey Park on the day of the tour

They were able to do the entire park in one six hour period.  Sky personalized the visit and picked rides appropriate to the children’s ages and interests.  The guide does not help in the water park and it was too crowded for them to explore.  The next morning they went to Hershey’s Chocolate World.  The grandchildren made their own chocolate with choice of fillings, and chocolate wrappers.  They watched a 4-D movie, with smells along with everything else.  They also recommend a visit to Hershey’s Chocolate World.

The grandchildren would love to return, but the parents of the grandchildren are on to finding the next great park to take the two close in age cousins next year for their birthdays.  Just thinking of the sisters and close cousins together for a weekend brings a smile to my face and fills my heart with









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