Hersheypark is an amusement park located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, near the Hershey Chocolate Factory.
Hersheypark was opened in 1907 as a leisure park for the employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company, an American confectionery company. Later, the company decided to open the park to the public. Today, the park's area covers over 110 acres (450,000 m²), including over 60 rides and attractions.
Hersheypark admission also includes entry into ZOOAMERICA. Also adjacent is Hershey's Chocolate World, a visitors' center that is open to the public and that contains shops, restaurants, and a chocolate-themed ride. Both Chocolate World and ZOOAMERICA are accessible from outside the park boundaries, with Chocolate World offering free admission.
In 1903, Milton S. Hershey, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, surveyed a site along Spring Creek that would be suitable for his park. Hershey Park opened on April 24, 1907, with a baseball game played on the new athletic field between the Louisville Cardinals and the Boston Red Socks. The beautifully landscaped park was an ideal spot for picnicking, boating, and canoeing. Vaudeville and theatre productions were performed on a rustic bandstand and pavilion.
A merry-go-round was installed and opened on July 4, 1908. A 1,500-seat tiered amphitheatre was built next to the pavilion. The entrance sign proclaimed, “Ye who enter here leave dull cares behind.”
The park was expanded in 1909 with the addition of a tennis court, two bowling alleys, a large band shell, and a photography gallery. Guests could also enjoy a relaxing ride on the Scenic Railroad. In July 1912, a carousel manufactured by Willy H. Dentzel of the Dentzel Carousel Company in Philadelphia was added to the park. The carousel was 50 feet (15 m) in diameter and featured 53 carved animals that included lions, bears, giraffes, pigs, rabbits, an ostrich, goats and deer along with two chariots. The carousel was described as the “most magnificent and up-to-date carousel in this part of the country as well as one of the largest.”
Several structures were built from 1913 to 1923. Added to the park were the dance pavilion Starlight Ballroom, a new stage for big bands, a new Convention Hall, the Hershey Park Cafe and the Hershey Zoo. A new roller coaster called The Wild Cat was added in 1923. A small Ferris wheel, the Aeroplane Swing and the Skooter were added to the park during the 1920s. In 1929, a complex of four swimming pools was added.
2011 regular admission (ages 9–54): $53.95
2011 junior admission (ages 3–9): $32.95
2011 senior admission (ages 55–69): $32.95
2011 "Senior Plus" admission (ages 70+): $21.95
Hersheypark also offers two and three-day ticket plans as well as sunset admissions and a plan where, for the last 2.5 hours the park is open, if a guest purchases a ticket for the next day, that guest will also get free admission for the remainder of the night that the ticket was actually purchased.
2011 regular pass: $142.00 (offered at junior/senior prices between October 1-December 31, 2010)
2011 junior/senior pass (3–8 years, 55+): $132.00
2011 Gold Pass regular: $189.00 (same early purchase discount as regular passes shown above)
2011 Gold Pass junior/senior: $174.00
The Gold Pass also includes admission to Dutch Wonderland.
Did you know? That Hersheypark is the only park in the world to have two wooden coasters built by Great Coasters International (Wildcat and Lightning Racer).