Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in Hershey
An Inside Look at the Decadent and Delicious World of Hershey
Who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s no surprise that Hershey’s Chocolate World draws over four million guests each year, officially making it the world’s most visited business center. Admission is free and includes a complimentary chocolate tour and sampling of delicious Hershey’s chocolate.
What exactly is the chocolate tour? Marketing Coordinator Matt George explains, the tours have been around since 1973 when Hershey’s Chocolate World opened. The original Hershey’s factory used to offer free tours, but by the 1970’s, popularity increased and it became too overwhelming.
“A separate facility was built and the tour became a ride that continues to operate today,” says George. “Every ten years the tour is updated, to make sure it is relevant. Updated in 2016, the new tour opened in May and it is bigger and better than it has ever been. It’s our most popular attraction.” (Free admission, no tickets required. Tours run continuously during operating hours until closing and take about 30 minutes.)
Another insanely popular exhibit is “Create Your Own Candy Bar” where you can go inside a real Hershey’s factory for an authentic chocolate-making experience. Select a base of either milk, white or dark chocolate and then add in up to three ingredients. The ingredients (chocolate chips, cookie bites, rice crisps, etc.) rotate seasonally so the variations of chocolate bars are endless. After watching the bar being made, let your creativity shine as you even get to design the wrapper. (This approximately 30-minute experience requires a ticket purchase.)
One of the coolest aspects of Chocolate World is the use of innovative technology. Enjoy a 4-D show and interactive experience utilizing digital puppeteering. Interact with the Hershey’s characters in real-time to help them solve factory mysteries. (The 4-D Show Chocolate Mystery takes approximately 30 minutes and requires a ticket purchase.)
Indulge in the Chocolate Tasting Experience which involves five different samples and uses digital mapping technology to discover the use of flavor nodes. During a group tasting session, each guest has an iPad used to vote and view real-time results. “Everyone’s palate is different. At the end of the experience, you become an ‘Official Hershey’s Palateer,’” says George. (Act quickly; this approximately 45-minute experience requires an advance ticket purchase and often sells out.)
In addition to attractions inside Chocolate World, the Hershey Trolley Works takes guests outside the facility. Hop aboard an authentic trolley with the “Chocolate & History” tour (seasonal-themed tours are also offered throughout the year!) to learn about the town of Hershey, PA and see all of the sites and landmarks. “It’s the best way to learn about the town,” states George.
Chocolate World is conveniently located less than a five-minute walk from Hershey Park. Spend as little or as much time as you want... some people come just for lunch. The food court boasts delicious Hershey-ized entrees such as a cocoa-dusted chicken sandwich and a Jolly Rancher flavored slush. “Dessert is a requirement,” says George. “There’s a full ice cream stand, the chocolate peanut butter milkshakes are delicious and a full bakery with cookies, cupcakes, brownies and cakes.”
There truly is no better place for chocolate lovers than Hershey World and no sweeter place to work, for George. “I’ve worked here for the past nine years, and I come in every day with a smile on my face. As soon as you walk in the door, you can actually smell the chocolate.”
Craving chocolate yet? You’re welcome.
-By Ettractions Digital Content Editor, PAULA MARINO
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