Are you planning a visit to Hersheypark? These Hersheypark tips will give you all the tricks and secrets for making the most out of your Hersheypark visit.
We have been visiting Hersheypark amusement park with our kids for years and always return because it is great for all ages. If it is your first time or you visit every summer season these tips for visiting Hersheypark will ensure you have a great time!
There are many things to do in Hershey, PA and a visit to the sweetest place on Earth is not to be missed.
We learned a few new Hersheypark tips during our most recent visit, as well as took advantage of some tried and true park strategies that helped us have an amazing day at the park.
Before you go make sure you purchase tickets and plan accommodations. We have stayed at the three on-site Hersheypark resorts (Hershey Lodge, Hotel Hershey Resort, Hershey Campgrounds) and they each offer something special as well as perks for on-site guests.
Once you have your Hersheypark ticket and Hershey accommodations set up you are ready to start planning your day at the park.
My Best Hersheypark Tip
My best Hersheypark tip is plan a visit based on what you and your family want to do! If you are visiting with little kids spend more time at the kiddie rides. If you are visiting with big kids you need to include the roller coasters in your visit.
To often I see people disappointed because they didn’t plan the trip based on their own needs. A great way to have a great trip is to take these tips and use the ones that work best for you and your family.
Tips for Visiting Hersheypark
Arrive 30 Minutes Before Park Open
Always arrive early when you visit a theme park. I suggest arrive at Hersheypark 30-45 minutes before the gates open. This gives you time to park, walk to the gates, and be among the first people in the parks.
Being some of the first guests in the park will allow you to ride the most popular attractions, like Candymonium, without a long wait. As the day goes on the wait times will increase.
Wildcat’s Revenge which is located closer to the back of the park is a very popular roller coaster that will have long lines.
We always prioritize our favorite rides in the first few hours of park opening.
Upgrade Your Tickets to Include Fast Track
Fast Track at Hersheypark is the line skipping option available for an additional cost. This will drastically reduce your wait times but it is a pricey add-on. There are a few different options for skipping the lines at Hersheypark.
- Hersheypark Fast Track: Skip line once per attraction. $50.00-$145.00 per person/per day
- Hersheypark Fast Track Unlimited: Skip regular lines all day. $65.00-$199.00 per person/per day
- Boardwalk Fast Track: $25.00-$35.00
- Boardwalk Fast Track Unlimited: $35.00-$50.00
- Fast Track + Boardwalk: $75.00-$180.00
- Fast Track + Boardwalk Unlimited: $100.00-$249.00
The cost is in addition to your general park admission ticket. All guests in your party need to purchase this if they plan to use it. It can’t be shared among your group. Prices vary depending on crowds/day.
Attractions Included on Hersheypark Fast Track:
- Great Bear
- Hershey Triple Tower
- Jolly Rancher Remix
- Laff Trakk
- Lightning Racer, Mix’d
- Reese’s Cupfusion
- Storm Runner Trailblazer
- Wild Mouse
- Wildcat’s Revenge
- Boardwalk Attractions: Breaker’s Edge, Whitecap Racers, Intercoastal Waterway
Fast Track at Hersheypark might not be part of your budget but if it is it will save you a lot of time waiting for attractions. It is not worth it is you have younger kids that will not be riding the big coasters. Check the height category to see what attractions your kids can ride.
If you do not plan on purchasing Fast Track, I suggest arriving early and prioritizing the most popular attractions first thing in the morning.
Take Advantage of Free Extra Hours at Hersheypark
When visiting Hersheypark all tickets include the preview plan. This allows guests to enter the park 2-3 hours before park close and visit the full next day. If you are a hotel guest you get an extra hour. Exact times can be found here.
Stay at an official Hersheypark Resort
We have stayed at all three of the official Hersheypark Resorts and each offers a different level of accommodations with a different budget.
The Hotel Hershey is a luxury resort, the Hershey Lodge is mid-range and great for families, and the Hershey Campgrounds are great if you want to retreat back to a quiet place after a long day at the parks.
When staying on-site guests have access to Sweet Start. Sweet Start is open to hotel guests and allows entry one hour before official park open.
We accomplished a lot during Sweet Start and it was really helpful in planning our day. We started with Candymonium, then did The Hollow rides, and moved on to Resse’s Cupfusion.
Make Time for the Boardwalk Water Park
The Boardwalk Water Park is pretty big for a theme park. It could be it’s own park to be honest and you can spend a lot of time here.
We made the mistake of trying to get on the water rides after dinner on a Friday to use our preview plan and most lines were 45 minutes or more wait times. If you want to spend time in the water park it is best to do it as soon as it opens at 11:00am.
If you are staying on-site you can use your sweet start to get on a few attractions and then spend a few hours at the water park. There are large lockers that cost $25.00 for the day. Remember to pack towels too.
Use the Hersheypark App
Hersheypark doesn’t hand on paper park maps anymore so having the Hersheypark mobile app on your phone before you arrive at the parks is a huge help. We used the free app to help navigate the park as well as check wait times during the day.
You can also use the app to see what time attractions open, find dining, and answer frequently asked questions.
We always include a visit to ZooAmerica into our visit to Hersheypark. It is included in your ticket price when you visit the park. The Zoo features North American animals. It is a smaller zoo but can be a nice quiet break from the park.
Consider Adding an All-Day Dining Deal
The all-day dining deal costs $33.95 and can be used at different locations throughout the park. You can use it every 90 minutes and this can be a pretty good deal if you plan your day out. Most meal plan options include an entrée and a side.
Meet the Hersheypark Characters
You can’t visit Hersheypark without meeting some of the Hershey characters. Characters are located throughout the park and you will often find them walking around saying hello and posing for pictures.
Eat at Chickie’s and Pete’s
If you take anything from this article you need to try the crab fries at Chickie’s & Pete’s. They come will a side of cheese dipping sauce and it is delicious. We ordered the family bucket and shared it for a snack.
Everyone loved it and you will not regret it! There are two locations at the park. They are Midway America located near the Boardwalk and Pioneer Frontier.
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Stop at Hershey Chocolate World for a Ride on The Hershey Factory Tour
Our visit to Hersheypark is never complete without a ride on The Hershey Factory Tour. This is a free ride located in Hershey’s Chocolate World, not Hersheypark, but they are at the same parking complex.
The Hershey’s Chocolate World ride is free and so much fun. There are also paid attractions inside Hershey Chocolate World that you may want to include in your visits.
Be sure to check the hours if you want to include this in your visit because they are different than the park.
Add a Family Photo Pass to Your Ticket
Consider adding a family photo pass to your ticket to capture all your ride photos and character meet and greets. This is a one time fee and includes a digital album you can download of all your photos. Learn more.
Upgrade to a Season Pass at Hersheypark
If you plan on visiting Hersheypark multiple times consider purchasing a season pass. Season pass holders get great perks like early entry, discounts, and it often pays for itself after 2-3 visits.
Make Reservations at The Chocolatier
The Chocolatier is the newest restaurant at Hersheypark. It is located at Chocolatetown. You do not need a ticket to visit but you do need a reservation. Do not skip making a reservation if you want to go. It is always busy and you may not get a table.
It is not the most budget friendly spot but it is a fun dining experience. A lot of the dishes are infused with chocolate flavors and they are unique to the restaurant.
We tried the Ferris Wheel Sampler which included Hershey’s Chocolate Barbecue Chicken Wings, Crispy Mozzarella, Classic Chicken Tenders, Buffalo Chicken Dip, and Soft Pretzel Dippers. It cost $38.25. We ordered a flat bread pizza as well and shared this between the five of us.
Consider Visiting Hersheypark During the Seasonal Events
If you are considering a visit and want to avoid the summer crowds consider visiting during these events.
More Tips for Visiting Hersheypark
Pack sunscreen, hats and refillable water bottles. There is not a lot of shade at the park and you will be happy to have the coverage.
All day locker rentals are available at Hersheypark. Expect to pay $18.00 for a regular locker and $25.00 for a larger locker. (Prices may vary but are valid as of 10/2023)
Plan on doing a lot of walking and be prepared! Hersheypark is huge. Wear comfortable shoes and prepare for a lot of walking. Including up and down hills. We like to have good sneakers like these men’s sneakers for the boys. For my daughter and I the sneakers are great for the hilly terrain of the park. I love the colors available too!
Hersheypark is a cash less park. They only accept credit cards at the park. Guests can use cash to purchase Hershey cards to use around the park.
Check park hours before you arrive to plan your visit. Take advantage of Sweet Start and preview.
Check out the Hersheypark ride height for the attractions you want to ride before you head to the park to prepare kids for what they can and can’t ride.
Prioritize the rides you want to experience in the first two hours of park opening.
Try to ride Reese’s Cupfusion within an hour of park opening because it has a slow loading queue. It opened at 10:45 during our visit and can have very long wait times.
Not all attractions open with Sweet Start. On our visit Candymonium and the Hollow rides were open.
Ride the carousel at the front of the park. It was built in 1919 making it one of the oldest in the country.
Face your fears on Candymonium. It is the tallest, longest, and fastest ride at Hersheypark.
A visit to Hersheypark can be a fun summer vacation destination. I hope these Hersheypark tips will help you and your family plan the best visit to Hersheypark.
Read Next: Fun Things to Do in Hershey PA with Kids
Leah has been traveling with her family of 5 since 2012 and sharing her expertise on planning family vacations and visiting theme parks since 2016. Leah has been featured in Visit Rochester, Undercover Tourist, and Home Publications. She has worked with brands like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Hersheypark, Toyota, and various Tourism boards and destinations. Leah creates family travel itineraries based on real trip experiences with her family. Her guides and tips help others plan great family vacations. Learn more about Leah and Five for the Road.