Monday, August 29, 2011

Hershey's Chocolate World Revisited

It seems like everyone we know went on their summer vacations in August.  Our "summer" trip was back in May, because I wanted to be able to enjoy site seeing before I got too heavily pregnant or had a newborn.  Since we've been hearing about some really fun trips, it seemed like a good time to catch everyone up with some of the adventures we had on our road trip to Pennsylvania.  We managed to pack a lot of fun into our time, that also included a family visit in Philadelphia and a blogger conference, Reviewer's Retreat, in the Poconos Mountains at the Great Wolf Lodge.  I'll be posting out day trips all week long, with the exception of Thursday which is the weekly A Crafty Soiree party post.

Last time we went to see Brad's older brother Jeff and his wife Jody we broke up the long hours of driving with a stop at Hershey's Chocolate World.  We might have been tempted to skip it this time, because it's an hour out of the way.  ER however, had different ideas and specifically requested we go.  It made quite an impression two years ago because when asked about what we did in Philly that time, she always begins with the ride through the chocolate factory first!
So that's what we did first thing, went on the ride through the "factory".  As we did, it occurred to me that this educational amusement park like version was infinitely preferable to actually walking through a factory.  It's entertaining, informative, has singing cows, and you get to sit through it - nice for this pregnant mama!  I was 28 week along at that point. I've been to on another candy factory tour, it was a forty minute walk, and while interesting, the Hershey version is much more fun and kitchy. 
Naturally the tour ride ended conveniently close to the market place shops, were no matter what age you might really be you all feel like a kid in a candy store and essentially you are!  There is a dizzying array of candy, sweet treats, delicious hot chocolate drink mixes, and souvenirs ranging from t-shirts, hats, and even lip balm.  There is just something awesome about seeing candy piled up in each direction that you can't not have a smile on you face.  We each picked out something to enjoy in the car and some things to take home for family.  ER also insisted on getting another plush Hershey Kiss.  She got a smaller silver one on our first visit and added a larger pink one this time. 
Unlike last time, this visit we didn't just take our treats to go and stopped at the ice cream and milkshake shop.  ER got an extra chocolaty sundae with chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, and because there wasn't enough on it yet...chocolate chunks.  She declined to share with Daddy!  I also got a sundae and it was decadent, seeing how I am diabetic and I was feeling nice, I did give Brad the last couple of bites.   Good thing I had insulin to cover those carbs, cause if you're gonna indulge this is where you do it!

We left afterward, but in looking more closely at the Hershey's Chocolate World website, I've noticed we've overlooked several fun sounding attractions.  I also met a PR representative at the Reviewer's Retreat and she mentioned Create Your Own Candy Bar, that we'll have to try next time.  Since ER loves to bake and decorate cakes and cupcakes so much by dumping decorations on top, I'm sure she'd get a kick out of that!  The Dessert Creation Station also sounds like fun and so does the 3D show. 
I think part of the reason we haven't taken advantage of the other fun opportunities there, has been that both times we've been to Chocolate World it's been a brief stop and to be honest it's really easy to be distracted by the piles of candy!  It's been not much more than an extended, albeit super fun, rest stop on our way from MI to Philly. 

Brad and I have already discussed that next time we go to see his brother and sister-in-law we'll have to have them come over and stay at the resorts so we can also go to Hershey Park, which definitely warrants more than a couple of hours.  By now, there will be plenty for ER to do and we're thinking it'd be fun for my husband's family join us there and for Hershey Park to actually be the destination for a family trip.  What do you think, have any of you ever been?  If so let me know what you did and your recommendations!


7 Friends Said:

Liz Mays said...

I'd forgotten what a fun place that is! I went as a child and I have such magical memories of it. Now I want to go back!

A plush kiss sounds fun!

Unknown said...

You were in my neck of the woods! I'm right around the corner from Hershey! And we hardly ever go!! LOL!

Amanda said...

Looks great! I've never been to PA before (I'm a west-coaster), but in September we're going to visit my husband's family in Hershey and although he is disinclined, I am insisting on going to the factory tour.

Jenny said...

I've always wanted to go there, what a fun place!

MaryAnne said...

This is on my list of things to do, the next time we make it to PA!

Julie said...

We were just there for the first time a couple weeks ago. We spent one full day (7+ hours) at the park and Chocolate World and the kids had a blast. The park was a lot of fun for both of my kids (7 and 4) but the 4 year old was too short for some of the rides she wanted to go on. Like you, we used it as a break in our drive to visit family. I'm sure we'll do that again in the future!

Maria Matter said...

Glad your family had fun in PA!!
We live near Hershey, and normally go to the park every year...for the last 20 years!
Love it!
It's good for a FULL day with plenty of sunscreen!
hugs & blessings

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