You’re pumped about coming to Hersheypark® this summer, and you might even be mapping out your park route to make sure you ride as many rides as you can! To help you make the most of your sweet day at the park, we’ve put together some insider tips from skipping the lines and avoiding the crowds to the best places eat and where to find awesome deals!
When to Visit
Hersheypark sees thousands of smiling faces every day, but certain times of the week are less crowded than others. If your family would prefer to zip from ride to ride, try a weekday (Monday – Thursday) or a Sunday.
Hersheypark opens at 10 AM, and the gates can get crowded with a flock of early birds. But those visitors who arrived for the opening of the park are on their way to the gates after a long day, making a 2-3 PM arrival time ideal for visitors who are prepared to stay all night! Most days, Hersheypark is open until 10 PM, so you’ve got plenty of time to ride.
When it comes to weather and its impact on attendance, overcast days with a slight chance of rain are great times to visit. In most cases, Hersheypark’s roller coasters are running during a drizzle, so you’ll find shorter wait times for your favorite thrill rides. If there is a popup downpour or storm, take cover, but be first in line when the clouds break! The clouds might keep some people away, but also provide much-needed shade on those hot summer days.
Animal lovers interested in ZooAmerica® should stop in before lunch or in the evening (refer to their hours). The furry residents of ZooAmerica are most active in cooler temperatures, so you’re more likely to catch them scurrying about rather than seeking shelter in the shade!
Did You Know? Every Hersheypark ticket comes with the Summer Preview Plan that gives you a sweet sneak peek of the park the night before your full day visit. Swap your day trip for an overnighter to receive up to 3 ½ hours of free rides and one-price parking when you present your paid parking stub the next day.
How to Navigate the Park
The best way for a first-timer to get around Hersheypark is by using the mobile app! Not just a digital map in your pocket, the Hersheypark app filters your ride options by type and height category, shows entertainment schedules, and lists all of the places to dine. You can also find the fastest route to your next ride with the “Take Me There” functionality.
The app also provides insights on how long you might be standing in line when you get there. Instead of walking across the park to find out your favorite ride has a “sooperdooper” long wait time, you might decide to hop on a few other rides until the crowd clears! The app can tell you ahead of time if a ride is closed for repairs or weather and can push an alert when it reopens so you can “skyrush” right over!
How to do Hersheypark like a VIP
Wouldn’t it be awesome to hop right to the front of the line like a VIP? Purchasing a Fast TrackSM Pass saves time and allows you to bypass the regular lines once a day on 15 of Hersheypark’s most popular rides. So how does it work? After you’ve purchased your pass online, visit Hospitality Services or Guest Services inside the park and pick up your Fast Track Plan. It’ll tell you what time you can say “see ya later” to everyone in line at each ride. Combine this pass with the tips on the best times to visit and you’ll be checking off every ride on your list in no time!
Another luxury that guests enjoy is renting an all-day cabana at The Boardwalk At Hersheypark®. Each cabana has a refrigerator, table, chairs, chaise lounge chairs, beach towels for each guest, a beach bag and sunscreen, complimentary water bottles and fountain soda, and complimentary locker use all day. You can even hop on the Intercoastal Waterway (the lazy river) via a special entrance just for cabana guests.
Where to Eat and Drink
With delicious food stops and vendors at every turn, there’s no reason to go hungry in Hersheypark! You can get pizza, chicken, burgers, waffle fries, subs, salads, tacos, kosher options, pretzels, hot dogs, grilled cheese, gyros, and even turkey legs. We didn’t even mention the desserts (King Size Milkshakes and cheesecake on a stick!) Eager eaters can nosh and drink all day throughout the park for one low price with a dining or drink program. If you only have time for one meal, try the Overlook Food Court near Kissing Tower® with nine concession options, air-conditioned seating, and draft beer for exhausted Moms and Dads!
How to Get the Best Deals
In addition to saving time, you can also save money and acquire perks when you stay at The Hotel HersheySM, Hershey LodgeSM, or Hersheypark® Camping Resort, known as The Official Resorts of Hersheypark®. Remember that Summer Preview Plan we mentioned? Resort guests can get up to 4½ hours free at Hersheypark the night before their visit, as well as 1-hour early access (9 AM) with Hersheypark Sweet Start. Plus, guests of the resorts receive complimentary Front Gate Shuttle Service to and from Hersheypark so they can skip the parking lot and head straight for the fun!
In addition to the family memories you’ll make at Hersheypark, many guests take home a little souvenir to remember their trip. In addition to the classic options like hats, coffee mugs, shirts, stuffed animals, and bags of chocolate, you can capture all your post-ride photos with the Ride Photo Pass. It doesn’t matter if the kids look happy or terrified, you’ll get unlimited digital downloads of all your ride photos and discounts on photo purchases like keychains and prints for one price!