1) Start your day early! You’ll want to be in line when the gates open so you can enjoy the most popular rides before the crowds arrive. If you can get your kids past the first rides they see and head towards the back of the park first, that’s an even better plan. And if you really want to avoid the crowds, try to schedule your visit mid-week.
2) Sneak a Peek! Guests who purchase a regular full-day admission ticket can enter the park for a sneak preview the night before (either 5:30 pm or 7:30 pm depending on closing times). This is a great time to tackle the more popular rides and make a game plan for the next day.
3) Download the Hersheypark app and you’ll be able to see ride wait times as well as find restaurants, shows, restrooms and more. Try not to leave it running all day or you might run your battery down.
4) Prepare to get wet. Bring your bathing suit, water shoes and towel if you want to visit the Boardwalk water park area featuring 15 rides as well as wave pools and lazy river. Don’t forget swim diapers for the little ones.
5) Take the shuttle if you can. Most nearby hotels offer free shuttle service to and from Hersheypark and that is definitely the easiest way to go. The drivers will put your strollers in the luggage compartment so its really easy.
6) Speaking of strollers, take one if you’re bringing kids who are five or younger. Even if your kids don’t get tired, you’ll be happy to have a place to keep your bags and towels. If you’re bringing older kids, rent a locker or splurge for a cabana so you can have a home base for your stuff because wet towels are HEAVY.
7) Divide and conquer. If you’ve got a mixed age group, you’ll want to pick a meeting time and place so everyone can enjoy different rides. Hersheypark is unique because the kiddie and adult rides are mixed together in each area making it easy for families to do one area at a time which is nice. And if you and your partner want to ride an adult ride (imagine that!) or if a parent needs to ride with more than one child, Hersheypark has a “child swap” option where adults or kids can take turns riding.
8) Bring your camera! You’ll want to get some pictures of the Hershey characters so make sure to visit them throughout the park or book a Character Breakfast for a more personal encounter. If you’ve got a waterproof camera, bring that along too.
9) Make a detour to the Zoo America. Admission is included in your Hersheypark ticket so if you or your kids need a little down time (or a quiet place to nap), the zoo is a great retreat.
10) Test out some of the new for 2014 kid-friendly rides like Cocoa Cruiser (a kid-friendly roller coaster), Tea Cups (a classic spinning ride) and Sweet Swing (a gigantic swing that my daughter and I really loved).
Ready to plan your visit to Hershey, PA? Check out Spotlight on Hershey, Pennsylvania – The Sweetest Place on Earth – Part 1 and Top 10 Family Friendly Things to do in Hershey, Pennsylvania – Spotlight on Hershey, Part 2 for more suggestions of things to do and see.
What are your favorite tips for visiting Hersheypark?
Thanks to Hersheypark for providing our tickets. All opinions are my own. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to Globetrotting Mommy for daily updates!