As Halloween approaches, you might start stocking up on sweets and treats for the little ghouls who will come knocking on your door come Halloween. But why go to any ol’ store to score some sweets when you can actually go to the birthplace of the Hershey bar and have the sweetest moments with your family, too? Hershey’s Chocolate World is a total destination for parents and kids to have an eerily awesome time — and load up on treats, too.
Located adjacent to Hersheypark, Hershey’s Chocolate World is so much more than a store. (In fact, it’s the world’s largest candy store.) For the first time, Hershey’s Chocolate World has undergone its ghoulish transformation a few weeks earlier so that there will be seven weeks of Halloween fun for visiting vampires who want to sink their teeth into some chocolatey goodness.
Once you step into Chocolate World, there is so much to see and do. Once you’ve gotten your tickets, you can start at Hershey’s Unwrapped, where you’ll get to really appreciate the finer nuances of chocolate. You’ll be given your Official Chocolate Tasting Kit prior to entering the theater (it’s a live show, after all), and together with Doc Chocolate and another tasteologist, you’ll discover how chocolate is created…and appreciated. This show encourages eating, and you’ll get to sample the chocolates inside your tasting kit but be warned: there’s an even sweeter surprise hiding at the bottom of the box.
After leaving Hershey’s Unwrapped, you might want to come up with your own creations as well. You’ll get to do that at the Create Your Own Candy Bar. After donning a hair net and apron, you’ll be ushered to a screen to select the kind of chocolate bar you’ve always wanted. Start by choosing from a milk, dark, or white chocolate base, and then the fun really starts. You’ll get to add up to three ingredients (think chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, Heath toffee bits, or pretzel bits), and you get to choose if you want sprinkles on top of your bar.
You’ll feel like Willy Wonka (or at least an Oompa Loompa) as you enter the production room, where you’ll get to see your chocolate bar being manufactured first-hand. Seeing your candy bar going from station to station is certainly exciting, but the designing doesn’t end there. You’ll get to come up with a cool packaging design for your chocolate bar, too, while you wait for it to cool down (it has to be enrobed with even more chocolate to cover your choice of fillings).
By now you’ll have worked up an appetite, so you’ll need some nourishment. There are many options in the food hall, such as pizza as well as a create-your-own mac ‘n cheese (choose from one protein, two hot toppings like bacon, broccoli, or vegetarian chili, three cold toppings, and topped with your choice of sauce). There are beef sliders, a pretty big pretzel, and salads like the yummy Cocoa Chicken Caesar Salad (yes, the chicken has a cocoa dusting!).
Even though you might feel stuffed after lunch, it’s time to get stuffed again. The Reese’s Stuff Your Cup is, in a word, mind-blowing. A huge chocolate shell will be stuffed with four of your favorite fixin’s, from chopped brownies and mini marshmallows to chocolate chips, Reese’s Pieces Minis, pretzel bits, potato chips — even bacon bits. Your Reese’s Stuff Your Cup will be made right before your very eyes and scooped into the chocolate shell where it will be covered with another chocolate shell topping.
With so much yumminess surrounding you at Chocolate World, you might forget that Halloween will soon be here. Well, the fine folks at Hershey haven’t, which is why you can go trick-or-treating at Chocolate World, too. The Trick Or Treat Trail is a great way to get a jumpstart on your Halloween hijinks, and have fun along the way. Kids are given their own Halloween trick-or-treat bags and can walk to various designated stops where they can get them filled with, what else, Hershey chocolates. There are about three stops in Chocolate World, and the rest of the trick-or-treating continues in Hersheypark.
Before you head off to the Park, though, you’ll want to take a tour — a Trick-or-Treat Trolley Tour, that is. Get on an old-fashioned trolley right outside of Chocolate World for the 45-minute tour. You’ll learn all about Milton Hershey, including a private stop at his home on the hill. In addition to learning about his humble beginnings, you’ll find out about the humanitarian work Milton and his wife, Catherine, did, like founding the Milton S. Hershey School back in 1909. To this day, the school provides education and a home to disadvantaged children. And it might touch your heart to discover that Milton Hershey built a town around his factory (complete with homes, schools, and cultural and recreational opportunities) including Hersheypark, which was meant to be a way for his workers to enjoy a picnic and pleasure ground. The tour is conducted by two actors who provide education, entertainment — and lots of treats, too.
Once you’re back at Chocolate World, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to clown around. There are character meet and greets with Reese, Kit Kat, and Hersh occur throughout Chocolate World as well as Hersheypark. They’re all decked out in some creepily cool costumes, which makes the experience even more exciting.
By now, you’re probably ready to hit Hersheypark — and it does not disappoint. Hersheypark has been decorated for all the ghouls and goblins who are looking for chills and thrills. Of course, there are plenty of rides for kids to go on, and some, like the Misfit Bug, are decorated in a frightening fashion for Halloween.
But the holiday fun isn’t over yet. Come nightfall, it’s time to glow, girl, because the Hershey’s Character Glow Dance Party is about to begin. After all, it’s one thing to pose for a pic with your favorite treat, but it’s a much different experience to do the Monster Mash with them. You’ll get to dance and have a blast under a spooky cobweb tent as your favorite characters dance to “Thriller” and other classic Halloween songs. Glow sticks that can be used as necklaces or bracelets are given out so that everyone will shine under the stars.
For older kids who aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night, Hersheypark’s Dark Nights is back again. The immersive seasonal experience has three Scare Zones — Midway of Misery, Valley of Fear, and Darkstone’s Hollow — each with enough eeriness to give you a good fright. There are also four frightening haunted houses, one more sinister than the previous one, guaranteed to give you spinechilling thrills.
Included in your ticket is access to ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, where you’ll get to see animals that like to walk on the wild side come nighttime. The Creatures Of The Night experience starts on October 14, and is a must-not-miss.
But what stands out most from the sweets and the spooky experiences is Hershey’s advocacy work, particularly for people with disabilities. The Hershey Company’s Abilities First Business Resource Group (BRG) allows employees who have a disability to feel connected to the company and help continue making “moments of goodness”. Case in point: Morgan Smokers, a dynamic human being who works as a photographer at Hersheypark and makes every experience with people visiting the park truly amazing.
There is so much to see, do, and experience at both Hershey’s Chocolate World and Hersheypark for Halloween. Because there’s no better way to make lasting memories than by doing something spooky (and sweet) with you and your family at Hersheypark and Chocolate World.