After our visit to the Hershey Story Museum, we headed down Chocolate Ave to Hershey Chocolate World. We took a winding road under a railroad and then saw Hershey Park pop up before us. The kids were so sad we weren’t staying late enough to visit the park. I kinda felt the same way. But then we found Hershey Chocolate World and were excited again for what we were going to be able to do before we continued on to the wedding festivities.
I’m glad we went on a Friday morning. It was as busy as my limit for what I like with letting the kids have some autonomy when exploring a new place. One gal I talked to with a two week old baby said it’s usually much, much more crowded, especially when the Park is open. Silver linings! We were set up with tickets to three attractions and had so much fun at all of them!
First we did the Create Your Own Candy Bar attraction. We got all dolled up in aprons and hair nets and semi-watched a video while we wrangled excited kids in line. The video is about the process of choosing your ingredients and the making of the chocolate bar. Next, we used a touch screen computer to select the parts of our bar. You can choose from dark, milk or white chocolate as the base. Then you add in up to three fillings with choices like toffee bits, cookies bits, pretzel bits, rice crispy bits.Then you get to start the process of making your candy bar by pulling down the lever that places your base on the conveyor belt.
The cool part is that as it passes under each filling station, your name appears on a little machine so you don’t lose track of which bar is yours. After it has all the filling you chose, it gets a top coat of milk chocolate. My favorite combination was the white chocolate base and the milk chocolate top with cookie and toffee bits. All the kids got sprinkles on top, but apparently only 2% of candy bar creators choose sprinkles!
Then we got really creative in decorating the packaging for our candy bars. We were the last in line so we had the space all to ourselves which was quite nice. It was fun to see how each of us put together our labels. Sammi loved experimenting with the sizing of images and adding gradients to the color. She has such an eye for that. We all ended up with labels in our favorite colors so that alone made it easy to tell which one was whose.
Since the kids were dying to eat their candy bars, but I wanted to save them, we headed next to Hershey’s Dessert Creation Studio. We each chose a plate of yumminess and chose a table. We chose a fondue style plate with marshmallows, pretzel sticks and other goodies to dip in dark and white chocolate; a cupcake with choose your own toppings; and ice cream, again with choose your own toppings.
While we waited for our plates, our table turned into an art studio as we were given brushes and edible paint then told to create. Our family takes the invitation to create rather seriously and everyone set to work. Even Ben enjoyed painting as much as licking his paintbrush. Our plates came just as everyone was turning from painting to licking the paint. Perfect timing!
Now that our tummies were full of chocolatey goodness, we went on a tour of a mock Hershey chocolate factory. We saw snippets of each part of the process in creating the magic of Hershey milk chocolate. At the end of the tour, the same as when we exited the 4D movie, we were given a snack size Hershey treat. We all squealed when we got KitKats. It then exits into the gift shop of Hershey Chocolate World. Normally I don’t like gift shop exits, but it was so fun to see all the fall and Halloween packaging of candy as well as the sheer variety of chocolate goodness.
Our last attraction was the Hershey’s Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D. This was a fun and interactive attraction. While we waited to be seated the hostess asked questions and the kids got to answer. Then when the movie started, The message was personalized to the kids and their answers. Since our kids are very vocal, they answered as many questions as they could. They were delighted to have their names and answers mentioned by Hershey at the beginning of the mystery. As for the movie itself, it was extremely reminiscent of Despicable Me, down to the yellow robots who acted as minions for the bad guy (an overly tall dude). I couldn’t get past the similarities. But the 3D effects were cool and the kids laughed. At the end we were showered with streamers and the kids loved each taking one home.
The Hershey Factory Tour is a complimentary attraction of Hershey Chocolate World and our tickets to the other attractions were comped in order to facilitate our review. I would definitely visit the Dessert Creation Studio again. The kids would probably exhibit high drama if we didn’t make our own candy bars on another visit. But I think we would probably skip the 4D movie, though I’m glad we got to do it once.
What makes an attraction a must-do for your family?