Hersheypark (known as Hershey Park until 1970) is a family theme park
situated in Hershey, Derry Township, Pennsylvania, United States,
about 15 miles (24 km) east of Harrisburg, and 95 miles
(153 km) west of Philadelphia. Founded in 1906 by Milton
S. Hershey, as a leisure park for the employees of the Hershey
Chocolate Company, the park is wholly and privately owned by Hershey
Entertainment & Resorts Company as of 2016[update]. The park has
won several awards, including the IAAPA Applause Award.
The park opened its first roller coaster in 1923, the Wild Cat, an
Philadelphia Toboggan Company coaster. In 1970, it began
redevelopment plan, which led to new rides, an expansion of the park,
and the park's renaming. The 1970s brought the first looping roller
coaster on the East Coast, as well as a 330-foot-tall (100 m)
observation tower, the Kissing Tower. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the
park rapidly expanded. Between 1991 and 2008, the park added eight
roller coasters and the Boardwalk at
Hersheypark water park. As of
2016[update], the park's area covers over 110 acres (45 ha),
containing 70 rides and attractions, as well as a zoo called
ZooAmerica – North American Wildlife Park. Adjacent is Hershey's
Chocolate World, a visitors' center that is open to the public and
that contains shops, restaurants, and a chocolate factory-themed tour
1.2 Amusement rides and attractions
1.2.1 Roller coasters
1.3 Themed areas of the park
2.1.1 Height categories
2.1.2 Thrill ride ratings
3 Themed areas
3.1 Founder's Way
3.2 The Hollow
3.3 Kissing Tower Hill
3.4 Pioneer Frontier
3.5 Midway America
3.6 The Boardwalk at Hersheypark
4 In popular culture
7 Further reading
8 External links
Further information: History of Hersheypark
In 1903, Milton S. Hershey, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company,
surveyed the town that would become Hershey. Included in his plans was
a site along Spring Creek that would be suitable for his park. In
1905, a pavilion was built on the hill overlooking Spring Creek and
a bridge was built over Spring Creek. While the bridge was able to
be constructed, the land on the banks of Spring Creek, from Derry
Church to Union Deposit, and areas further north of the creek
(including the area currently occupied by
Hersheypark Arena and
Stadium) was actually owned by J.H. Nissley. In February 1906, Hershey
purchased all but two tracts of land, near Union Deposit, from
Nissley. In early spring, the Hershey baseball club staked out an
area for a baseball field; a baseball diamond, with a track
surrounding the field, as well as grandstands were built. The first
game was played on May 5, which was a 4-0 loss to Felton Athletic
Club. This is also noted as the first open-air event in
On Wednesday, April 24, 1907, Hershey's Park was opened to the public
and an immense crowd enjoyed the all-day amusements. Hershey formally
opened the park and called it Hershey Park. The
festivities included a baseball game, in which Hershey defeated the
Crescent Club of Harrisburg by a score of 13-1. Music was
performed by the recently formed Hershey Band and other events were
held on park grounds. Prior to that time, it had been called
various unofficial names, including "West-end" Park and Hershey's
Park, which (despite being a popular, and grammatically correct,
choice) was picked over in order to combine the words Hershey and
Park. In 1970, after more than 60 years of operations, park management
decided to redevelop the park into a theme park. The name was changed
Hersheypark in 1971, and it has operated under that name ever
Amusement rides and attractions
A view of Hersheypark's amusement center circa 1950.
The first ride was added to the park in 1908 – an Allen Herschel
carousel often referred to as the "Merry-Go-Round." This was
followed in 1910 with the addition of the Miniature Railroad, which
remained in operation until the end of the 1971 season. The park has
operated a bumper car ride since 1926, a variety of boat rides on
Spring Creek, and six dark rides, three of which were funhouses. The
park added its first two kiddie rides in 1926, The Prowler and The
Regurgitator, and has added well over 40 since then.
The park added its first roller coaster in 1923, The Wild Cat, for the
town of Hershey's twentieth anniversary, which operated until
1945. It was replaced by the park's second wooden roller coaster,
Comet, in 1946. Between then and 1996, the park added six roller
coasters, including SooperdooperLooper, the first complete-circuit,
modern-day looping steel roller coaster on the East Coast of the
United States, which opened in 1977. In 1996,
Hersheypark added its
third wooden roller coaster (Wild Cat and Comet being the first two)
naming it Wildcat (initially The Wildcat), after the original Wild
Cat. Between then and 2015, the park added nine roller coasters.
Of the coasters that the park has had, only four are no longer in the
park. One, a twin roller coaster called Toboggan (it was also called
Twin Towers Toboggan or Twin Toboggans) which had been located in
Carousel Circle, a water coaster called
Roller Soaker which had been
in Midway America and later The Boardwalk, a kiddie coaster with an
oval track called Mini-Comet, and the Original Wild Cat. (The station
of the Wild Cat was located in the Minetown area where the Convoy ride
is currently with most of the out-and-back layout/structure built
along the north side of Spring Creek between the base of Storm
Runner's first drop and the station for Trail Blazer.)
Hersheypark's second pool, circa 1924-1928.
The park has had several pools, the first located next to Spring Creek
in Comet Hollow, the area themed as The Hollow as of 2014. The first
pool operated from 1908 until 1911, which included a
toboggan-slide ride called Shoot-the-Chutes. This pool was
replaced by a cement pool which opened in 1912 and remained in use
through the 1928 season.
That pool was replaced by a new pool complex on the western edge of
the park, which included a large bathhouse, one large pool and a
smaller pool, as well as a beach-like area and a lighthouse. It
operated until 1971, when it was closed at the start of the
Hersheypark themepark conversion renovation.
Hersheypark did not add another pool until 2007 when The Boardwalk at
Hersheypark opened. It is a small wave pool for children, called
Bayside Pier. That was followed by the addition of a much larger wave
pool, called The Shore, which opened in 2009.
Themed areas of the park
Hersheypark developed a number of themed areas, the first being
Carousel Circle, Der Deitch Platz, and Animal Garden in 1972,
followed by Tower Plaza in 1975, Pioneer Frontier in 1985, Midway
America in 1996, as well as
The Boardwalk at Hersheypark
The Boardwalk at Hersheypark in
2007. In 2014,
Hersheypark merged several theme areas –
Tudor Square, Rhineland, Founder's Circle and Music Box Way, became an
area called Founder's Way, while the coal mining region themed area
Minetown was rethemed as Kissing Tower Hill. The themed areas had
featured different music to each area, such as polka-style songs being
played in Der Deitch Platz and Carousel Circle, country music being
played in the Pioneer Frontier themed area, the Beach Boys being
played near Tidal Force and later in The Boardwalk, as well as Ragtime
and jazz music being played in Midway America. However, the music was
phased into being the same across the park, except in The Boardwalk
and Pioneer Frontier.
See also: List of
Hersheypark has had 142 rides in the park's history. There are
currently 70 rides in operation. The park has featured 15 roller
coasters, two of which no longer stand – Twin Towers Toboggan and
Roller Soaker. The park had two concepts canceled during their many
years of operation, the first in 1942 Flying Turns and Turbulence in
The first ride the park purchased was a Herschell carousel in 1908.
The most recent ride added was Hershey Triple Tower, the first drop
towers at Hershey park.
This is a height measurement board at the entrance of the Twin
Turnpike Sports Cars ride in Hersheypark.
Hersheypark uses Hershey Company products as names for each height
range to determine who can ride which rides.
All measurements are in inches:
0 – 36 (3' and below)
Newest height category; created in 2005
36 – 42 (3' – 3'6")
42 – 48 (3'6" – 4')
48 – 54 (4' – 4'6")
54 – 60 (4'6" – 5')
60 and above (5' +)
Previously Cookies 'N' Creme and originally Bar None.
Thrill ride ratings
Hersheypark uses a ride ratings system to alert guests to the
aggressiveness of the ride. The "Ratings" for each ride are as
follows: (descriptions come from the 2007 edition of the map of
This is a low-speed, gentle ride intended for young children and may
accommodate chaperones where permitted.
Mild Thrill Ride
This is a low to medium speed ride with expected changes in elevation
and speed. This ride may require some rider body control and is not
recommended for unaccompanied toddlers or very small children.
Moderate Thrill Ride
This is a medium speed ride where riders may experience unexpected
changes in elevation and speed. This ride may contain moderate twists,
turns, bumps, spins and loops and may require some rider body control.
High Thrill Ride
This is a fast-paced ride experience with unexpected changes in speed,
direction and/or elevation. This ride may contain significant twists,
turns, bumps, spins, and loops and requires full rider body control.
Aggressive Thrill Ride
This is a high-speed ride experience. Riders will experience many
unexpected rapid changes in speed, direction, and/or elevation and
requires full rider body control. This ride is not recommended for
guests with physical, cognitive, and/or medical limitations.
Hersheypark features a number of entertainment shows in a number of
Hersheypark Amphitheatre and the Music Box Theatre,
as well as strolling shows throughout the park. 12 resident shows
are offered along with Spring, Summer, Halloween, and Christmas
seasonal shows. A popular event offered each year from November to
January is Hersheypark's Christmas Candylane. 
There are facilities for accommodating particular dietary needs,
including a kosher restaurant (Central PA's Kosher Mart) and a variety
of restaurants offering gluten-free rolls and bread. Groups can
pre-arrange catering in one of six private picnic areas inside the
park. Signs are posted prohibiting guests from bringing in outside
food and drink. A casual sit down restaurant called
(formerly Tudor Grill) is located just outside the park. A Chickie and
Pete's Crab House restaurant and a frozen yogurt stand was added for
the 2014 season.
Also included in the price of admission is access to ZooAmerica.
It is open year-round and offers 11-acres of land to visit and walk
ZooAmerica houses "more than 200 animals from five regions
of North America" and offers tours, birthday parties, and
informational programs at varying costs. 
Hersheypark is made up of six themed areas, starting with an area,
Founder's Way, which spans from outside the main gate, to a junction
where three sections – Kissing Tower Hill, The Hollow and Pioneer
Frontier – meet and make up the central and southern end of the
park, while two sections, Midway America and The Boardwalk, on the
northern end of the park, bordering Pioneer Frontier.
The Front Gates
Founder's Way is the first themed area of Hersheypark. It begins
outside of the main gate near Tram Circle and is free to enter. It
features rustic architecture when it was themed as Tudor Square
(1973-2013) and is home to several shops, a
Dunkin' Donuts and
Hersheypark Place, the only full-service restaurant in the park. It
also features breakfast with the Hershey's Product Characters.
Spring Creek near the Comet (former location of the Sunken Gardens)
before construction of
Once inside the main gate, the area has a Bavarian architecture which
was from its time themed as RhineLand (1973-2013). Most of this
immediate area is on a hill, which has a wide variety of gift shops as
well as a Nathan's, Famous Famiglia Pizzeria, and the Central PA's
Kosher Mart. Hospitality Services is also located in this area, as
well as stroller rentals. At the top of the hill is a statue of Milton
S. Hershey and a surrounding fountain, which honors the chocolate
maker and founder of the park. This is also where the Philadelphia
Toboggan Company Carousel is located, in the middle of a circle which
has a number of rides on the outside of the circle. From 1972 until
2004, this area was known as Carousel Circle. In 2005, Carousel Circle
became Founder's Circle, until 2013, when it was merged with Music Box
Way, Rhineland and Tudor Square.
The section of Founder's Way beyond Carousel circle is an area
formerly themed as Der Deitsch Platz. This is home to the
Craftbarn restaurant, a Get the Picture Souvenir Photo Stand, where
guests can see and purchase pictures taken of them by park
photographers throughout their day, as well as a Subway restaurant.
The next section that was merged, formerly known as Music Box Way, is
home to the Music Box Theater, the first enclosed theater stage in the
park. It also includes rides such as the Fender Bender bumper cars,
the Pirate, Reese's Extreme Cup Challenge, as well as a number of
kiddie rides. It is from this area that guests can access The Hollow,
Pioneer Frontier, and a bridge leading to Kissing Tower Hill.
This section was named after the oldest operating coaster in the park,
Comet, and lies along Spring Creek. This is one of the oldest areas of
Hersheypark; many rides have come and gone in this area. The park's
first water ride, the Mill Chute installed in 1929, was alongside the
creek where Great Bear runs today. The original location for the
bumper cars, then called the Auto Skooters, is now the
SooperDooperLooper Sandwich Stop. There were giant slides on the hill
Hersheypark Amphitheater is located. A Streco turnpike ride
was located underneath the high bridge that crossed Spring Creek to
Minetown. In 1932 the Park installed a Traver Tumble Bug ride next to
the Mill Chute. It was removed in 1981 to make room for the Wave
Swinger. The park's carousel, before being moved to Carousel Circle in
1972, was located along the creek adjacent to the station of Comet.
SooperDooperLooper came to Comet Hollow in 1977, a Himalaya
ride was in that location, and before that, twin
Eli Bridge Ferris
wheels. A whip, and a station for the Electric Railroad were also
located in Comet Hollow at one time.
One of Hersheypark's most significant floods occurred in 1972 as a
result of Hurricane Agnes. A number of rides were heavily damaged or
destroyed as a result. These rides include the turnpike ride, the Mill
Chute and the giant slides. They were eventually replaced (the Coal
Cracker (1973) and Twin Turnpike (1975) were put on higher ground in
Minetown, and the Merry Derry Dip Fun Slide was put in Midway America
twenty five years later in 1997).
Today, The Hollow features three roller coasters, Comet,
SooperDooperLooper. It also houses the Wave Swinger. Almost all of
Great Bear's track courses through The Hollow.
Beginning with the 2012 season and renovations being done to this
area, the famous chocolate smell will also be dampened, the park once
used chocolate smelling chemical in building material but discontinued
use due to concerns about safety. Additionally, the park changed the
name of the once 'Comet Hollow' to the now present name of 'The
Kissing Tower Hill
Great Bear and SooperDooperLooper
Until the start of the 2014 season, this area of the park had been
called Minetown, which had been officially opened in 1990 with the
additions of Convoy, Red Baron, Flying Falcon and Dinosaur-Go-Round.
All except Dinosaur-Go-Round and Flying Falcon are still in the area;
Dinosaur-Go-Round was moved to Founder's Circle for the 2007 season so
the Frog Hoppers could be moved to its location to make room for the
Boardwalk, and Flying Falcon was removed after the 2016 season to make
room for Hershey Triple Tower. The section features many classic
Hersheypark attractions, including the Sunoco Twin Turnpike, Coal
Cracker log flume, Kissing Tower and Great Bear. It is also home to
the Minetown Arcade, Minetown Restaurant,
Hersheypark Aquatheater and the
Hersheypark entrance to ZooAmerica.
The Minetown Restaurant is a cafeteria style place, and is the only
area in the park where alcohol is served.
Pioneer Frontier is the southwestern-themed section of the park, and
includes four of the park's roller coasters: Trailblazer (the second
oldest in the park), Sidewinder, Storm Runner, and Fahrenheit. It also
includes the Frontier Flyers, The Howler, Mini Scrambler, and Livery
Stables. It also has its own food court which features a wide variety
of restaurants. The section previously included the area up to and
including Tidal Force until 2007 when Tidal Force and Canyon River
Rapids were rezoned into the new Boardwalk. However, the southern end
of the section was expanded at this time, encompassing the Pirate
(swinging ship), The Claw, and the Dry Gulch Railroad, all rezoned
from Music Box Way.
An overhead view of
Hersheypark from the Ferris Wheel
Opened in 1996 as a homage to the classic midway fair, Midway America
features four roller coasters, including Wildcat, and Lightning Racer
(a dueling wooden roller coaster), and two steel coasters, Wild Mouse,
across from Wildcat, and Laff Trakk, a glow in the dark spinning
family indoor coaster across from the Wild Mouse. The section also has
the Whip, Music Express, Merry Derry Dip Fun Slides, Ferris Wheel and
two kiddies rides Granny Bugs and Pony Parade.
The Boardwalk at Hersheypark
The Boardwalk at Hersheypark
The newest themed area of the park, the Boardwalk waterpark was
officially opened in 2007 and featured five new waterpark attractions
along with three already standing rides: Roller Soaker, Tidal Force,
and Canyon River Rapids. Canyon River Rapids and Tidal Force were
rezoned from Pioneer Frontier to the Boardwalk, with Tidal Force later
being zoned as Midway America. In 2009, the Boardwalk received an
expansion known as the Seaquel which replaced Canyon River Rapids with
Intercoastal Waterway (a lazy river), the Shore (a wave pool) and
Roller Soaker was removed for the 2013 season, however the
station was left up. That same year, the area was renovated and taken
up by a kiddie spray ground and some tables. For the 2018 season,
Hersheypark announced that 2 new water attractions would be in this
area: Breaker's Edge; a hydro-magnetic coaster slide that also counts
as the park's 14th coaster, and Whitecap Racer; the longest mat racer
slide in the world which features 2 sets of twisting enclosed tubes.
Breaker's Edge will use the station that was formerly used by Roller
In popular culture
American Dad! episode "May the Best Stan Win", a major subplot
concerns the marital conflict arising from title character Stan Smith
Hersheypark without his wife, Francine. The park is
spelled "Hershey Park" in the episode, as the real park was prior to
the early 1970s. The episode also makes reference to the Chocolate
World attraction. The amusement park depicted in the episode bears no
resemblance to the actual Hersheypark, although it does depict park
Hershey's Kiss hats, similar to items sold as
souvenirs at the real Hersheypark.
Skyrush, under construction
Monorail Train 2
Storm Runner and Kissing Tower
Storm Runner's snake dive
Roller Soaker, closed in 2012
Midway America in the evening
^ "PA Travelers Staying At Home". The Evening Times. Sayre, PA. April
29, 1986. p. 10. Patrice Alexander, a
said the park's theme "traces the evolution of the people of this
area," including the
Pennsylvania Dutch, coal miners and the
^ "Tudor Era At Hersheypark". Observer-Reporter. April 10, 1973.
Hershey Estates' multi-million dollar five-phase expansion program,
scheduled for completion by 1976, will see the evolution of the
65-acre facility from amusement park to mini-world of wide ranging
lifestyles with emphasis on the rich heritage of the Pennsylvania
^ a b c "The Opening of Hershey Park". The Hummelstown Sun. 25 May
1906. access-date= requires url= (help)
^ a b c "Opening of Hershey Park". Lebanon Courier and Semi-Weekly
Report. May 30, 1906. p. 5. "Hershey Park will be formally opened
to the public on Memorial Day, May 30th.
^ "TEA/AECOM 2016 Global Attractions Attendance Report Report" (PDF).
Themed Entertainment Association. 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
^ a b c d The Hummelstown Sun. 1 June 1906. Missing or empty
title= (help); access-date= requires url= (help)
^ a b Snavely, Joseph R. (1950). The Hershey Story. Lebanon, PA:
Sowers Printing Company. p. 45.
^ "The Applause Award". Archived from the original on 2010-05-20.
^ "West End Park is to Have Big Pavilion". Harrisburg Telegraph. 14
September 1905. access-date= requires url= (help)
^ "Hershey News". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 6, 1905.
access-date= requires url= (help)
^ "Derry Church News". Lebanon Daily News. February 28, 1906.
access-date= requires url= (help)
^ "Opening of Season/Felton A.C. Wins from the New Hershey Team".
Harrisburg Telegraph. May 8, 1906. access-date= requires url=
^ "Hershey News". Harrisburg Telegraph. May 5, 1906.
access-date= requires url= (help)
^ "Champions Want Games/Hershey Team Willing to Play Any Club a Series
for Honors". Harrisburg Telegraph. August 16, 1906.
access-date= requires url= (help)
^ a b c d e f Jacques, Charles J. (1996). Hersheypark: The Sweetness
of Success. Pennsylvania: Amusement Park Journal.
^ a b "Another Wild Ride". The Gettysburg Times. April 18, 1996.
^ "Derry Church". Harrisburg Telegraph. June 17, 1908.
^ "Derry Church". Lebanon Daily news. August 5, 1909. p. 2.
^ "Hershey Park Adds Many New Features". Lebanon Daily News. May 23,
1912. p. 10.
^ "Larger Swimming Pool". Lebanon Semi-Weekly News. November 19, 1928.
^ "Hershey Announces Major Park Development Plans". Lebanon Daily
News. December 14, 1971. pp. 1, 28.
^ "Annville-Cleona Kiwanis Hear About Hersheypark". Lebanon Daily
News. June 14, 1972. p. 42.
Hersheypark Attendance High; Expansion Planned". Lebanon Daily
News. October 18, 1974. p. 8.
^ Raffaele, Martha (May 22, 2007). "
Hersheypark marks it's 100th
birthday". Indiana Gazette. Associated Press. p. 3. The marquee
event of this year's celebration is the May 26 opening of The
Boardwalk at Hersheypark, a $21 million expansion that combines three
existing water rides with five new water-themed attractions
^ "Hershey's". The Gettysburg Times. July 3, 2007. p. C4.
^ "Family-Friendly Shows & Entertainment Hersheypark".
hersheypark.com. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
^ "Sweet Shows & Entertainment For All Four Seasons
Hersheypark". hersheypark.com. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
^ "Christmas Candylane Merry, Bright & Happy Hersheypark".
hersheypark.com. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
^ "Tickets". www.zooamerica.com. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
ZooAmerica - North American Wildlife Park". www.zooamerica.com.
Futrell, Jim. Amusement Parks of Pennsylvania. Mechanicsburg, PA:
Stackpole Books, 2002.
Whitenack, Pamela. Hersheypark. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing,
Jacques, Charles J. Hersheypark: The Sweetness of Success. Jefferson
OH: Amusement Park Journal, 1997.
Amusement parks portal
Hersheypark at the Roller Coaster DataBase
Geographic data related to
Hersheypark at OpenStreetMap
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hersheypark.
Reese's Xtreme Cup Challenge
Cancelled or defunct attractions
The Hershey Company
Milton S. Hershey
and Resorts Company
ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park
Hershey Laundry & Dry Cleaning
The Hotel Hershey
The Spa At The Hotel Hershey
MeltSpa by Hershey
Hershey Country Club
Hersheypark Camping Resort
The Hershey Company
Cadbury Creme Egg³
Cadbury Dairy Milk³
Cookies 'n' Creme
Cookies 'n' Mint
Reese's Crispy Crunchy Bar
Reese's Fast Break
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Take 5 (Max 5)
United States military chocolate
York Peppermint Pattie
Good & Plenty
Good & Fruity
Lancaster Soft Crèmes
Italics indicates discontinued products
Hershey Trust Company
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Hershey Cemetery Trust
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The Hershey Story
Hershey Community Archives
Milton S. Hershey
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