If you have never been to Hershey Park in Hershey, PA (Chocolate Town, USA), please consider it this summer. I have so many great memories of my visits to this amusement park as a kid. It was there where I “survived the Sooper Dooper Looper” (my first upside down roller coaster ride), my first flume ride, first bumper cars, skipping out of school with my friends Senior Year for a Hershey Park road trip…. I could go on and on.
Not as flashy and grand as Disney World and not as trashy and run-down as Six Flags Great Adventure (circa 1985), Hershey Park is a great family-friendly amusement park with plenty of thrills for the young adults and thrill seekers.
I am writing this post after reading this news item on CNN — Sweet! Chocolate Tour gets an update
The Great American Chocolate Tour Ride, which opened in 1973, has just undergone its third major renovation — a $5 million update to ensure scenes along the ride reflect the latest chocolate-making technology. Brighter colors, more multimedia entertainment and a hip new soundtrack will also greet the public when the attraction officially reopens April 1.
Now drawing about 3 million visitors a year, the Great American Chocolate Tour Ride opened when growing interest in touring Hershey’s factory (and concerns about how rising temperatures from body heat was affecting the chocolate) made it impossible for the company to continue offering tours of its working facilities.
The ride is meant to simulate the experience of being in a chocolate factory, while educating visitors about the chocolate-making process, from bean to candy.
Any kid within driving distance of Hershey who grew up under the influence of the original Willy Wonka movie, knew what a great ride that Chocolate World was. I’ll always remember the ending jingle (which was also the Hershey TV ad jingle) — “Hershey, the Great American Chocolate Bar.” Oh yeah, and they used to (maybe still do?) give you free chocolate at the end of the ride. Best part!
-Bruce (GayPatriot…. on the road to Knoxville to see Brad, Billy & Sara)