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Blast From My Past

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:03 am - March 30, 2006.
Filed under: Post 9-11 America,Travel

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)



  1. Ah memories…. Not only did I go there every summer, but I ended up performing there too. Those were the days.

    Comment by Chad — March 30, 2006 @ 10:40 am - March 30, 2006

  2. Hershey is 100 miles from here. We’re going to have to go one of these weekends — it’s one of the few places that is just a day’s trip, so we don’t have to board the dogs. Pittsburgh and DC are 200 miles from here. Philly 240 miles, NYC 230 miles.

    Comment by rightwingprof — March 30, 2006 @ 1:59 pm - March 30, 2006

  3. Yes it is awesome riding that Hershey highway

    Comment by SorryTemptationWayTooStrong CantBelieveImFirst — March 30, 2006 @ 2:45 pm - March 30, 2006

  4. I’ve seen a documentary about Hershey. Seems pretty cool, but I still don’t make it to Disney and Busch Gardens, let alone PA.

    Besides, you should feel guilty for visiting Chocolate World and not Willy Nagin’s Chocolate City.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 31, 2006 @ 5:49 am - March 31, 2006

  5. I was just in NOLA and let me tell you, it was eerie. The city is half as busy as it normally would be in the spring, and the place was just…quiet. Sort of like walking around postwar Europe.

    However, the hotels are not crowded, the restaurants are still making great food, Harrah’s is jumping, I got my three-month supply of Aunt Sally’s Pralines, and the boys are as cute as ever!

    And I also got a T-shirt of Nagin, Kathleen Blanco and Mary Landrieu that reads: “Krewe of Fools.” Gotta love it!

    Peter Hughes

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 31, 2006 @ 11:16 am - March 31, 2006

  6. Thanks, Bruce. My wife has wanted to visit Hershey PA for a long time. We are planning to incorporate this within an extended vacation later this year. I confess I’ve had some doubts, but your post has gotten me quite interested. I think I’m now looking forward to it. That’ll make my wife happy.

    Comment by Right in Florida — April 1, 2006 @ 6:26 pm - April 1, 2006

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