Open since 1973, HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD was created after daily visitors to the Chocolate Factory began to exceed it's daily capacity for plant tours. Able to serve up to 20,000 visitors per day, Chocolate World welcomes over 3 million visitors a year, each able to experience the making of their favorite chocolates on The Great American Chocolate Tour, check out the all-new HERSHEY'S GREAT CHOCOLATE FACTORY MYSTERY in 4D, learn about flavors in the Chocolate Tasting Adventure, and put everything they've learned into action in the Create Your Own Candy Bar attraction. These adventures and more are accented by a fantastic company store and food court, along with a Bake Shoppe and Trolley Works.
The day we went was busy - impacted by an afternoon rainstorm that sent visitors from the neighboring Hershey Park looking for a little indoor fun... and there's a lot of fun to be had.
HERSHEY'S GREAT CHOCOLATE FACTORY MYSTERY in 4D was the big hit of the day, an interactive film (with 3D elements) that crossed over into the physical realm with 4D features involving the senses - from lights and sounds, to wind, motion and scents, Hershey's partnered with the crew from JIM HENSON'S CREATURE SHOP to craft the elaborate branching adventure, that allows audience participation to determine over 100 possible variations. It's sorta like SCOOBY-DOO meets DESPICABLE ME, but in the Hershey's Factory. Check out a trailer below...
The Great American Chocolate Tour is a historical "dark ride" that takes families through the process of chocolate making from sourcing to production and through packaging and beyond - focusing on the things that make Hershey's special.
While the kids really enjoyed that, the Create Your Own Candy Bar attraction was a more hands-on approach, as families go through a working, yet scaled-down assembly line to craft their own custom candy bar, complete with toppings, fillings, and even custom packaging.
Sprinkles on a Hershey's Bar? Not my bag, but my girls love it, so almost anything goes in this one.
Personally, I went really basic with a chocolate-on-chocolate creation of Hershey's Milk Chocolate encasing tiny chocolate chips.
On the way out, we picked up some Jumbo Hershey's Kisses for gifts, along with some cool pillows for the girls, a shirt for my wife, and for me - a pair of cool diecast vehicles to add to our collection. They were a big hit on Instagram...
HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD has locations around the World, but the original location in Hershey, PA is a must-visit for anyone that's planning to pass through the area. Next time, we'll do Hershey Park, too! Visit the official site to plan your visit.
Disclosure: While the folks at HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD knew that we were coming and were kind enough to hook me up with family passes for the day, we bought quite a few add-ons and souvenirs that enhanced an already-fantastic experience.