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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Ahuva Greenberg/Hersheypark

Date: Thursday October 13, 2022

Website: www.ncsygreatadventure.com 

Ahuva Says: www.hersheyparksukkot.com 

For all of you chocolate lovers out there, Hersheyark Sukkot Day is a great place for you to enjoy your favorite chocolate and experience great entertainment alongside thousands of other Jews from all over the world! As a kid, I remember entering the park and immediately running to measure my height against the Hershey’s candy brand-themed ride height system. This would allow me to easily identify which rides I was tall enough for based on whatever Hershey’s brand category my height matched. Then I would continue through the park and enjoy various rides and shows. I especially loved the rides that would hand you chocolate after you got off them, such as the Hershey’s Chocolate World ride and the Reese’s ride. (Unfortunately, the Reese’s ride stopped giving out chocolate several years ago.) Other rides I will never forget include the Scrambler—my sisters and I always loved squishing each other on this; the Comet (my first roller coaster); and the Skyview—you can view practically the whole park from up there!

In addition to the rides, there are several shows constantly going on. For many years, Ronnie Baras would perform a hysterical hypnosis show. (I hope Hershey’s brings him back.) Once my group was ready for dinner, we would congregate among the other Jews in giant sukkahs and enjoy delicious kosher food. No matter what age you are, Hersheypark Sukkot day is a blast! Whether as a small child with my family or as a teenager/young adult with friends, I always loved the experience and hope to continue this tradition.

Theme: Hersheypark is mostly devoted to one thing: Hershey’s candy products. Iconocially, the Kissing Tower, whose windows are shaped like a Hershey’s Kiss, offers panoramic views of the park from 250 feet in the air. Instead of listing height in the usual manner strictly based on inches, each visitor is assigned a different candy corresponding to his or her height. The height system includes Hershey Miniature (Under 36”), Kisses (36”-42”), Reese’s (42”-48”), Hershey’s (48”-54”), Twizzler (54”-60”), and Jolly Rancher (60” and Up). At the entrance of each ride you will see a chart detailing which candy heights are allowed to enjoy the ride. (Being a Twizzler is actually the most ideal height because Twizzlers can ride all of the big rides, but there are certain kiddy rides which Jolly Ranchers are too tall to ride!)

Additionally, many of the newer coasters are named after Hershey’s sweets such as Jolly Rancher Remix, Candymonium, and Laff Trakk. The park also bases its themes on Pennsylvania’s rich Dutch heritage, saluting coal miners and pioneers of years gone by. The section of the park called Founder’s Way was even decorated to look like olden-day Pennsylvania when Milton Hershey was alive. Until 2019, visitors would have to walk up a steep hill through Founder’s Way to enter the park. Since then, the park has expanded and leveled off the hill by creating Hershey’’s Chocolatetown as the new park entrance. In addition to those two sections, there are five other sections of the park: The Hollow, Kissing Tower Hill, Pioneer Frontier and Midway America. The Hollow, Pioneer Frontier and Midway America also each have a classic American vibe going. Personally, I am not such a history person and just prefer the candy, so I think I will stick to the candy-themed sections!

Location: Hershey, Pennsylvania. About two hours, 50 minutes away.

Value: Admission with the Sukkot Special (ends October 6): $46 regular, $44 child (3-8), FREE for children under 3; online tickets through Hershey’s website are $49.95 for one day and $89 for two-day tickets (valid any day through January 1, 2023; does not include Dark Nights Haunted House attractions). Dark Nights tickets start at $24.95 or by bundle for $59.95 per person.

Number of rides: 76

Number of rollercoasters: 14

Kosher food options: (1) Fahrenheit Catering—Menu: knishes, soft pretzels, kids’ meals, and new this year, Corn Dogs; (2) Kosher Food Truck by Midway America Region—serving the famous Curly Fries; (3) Most Hershey Candy is kosher under the OU; (4) Rita’s; (5) Dippin’ Dot;s (6) Slushies at Pierside Slush; (7) Skyrush Slush.

Character Meet and Greets: Hershey Bar, Hershey Kiss, Reese, Jolly Rancher, Twizzler

Special Feature: Hershey’s Chocolate World Tour

Area size: 121 acres

Favorite Ride: The best ride at Hershey Park is the Hershey’s Chocolate World ride. This ride does not even require a ticket year-round! The ride is a tour that takes you through the chocolate-making process, and the entire journey smells delicious. A recorded voice explains in detail how the chocolate is made from start to finish. At one point, you even feel like you are going through an oven. After the ride, one of the employees hands you a yummy piece of Hershey’s chocolate to sample!

One Sukkot, when I was little, I handed my older sister Naomi my chocolate bar to open for me. As I was handing it to her, a large group of Yiddish-speaking, Cholov Yisrael-observing Jews, who could not eat their chocolates, noticed how excited we were and ran over to us to throw all of their chocolates into my sister’s arms. That day, my family went home with the largest bag of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Snack Size Bars that I have ever seen!

After receiving your chocolate, the tour ends in a big Hershey’s chocolate store that carries an incredible variety of chocolates and other Hershey’s paraphernalia. Every visit, I look forward to seeing the five-pound Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar and the one-pound Hershey’s Kiss in the shop.

Latest Ride: Newest roller coaster Candymonium opened in July 2020.

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