Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hersheypark Vacation 2011

My family and I returned from a fantastical weekend away to our favorite theme park, Hersheypark, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We had a tremendous time as we’ve had every year since 2006. Our annual trek always falls on the first weekend in June and has provided years of memories that keep us coming back to make more! This year I am thrilled because not only did I have the best time to date, but also I get to share it with all of you. As I mentioned yesterday, this trip incorporated so many Simple Joys that it warrants its own piece. Now, without further ado, is my trip to Hersheypark.

Weather. While packing for Hersheypark I was sweltering. A mini-heat wave had a stranglehold over my New Jersey home and left me wilted, uninspired, and unwilling to throw myself into packing, but I persevered. Once in Hershey, the temperatures were in the eighties, warm but not unbearable. We had a wonderful breeze, comfortable temps, and no threat of rain on day one. Day two was warmer, allowing giving us the desire to use the Boardwalk at the park. At the end of that time in the Atlantic City Boardwalk area the skies sprinkled on us a bit, but nothing drastic or drenching. I’ve been to Hersheypark through all types of weather; scorching hot and sticky, wickedly cool and rainy, and, no matter what the weather, we have a blast!

Rides. There are so many rides at Hersheypark it is nearly impossible to get them all ridden in the two days we dedicate to our adventure. As I’ve always brought little kids, I am so overjoyed at the amount of kiddie rides that are fun, perfectly scaled, and accessible to my young charges. And they are not just in one tight area. There are several areas that have the kiddie rides allowing for the full spectrum of experiences at the park. As my oldest keeps growing his scope of what is available to him broadens. Of course, the rides of his youth, which he still loves dearly, are out of reach due to his size. Another milestone in the race to grow up for my son occurred this weekend. His siblings and friends were all able to ride the kiddie rides, but he had to sit out on the sidelines. His father and I took turns treating him to a roller coaster ride or a bumper car sojourn, but it still smarted to him that he was young but too tall to partake in the innocent fun.

Zoo America. Those unfamiliar to Hersheypark may not know that there is a zoo accessible from within the park or from its own entrance called Zoo America. It is a zoo that has several North American species of animals and is truly lovely. Typically cooler than the park due to the natural surroundings/habitats of the animals including glorious trees and shrubbery, Zoo America offers a quieter, calmer, slower-paced part of the day. The animals are all fascinating, often easy to detect, and always pleasing to the entire family. It is a must see for us each and every year. During this visit we were treated to a most enjoyable show by Ed-Zoo-Cation, a group that taught about reducing, reusing, and recycling, the lesson we saw with juggling and other funny antics along the way. I was even the lucky audience member who got to take part in the finale! I highly recommend finding out their show times and spending some quality time watching, listening, being entertained, and schooled by Ed-Zoo-Cation!

Frontier Frenzy. Weary and tired, my family, friends, and I stopped at the Frontier area with a roof and open-air seating to rest. It was quiet and nearly deserted, when, all of a sudden, the stage exploded with six attractive, young, and energetic adults dressed up in their country best! Hershey Park, as most theme parks are, is known for some fantastic entertainment musically. This year’s cast of “Frontier Frenzy” was made up of some truly talented individuals who played their hearts out for an audience of fewer than twenty people. My family was so into it: my boys bopped around and clapped and my daughter, nearly 20 months old, shook her booty to the music like nobody’s business! The songs were great, the arrangements fun and upbeat, their energy was high voltage, and their chemistry was palpable! Yes, the script is cheesy and cornball, but it’s supposed to be! This isn’t the Royal Shakespeare Company or the London Symphony Orchestra! This is a show in Frontier World of Hershey Park and these people played their parts brilliantly. On the second day I finagled a spot in front to watch the show again. The set was just as energetic and compelling with nearly twice as many in the audience as there had been the day before. At the end of the set we got to speak and the fresh-faced, wide-eyed, and talented crew took me in. We exchanged information and I promised them they’d see their names in my article. True to my word I want to thank Nicole, Pamela, Julie, Ryan, Ben, and CJ for making our Hersheypark experience extra special and decidedly Rockin’! If you get to Hershey Park this summer, definitely make Frontier Frenzy a part of your listening/viewing pleasure!

There is so much more to love about Hersheypark. It is far more reasonable than most big name theme parks. Hershey Park is clean, has much to do, and gives a great value for the entertainment available. If it is at all possible, get yourself and the family to Hershey Park for a great mini-vacation. Chocolate World still has the tour of the “factory” and offers a sweet complimentary treat at the end. Hersheypark itself will leave you exhausted, happy, and anxious to return again soon!

1 comment:

  1. Hey there Candice;

    Reading your fun at Hershey Park brought back wonderful memories of a family vacation for us years ago. We had a great time and the boys loved it too. Of course now that they are older and out of the house we do indeed cherish our family vacation memories.

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!
    Dr. Rus