Our first full day in Pennsylvania was spent enjoying Hershey's Chocolate World. Wow! Wow! Wow!!!!! It's like being in chocolate heaven :)
Just driving up to the attraction is amazing. You can see Hershey Park in the background and the Hershey characters are displayed in all their glory on the sign as a big welcome. The trolley cars out front are a great touch.
Our first act once we were there was to take the Chocolate Tour Ride. We really enjoyed that -- with the singing cows and the visual journey through how the chocolate is made. It even smelled of chocolate in there. We didn't want the ride to end. They take a photo of you just before the ride ends, which you can purchase if you wish at the end.
Then we decided to do the new Chocolate Tasting Experience. It's like a big classroom. The professor led us through the tasting adventure, which included a chocolate drink and five sample chocolates. There was a regular Hershey bar, a Special Dark bar, a Bliss bar, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and a Hershey's Kiss. My favourite? The peanut butter cup of course :) Yum!!!! (Don't click on the image below, the link doesn't work).
We had some time to fill, so we went on the Chocolate Tour ride again. It was just as good the second time around, although we didn't buy the photo this time. Then we went to see the Really Big 3D Show. I cannot stress this enough --- go see the show!!! It was incredible!!!!! Not only were there 3D characters, but we actually experienced the confetti falling from the ceiling, drops of water hitting us, the sweet aroma of delicious chocolate. It was an experience to remember forever!!!!!
Sara really wanted to experience the Factory Works Experience, so that is where we went next. She had her photo taken for her ID badge, wore an official factory worker hat, operated the machine to fill her gear with Kisses and put it on the conveyor belt to be sealed for purchase. She was even able to punch out at the end. Of course we had to purchase the whole package, so Sara came home with her ID badge, the hat and her Kiss filled gear. She was thrilled. Then we explored the store area that is part of that section. There are opportunities for a more personalized chocolate purchase --- like actually filling your own tin of chocolates. Gary and the children all had their photos taken with a five pound chocolate bar.
No experience at Chocolate World would be complete without some chocolate shopping. There were chocolate bars that we'd never heard of and formulations of our favourites that were brand new to us. Gary bought me a T-shirt --- Reese's of course :) We'll certainly be enjoying our chocolate purchases for a long time. Yummy!!!!!!!
Then we headed over to the Hershey Outlet Mall. I think we were all a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of stores for us to explore. We didn't visit them all - there just wasn't time. We found some fabulous bargains at Gymboree, Children's Place, Disney, Carters, and Bath and Body Works. I even found a really nice scrapbook store called Time To Remember with lots of Hershey related papers.
The children fell asleep almost the moment we got back into the van. So we didn't end up trying any exciting restaurants that night. We just returned to the hotel room and ordered a pizza, but it was a delicious one.