After a week in Philadelphia and two days at Sesame Place, we made the last-minute decision to go to Hershey Park with our toddler. We had no idea how perfect Hershey Park is for toddlers. Check out our review/guide of Hershey Park for toddlers.
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It isn’t just a summer destination, there are fun things to do in Hershey, PA in the winter.
I drive my wife crazy when I make last-minute decisions, but I couldn’t help it. I just couldn’t pass up an adventure with our toddler.
Hershey Park is on our list of best theme parks for toddlers, so we had to check it out for ourselves since we were less than 2 hours away.
HERSHEY PARK TODDLER HEIGHT REQUIREMENTS
I love the way that Hershey Park set up the height requirement for toddlers. Before entering the park, you can stop to measure your little ones to know what rides are best for them.
There are different groups for kids, and since this post is about Hershey Park for toddlers, we’re going to focus on the average height for kids up to 5 years old.
Hershey Park Height Chart:
- Hershey’s Miniatures – 0-36″
- Hershey’s Kisses – 36″-42″
- Reese’s – 42-48″
The height key is at each ride, so you know which ones your toddler can ride without having to take a chance at the front of the line. Since our 2-year-old was so close, he was in the Hershey’s Kisses group.
HERSHEY PARK RIDES FOR TODDLERS
I was pleasantly surprised by how many rides there are for toddlers at Hershey Park. Honestly, there were more rides at Hershey Park for toddlers than at Sesame Place.
Here are the rides for toddlers, which for this post includes Hershey’s Miniatures, Hershey’s Kisses, and Reese’s.
- Balloon Flite
- Dizzy Drums
- Frog Hopper
- Granny Bugs
- Lively Stables
- Mini Pirate
- Mini Scrambler
- Minty Bees
- Misfit Bug
- Pony Parade
- Red Baron
- Space Age
- Sweet Swing
- Swing Thing
- Tiny Tracks
- Traffic Jam
You saw that right. There are nearly 20 rides for toddlers at Hershey Park. That’s more than most theme parks dedicated to toddlers.
Some of the rides require an adult companion, while others require your little one to ride by themselves. For example, our little guy had to get on the balloon flight alone.
We thought he’d be scared, but he hopped in the seat and buckled up, ready for the ride. It was the first time he got on a ride by himself, and after that, he was on a roll riding several rides alone.
HERSHEY PARK FAMILY RIDES
Along with having so many rides just for toddlers, there are several family rides at Hershey Park for toddlers. They are a little faster, but with an adult companion, they aren’t too scary.
Here are a few family rides that parents can enjoy with their toddlers or preschoolers.
Note: Unless otherwise listed, kids of all heights can enjoy these rides.
- Cocoa Cruiser – Hershey’s Kisses and above
- Dry Gulch Railroad
- Ferris Wheel
- Frontier Flyers – Hershey’s Kisses and above
- Kissing Tower
- Music Express – Reese’s and above
- Pirate – Reese’s and above
- Reese’s Cupfusion – Hershey’s Kisses and above
- Starship America
- Tea Cups – Hershey’s Kisses and above
- The Howler – Reese’s and above
- Twin Turnpike (Classic)
- Twin Turnpike (Speedway)
- Whip – Reese’s and above
I was blown away by how many rides there are for families to enjoy, which made Hershey Park one of our favorite theme parks for toddlers.
Honestly, there is more to here for toddlers than at Disney World, plus there is tons of chocolate!!
You can easily spend two days at Hershey Park with a toddler, so I recommend spending at least three days in Hershey, PA.
We were there in mid-May and the weather was perfect, plus the wait times were minimal. I don’t remember waiting more than 15 minutes for a ride the entire day.
Admission to Zoo America is included in the price to Hershey Park. This zoo isn’t big, but it’s small enough to walk through, especially if your little one is napping. It’s quiet, so you can hang out here while your toddler sleeps.
Don’t get your hopes up, this zoo isn’t as extravagant as San Diego Zoo or Safari Park, but it’s nice to see some animals and take a break from the hectic park.
EATING AT HERSHEY PARK WITH TODDLERS
There are plenty of dining options at Hershey Park, but I recommend bringing some snacks throughout the day. We always have our toddler’s favorite travel snacks, so we don’t have to battle hangry tantrums.
We only bought a few things, but we did take the opportunity to splurge at Chocolatier, and it was well worth it. Here is a review of the new Chocolatier restaurant, plus a list of toddler-friendly places to eat at Hershey Park.
By the time we decided to have lunch, we were starving, but I wanted to try the new Chocolatier restaurant at Hershey Park. The wait the brutal. When we got on the list, the wait time was an hour, but that worked for us because our toddler was napping.
After waiting an hour, I’m sure due to the pandemic restrictions and staffing shortages, we sat down for lunch. I ordered the Cuban sandwich and my wife the flatbread pizza.
I love my sandwich, especially the sweet onions. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy my fries because I saved them for our napping 2-year-old.
I did take advantage of my upcoming birthday (2 weeks after our trip) and ordered the strawberry milkshake and it did not disappoint.
Since I’m not a chocolate lover, strawberry is always my choice and the candy included made the milkshake phenomenal.
There are a lot of places to eat inside Hershey Park. At last count, there are over 20 dining options, not including the snack and beverage carts, so there is no shortage of food. Even for the pickiest toddler, I’m sure you can find something they will enjoy.
Here are the top places to eat with toddlers at Hershey Park:
- 1906 Grill
- Berks Smokehouse Express
- Chick-fil-A (a favorite for our toddler)
- Dispatch Pizzeria
- East Coast Burger Works
- Moe’s Southwest Grill
These are some great options to have food while at Hershey Park with toddlers or preschoolers, but there are a lot of food trucks and snack options throughout the park.
HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD
You have to stop at Hershey’s Chocolate World before leaving Hershey Park. Although I’m not a fan of chocolate, our son LOVES chocolate, thanks to our visit to M&M world in Las Vegas when he was 18 months old.
There is so much to do here, including a free Hershey’s Chocolate Tour to learn how Hershey makes their iconic milk chocolate from the freshest cocoa beans. There are other activities at Hershey Chocolate World, including:
- Hershey’s Unwrapped – A fun interactive show that gives you an inside look at the journey of how chocolate is made, plus tasty treats along the way. The show is 30 minutes, so your little one should be entertained enough to hang out and enjoy the show, plus kids 2 and under are free.
- Create your own candy bar – Ever wanted to create your own candy bar, well you can do it here. You or your little ones can choose your ingredients, design your wrapper, and have a blast doing so. This activity takes 45 minutes, so if you have an impatient toddler, I recommend skipping this one.
- 4-D chocolate movie – This fun show has thrilling animation and fun special effects to make it the perfect activity before heading home after a fun-filled day at Hershey Park. The show is 30 minutes long, so have a seat and take a break.
- Hershey Trolley – Learn more about the iconic creator and founder of Hershey, Milton Hershey on this fun family-friendly trolley ride throughout Hershey, PA. Learn about his life and eat a few samples along the way. This tour is 75 minutes long, so you may want to bring a tablet or travel toy to keep your toddler entertained.
We decided to opt out of the extras because our 2-year-old doesn’t have enough patience to stay still that long, plus it was towards the end of the day and our road trip was coming to an end the next day.
He had a blast eating as much chocolate as his little stomach can handle, and I enjoyed the candy. I’m not a chocolate lover, but I do enjoy candy, so you are literally a kid in the candy store.
IS HERSHEY PARK WORTH IT?
YES!!!! We loved our time at Hershey Park with our toddler. He was just the right size for all the rides at 2.5 years old.
There were a few rides where he was barely below the line, and the operators let him ride. He did a great job waiting in line and on the rides.
Hershey Park was the first time he got on a ride by himself, and he hopped on without a second thought.
At last count, there are nearly 20 rides for toddlers, so there is so much to do with your little one.
The best part is the lines are manageable. We didn’t wait more than 10 minutes to get on a kiddie ride, so if you have little ones between 2-4 years old, they’d love Hershey Park.
Another plus is the larger rides. Families with teenagers that love roller coasters, can go off and enjoy the bigger rides while you stay and ride with the little ones. Hershey Park is a win/win for every family.