Table of Contents[Hide][Click to Show]
- Hersheypark in the Dark 2019: A Guide to Halloween at Hersheypark
- What is Hersheypark In The Dark?
- What are Hersheypark’s Operating Hours for the Fall Season?
- Is Hersheypark in the Dark OK for Little Ones?
- What is Special at Hershey Gardens During Halloween?
- Is ZooAmerica Open During Hersheypark In the Dark?
- Can Anyone Wear Costumes to Hersheypark?
- What is the Special Halloween Entertainment?
- How Long Does it Take to Trick-Or-Treat through Hersheypark?
- What Are the Dining Options During Hersheypark In The Dark?
- Are All of Hershey’s Roller Coasters Open During the Fall Season?
- Does Hershey’s Chocolate World Offer Any Halloween Overlays?
- Is the Expansion of Hersheypark Going to Affect Hersheypark In The Dark?
Are you ready to wear your Halloween costume into the Sweetest Place on Earth? Are you wondering if Halloween at Hersheypark is safe for little ones? Or are you just trying to find out if the Laff Trakk Coaster really runs in the dark? Find out answers to these questions and more as we share everything you need to know about Hersheypark In The Dark.
Hersheypark in the Dark 2019: A Guide to Halloween at Hersheypark
My kids love everything about Halloween: the costumes, the movies and of course, the candy! For me, I love when I find opportunities to get more than one use out of those Halloween costumes and extend the season beyond just one day. So every year when Hersheypark transforms into Hersheypark In The Dark, my family is ready!
What is Hersheypark In The Dark?
Hersheypark In the Dark is a three weekend event where Hersheypark opens for the fall season, offering about 50 attractions (including some infamous wooden roller coasters), pumpkin flavored treats, Halloween merchandise, special live entertainment and of course… Hershey’s trick-or-treat stations throughout the park! The 2019 admission fee for this seasonal event is $41.95 per adult and $31.95 for a child or senior. Kids age 2 and under are free.
This year, Halloween in Hershey begins Friday, October 18, and offers lots of Halloween fun. Read on to find out all you need to know before hitting the trick-or-treat trail in the Sweetest Place on Earth.
TravelingMom tip: The one price admission includes all open rides and the trick-or-treat adventure, but not parking, which is $10 per car during the fall season.
What are Hersheypark’s Operating Hours for the Fall Season?
2019 Hersheypark In The DarkHalloween schedule:
- Friday, October 18: 5-10 p.m.
- Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m.- 10 p.m.
- Sunday, October 20: 12 noon- 9 p.m.
- Friday, October 25: 5-10 p.m.
- Saturday, October 26: 10 a.m.- 10 p.m.
- Sunday, October 27: 12 noon- 9 p.m.
- Friday, November 1: 5-10 p.m.
- Saturday, November 2: 10 a.m.- 10 p.m.
- Sunday, November 3: 12 noon – 9 p.m.
TravelingMom tip: Saturdays seem to be the busiest. If your schedule allows, choose to visit for “Full Moon Fridays” or Sunday, you might be rewarded with lower crowds.
Is Hersheypark in the Dark OK for Little Ones?
Yes! Hersheypark In the Dark is lots of Halloween fun, but not scary for little ones.
We started taking my boys when my eldest was only 2. He was excited to see the characters in costume and loved trick-or-treating. Hersheypark In The Dark is designed for families and kids of all ages without horror elements or haunted themes.
Another one of my favorite Hershey activities with the preschool set is a visit to Hershey Gardens.
What is Special at Hershey Gardens During Halloween?
Hershey Gardens is a hop, skip and a jump from The Hotel Hershey and offers the seasonal program, Pumpkin Glow!
Pumpkin Glow at Hershey Gardens runs from 6-8:30 p.m. during the first two weekends of Hersheypark In The Dark and is a separate admission price. Carved pumpkins light up the already picturesque gardens and kids can trick-or-treat through eight stations on the garden paths. My boys loved checking out the different Jack-O-lanterns and collecting more candy!
TravelingMom tip: Hersheypark and Hershey Gardens are not a walkable distance from each other. If you are planning both, consider multiple days in Hershey to maximize your time in the park and also get the most bang for your buck!
Is ZooAmerica Open During Hersheypark In the Dark?
One thing we love about Hersheypark is that admission includes Zoo America, a North American wildlife park featuring wolves, bears and my kids favorite, eagles! We loved this zoo so much when my kids were younger because it’s not an overwhelming size and so walkable.
During Hersheypark In the Dark, Zoo America extends its normal operating hours and offers a program called Creatures of the Night. Creatures of the Night includes a few trick-or-treat stops and a Halloween craft station. The Creatures of the Night experience also includes a special nocturnal animals program.
TravelingMom tip: Bring a small flashlight to see some of the animals at ZooAmerica. If your kids are interested in touching one of the reptiles, make sure to check the times this is offered!
Bonus TravelingMom tip: If you’re interested in visiting ZooAmerica without Hersheypark, there is a separate off-street entrance and admission price.
Can Anyone Wear Costumes to Hersheypark?
My kids have worn their costumes each year. From our perspective, most kids in attendance have come in costume. Treatville trick-or-treat is listed as being for children 12 years and under. Additionally, adults are not allowed to conceal or paint their faces or wear masks of any kind and are expected to dress modestly.
TravelingMom tip: October weather in Hershey, Pennsylvania can vary wildly. Bring warm clothes, just in case. Some years, my kids have been hot wearing just their costumes and other years we have worn clothes underneath, taken jackets to wear over and still been cold. Check the forecast before you head into the park!
What is the Special Halloween Entertainment?
At one of the stages, Hersheypark welcomes the band, the “Screaming Mummies” playing throwback Halloween tunes that my boys love. The Hershey’s characters will also be wandering around sporting their costumes and ready to dance!
The live entertainment during this event really sets the Halloween mood. Last year, my kids stopped and listened every chance they got.
How Long Does it Take to Trick-Or-Treat through Hersheypark?
This year, Hersheypark In The Dark’s Treatville will be comprised of 13 stations (including inside Zoo America and Hershey’s Chocolate World). We never seem to hit all of the candy locations since they are spread out, but the time can vary greatly depending on the crowds. If your family is more interested in the treats versus the rides, I would start early.
We also noticed last year that the standard at each treat stop was one or two pieces of candy per person. I think this is important to know when managing expectations for kids. The downside of this is that we left with only a few pieces of candy, but the upside was that we had plenty of room in our bellies for the pumpkin funnel cake!
TravelingMom tip: Bring your own treat bag. While Hersheypark does provide free treat bags, if your child is like mine and has a tendency to put things down, it’s much easier to spot your own unique treat bag than one that looks like everyone else’s.
What Are the Dining Options During Hersheypark In The Dark?
For the 2019 Halloween season, a few Hersheypark restaurants will be open throughout the park, some specific to Hershey and some satellite chains like Chik-Fil-A that are recognizable to most guests. We are really looking forward to Halloween 2020, when construction should be completed that will expand the food offerings at Hersheypark!
My favorite dining options for fall are the themed desserts and treats like the pumpkin king-size shakes and variety of s’mores.
TravelingMom tip: If you love fresh cooked kettle corn, the line at the front of the park is always long at the end of the night. If the line is short when you arrive, grab your snack early so you’re not waiting with tired kids at 10 p.m.
Are All of Hershey’s Roller Coasters Open During the Fall Season?
The official word from Hersheypark is that 50 attractions will be open for guests. Every year that we have gone, the headlining roller coasters have been open and popular rides like Laff Trakk and Lightning Racer have special “lights out” features.
TravelingMom tip: Hersheypark says certain rides will be running “weather permitting” so take that into consideration. We have not had any issues over the last seven years, but check the weather before you go if your goals is to hit all of the roller coasters.
Does Hershey’s Chocolate World Offer Any Halloween Overlays?
Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction sits right beside the entrance to Hersheypark. While it technically is a separate entity, I always think of it as an extension of the park.
During Halloween, Hershey’s Chocolate World offers a few trick-or-treat stations inside as well as Halloween specific merchandise available for purchase. There are also some fun Halloween theme photo opportunities and limited edition fall-themed food like pumpkin candies and baked goods. I can personally recommend the pumpkin scone. So delicious!
Hershey’s characters can also sometimes be found wandering around Chocolate World. The last time we stopped in, we saw Hershey’s Kisses by the 4D Chocolate Movie entrance.
TravelingMom tip: If it’s your first time to Hershey’s Chocolate World, don’t skip the free ride! It’s great for all ages and highlights how Hershey’s candy is made.
Is the Expansion of Hersheypark Going to Affect Hersheypark In The Dark?
The quick answer is no. The entrance to Hersheypark was moved earlier in the summer but this was done with very little disruption to any rides, although the walk in is considerably longer.
Hersheypark has changed quite a lot in the last year and if you’re visiting Hersheypark In The Dark, you will find lots of construction walls and posters advertising upcoming changes and additions. Nothing will be complete until summer 2020, but it’s still fun to see what’s next in the evolution of Hersheypark!
Hersheypark In The Dark is one of our family’s favorite events of the year. The cooler temperatures at Hersheypark coupled with my love of pumpkin-flavored treats and the ability to wear costumes makes this a must-do each year. For us, this amusement park is at its best in the fall!
TravelingMom tip: If you are traveling from out of town and looking for a weekend getaway, both The Hotel Hershey and the Hershey Lodge, the official resorts of Hersheypark, offer special Hersheypark In The Dark packages that include a character breakfast and complimentary transportation to and from Hersheypark.
To read more about another TravelingMom’s overnight stays in Hershey, check out: