Monday, June 7, 2010

Hershey's Exciting Addition

Yea, I know, this is a Disney blog mainly, but I am a vacationer and I frequent Hersheypark because of how close it is to my house, so I figured I would share a cool experience I had with you all. Don't worry, I will get back to the Disney stuff after this, especially with the Disney trip coming on Friday!!

This past weekend I went to visit Hersheypark with my family for my younger sister Emily's 17th Birthday. We all had gotten season passes to the park, making it easier to go more often than we usually do, but this birthday visit is something that my family and I have done for years. We had gone earlier in the week with our passes and saw that a new interactive experience had opened in Chocolate World, right next to Hersheypark. This Interactive experience is called "Create Your Own Candy Bar" and, as the name might slightly hint to, the point of the experience is to create your own, one of a kind candy bar! My sister and I had been eyeing it all weekend and so, on Sunday morning, my mother was kind enough to take the time out of going to the park to do the experience.

The price for the experience is $14.95, which I know sounds like a lot, but once you see everything there is to do and you get to the finished product, you realize that the price is not as bad as it seems.

Note that I am not sure of the age restrictions for this. From what I saw, parents are not able to go in with their children unless you pay for yourself to go, but the children I saw doing this were 8 and 9 years old. I am not sure what the rules are if you have a younger child doing the experience or if a young child is able to. While parents may not be able to go in with their children, they are able to watch their child go through most of the process via outdoor windows looking into the factory.

After you get your personalized ticket with your name, you walk to the entrance of the factory, which has been built right next to the Bake Shoppe and underneath where the Kit Kat Cafe used to be. Once there, you show the factory worker your tickets and they give you hairnets to put on and for the gentlemen, beard nets if necessary. When you go inside, there are lockers to put your bags and jewelry in, but you are allowed to take cameras with you inside the factory. After putting your things away, get your apron, sanitize your hands, and you are taken to a room where you will watch a brief video on what you are about to do.

Once the video is over, you are taken to a room with touch screen computers. In this room, you are able to pick your chocolate to use and your ingredients. You walk up to a screen and scan your ticket so that your information will save. The chocolate choices are milk, dark and white, though when we were there, they only had milk chocolate. They had just opened this week so not everything was there. They say they hope to have the dark and white chocolate as choices later on in the summer months.

For the inside of your bar, you have 6 choices of what to put in and you can only choose 3. The options available when we were there were rice crispies, chocolate cookie bits, vanilla chips, blueberries, graham cracker pieces and rainbow sprinkles. We were told these choices will probably be around for a while and for your nut lovers out there, do not expect to see peanuts or almonds added to the choices of ingredients any time soon due to allergies.

After you make your choices for your candy bar, the next room is the large factory room. You scan your ticket once again and the chocolate shell is placed on a conveyor belt, into which the ingredients you selected are dropped into. With your ingredients in place, the shell of the bar is moved into this, what I will call a chocolate waterfall, causing chocolate to pour over the entire candy bar and fill it in. The bar is then put on a shaking belt that evens out all of the chocolate and ingredients and then it is moved into a cooler, a slow moving belt, where your candy bar will be for about 10 minutes to harden.

While you are waiting for your candy bar to cool, you are taken to another room with touch screens where you can create your own wrapper for your candy bar! There are templates that you can choose from or you can create your own using different colored backgrounds and pictures supplied.

When your candy bar is done being cooled, you are able to watch it slide into the container area, where it will be put in a small box that is personalized with your name and then it is slid down to where a worker is waiting with a nice metal tin to put the box in and your wrapper design is put around that.

Once you receive your candy bar, you can take your hairnet and apron off, get your belongings out of your locker and off you go to enjoy the rest of the day in Hershey!

I found this experience to be a lot of fun and educational about how chocolate is made. It is fun for all ages, as I said before I am not sure how young the age limit is, if there is one, but definitely from about 7 and up are able to do this and enjoy it. In the group with my sister and I, we had a woman and her older mother, proving it really is for any age! When you go to Hershey, I would highly recommend this Create Your Own Candy Bar experience!

To see a virtual tour of the factory, click here.

To see the main page for Create Your Own Candy Bar, click here.

To see everything that Chocolate World has to offer, click here.

To see other websites related to the Hershey area, along with pictures and a trip report from there, visit Chris' and my vacation site,

1 comment:

  1. I also love to visit Hershey; and at the risk of giving away my true age (hint: I attended the last NY Worlds Fair... as a teenager), I remember taking a tour of the Hershey factory when we actually went through the factory and not the ride that is is today. That was one of the most memorable times of my life and even now when I have a chocolate bar, it returns me to that time on that Hershey trip long ago with my parents. Thanks for the memories.