Everything You NEED TO KNOW about Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, PA

If you’re in eastern Pennsylvania, you’ve gotta visit “The Sweetest Place on Earth” and head to Hershey, PA. There are SO many great things to do, but an absolute must-do, if you’re looking for the full Hershey experience, is to visit Chocolate World. Found at the hub of the entertainment complex, and owned directly by The Hershey Company, Chocolate World is a neat place to pop in for experiences that are… sweet! (Forgive me.) Let me break down the details and answer the questions for you: What IS Hershey’s Chocolate World? Is it worth the visit for your family?

The brick exterior of Chocolate World in Hershsey, PA with plenty of oversized windows and colorful signs
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Everything You Need to Know Before You Go to Hershey’s Chocolate World

Note: All information in this post was correct and accurate to the best of my knowledge at time of publication and updated periodically (checked 1/27/24). I am not an employee or representative of Hershey's Chocolate World and information posted here does not supersede information available directly from The Hershey Company. All opinions are my own.

Where is Hershey’s Chocolate World located?

101 Chocolate World Way
Hershey, PA 17033

If you watch for signs as you drive, it’s hard to miss, but you’ll find Chocolate World directly next to Hershey Park. Look for the roller coasters. Then look for the brick building and parking area. Tah-dah! All attractions are directly off the highway and have a designated lot. Everything is well lit and feels very safe. When you’re on property, you’re in the “Hershey bubble,” which is separated from the rest of the township’s atmosphere (which is also very pleasant).

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How much does it cost?

You can enter Chocolate World for FREE! Everyone is welcome to head inside the building, snap photos, peruse the shop, and even enjoy the Chocolate Tour ride at no cost (ride photo and photo op shots available for purchase)! Depending on the time of year, there may even be some SEASONAL happenings you can experience without spending a dime.

If you’d like to expand on your sweet experience, you can also purchase tickets for the other attractions inside the building. These can be purchased individually or in discounted bundles, either on their TICKETING page online or at the ticket desk inside the building!

Here’s a quick look at pricing for some of the paid attractions (prices are accurate at time of publishing but may change any time):

Create Your Own Candy Bar: $29.95/per guest (children 2 and under free if not creating a bar)
HERSHEY’S Unwrapped- Reimagined: $18.95/per guest (children 2 and under are free)
Hershey Trolley Works: $22.95/per guest (children 2 and under are free)
Hershey’s Great Candy Expedition: $19.95/per guest (children 2 and under are free)

If you’re looking to experience all the attractions, you can purchase an attractions bundle and save up to $18/per guest, with the option to add on a meal deal and potentially save some money there, too!

And if you’re planning for a trip ahead of time, don’t forget to budget for souvenirs, candy, and food from the cafeteria and bakery area (yummmmmm)!

What’s the best age to visit?

Mom and toddler walking together
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Chocolate World is great for even the smallest explorers!

Chocolate World is open to ALL ages. I recommend checking out the details of individual attractions when deciding whether or not to bring little ones. You know your kids best!

(Here’s a personal example: I am a MEGA FAN of Hershey Trolley Works. My first son has been on the trolley ride multiple times from baby to preschool age and he loved it every time. He’s quiet and curious and entranced by people talking and watching out the windows.
My second son rode as a baby and napped his way through. He’s been a more energetic little guy than my first and way more hands-on as a toddler. I would be willing to take him on the holiday version with songs and a little more action, but will probably skip the traditional ride until he’s a bit older!)

Is Chocolate World open today?

Hershey’s Chocolate World is open year round! The best way to find out their hours on any given day is by checking the handy CALENDAR on their site!

Okay, what’s the parking situation?

An average outdoor lot is available next to the building and it’s an easy walk across the pavement to get inside. READ THE SIGNS to get into the correct lot. Once you turn in to the Hershey complex, pay attention to signs to get you to the right parking area! If you’re looking to just visit Chocolate World, you’ll keep generally to the left. Stop at the booths as you enter the lot to grab your parking pass and drive on in. (During the off season, booths are not always manned. Signs will be posted stating that parking is free on these occasions.)

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RV and bus parking are available, as well as designated spaces for guests with disabilities. Limited spaces are available for charging electric cars.

Concerned about cost? If you’re heading in for a quick visit, short term parking is FREE! Planning a little longer trip? Expect to pay $25 for all day parking during summer, holidays, and special events. If you’ve purchased their attraction bundle, parking is free. Overnight parking is not allowed.

Tip: Hershey’s Chocolate World is just outside Hersheypark. If you’re visiting the park, follow signs for the larger amusement parking area and you’ll pass Chocolate World on your walk over to the gates. You can also find other cheaper parking options available in garages if you’re planning to spend all day exploring the town and not just the attractions- but this will include quite a bit of a walk up to Hershey’s Chocolate World. If you’re planning a trip with a hotel stay, many of the area hotels offer free or low cost shuttles over to the park, zoo, and Chocolate World.

Let’s Head Inside!

What’s it like inside?

Child posing with Hershey's candy statues
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Fun photo op inside!

Chocolate World is essentially a giant visitor’s center and gift shop. The main part of the building is a large, high ceiling (think warehouse or… chocolate factory… style building) with an open layout. The paid attractions are in closed off areas around the edge of the building. You enter through a large welcome foyer area, where you can head off to the right to purchase attraction tickets and visit a dessert counter or continue ahead to do some shopping and eating.

It’s a busy location with people mulling around. There’s noise and music and some bright colors, but not anything that I found overwhelming, and my kids seem to do okay with it, too.

They are a CERTIFIED AUTISM CENTER and ready to help, should you need it. Any guests planning a trip with accessibility concerns can find full details of ATTRACTION REQUIREMENTS on their site. The building is otherwise fully accessible.

Strollers are not allowed inside the building attractions. Bring a carrier or some strong arms if you are visiting with a baby. Stroller parking is available just outside the building and is the only appropriate place to leave a stroller to enter any of the shows or rides. You may bring a stroller inside the building if you are just shopping and will not be participating in any of the attractions.

An ATM is available in the food hall and a first aid station is on site. They also provide free public Wi-Fi for guests.

Is it clean?

This is always a biggie for me with kids who touch EVERYTHING. Yes, Chocolate World passes the test! All areas are clean, everything is in good condition, eating areas are kept wiped down and sanitized. I’ve never run into anything that made me say “Ew.”

Are the staff friendly?

Yes! My experience has always been pleasant. Cashiers and food service employees have always been polite and helpful and attraction staff, in my experience, have always been fun and smiling.

For all your personal needs…

This might be a weird thing to say, but I’m a fan of the bathrooms. There are PLENTY of toilets and sinks available between the restrooms at the entrance and the restroom in the back near the cafeteria.

They’re generally clean (and taken care of quickly, if not), they’re spacious so you’re not going head to head with someone walking out as you walk in, and they have the best changing tables. The changing tables are like long shallow bowls (baby bowls, heh) at the end on top of the sink counters. There’s space to set down your bag, your kid can’t roll away as easily, and the height works. Ten points.

A family bathroom is also available along with the regular restroom stalls.

A lactation pod is available at the back of the food hall. You’ll need to talk to management or security or download the Mamava app to gain access.

Can you bring your own food to Hershey’s Chocolate World?

Outside food and drink are generally not welcome inside the building, but there are PLENTY of options inside (and places to enjoy a packed lunch outside)! The food hall area, located at the back of building, has multiple walk-up and order options, with tables available to sit and relax while you eat. Options are basic but tasty and change every so often. They keep a MENU on their site. You’ll usually find choices like pizza, salad, sandwiches, chicken, mac n cheese, pretzels- quick and easy foods that are kid-friendly, too!

Jumbo soft pretzel from Hershey's Chocolate World
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Tasty GIANT pretzel from a recent trip!

But wait. This is Hershey. There’s a bakery counter, a little ice cream and milkshake spot, and even a place to get a classic (or crazy) s’more!!! *drooooool* Oh, plus there’s candy, candy, and more candy for sale. Of course.

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Alcohol is available for purchase and consumption inside the food hall. Guests must be over 21 and have a valid ID to purchase.

What can you do at Hershey’s Chocolate World?

Shop, eat, and experience the sweet stuff in a myriad of interesting ways.

father and son on free Chocolate World tour
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Chocolate Tour ride!

My favorite attraction is the free Chocolate Tour. If I’m in Hershey, I’m riding the Chocolate Tour. It doesn’t matter that I could probably recite it word for word, it’s tradition. If you’re visiting from out of the area, it’s worth a go. It’s a short, calm ride in a giant kiss that walks you through the process of how the chocolate is made. The only downside is that the loading process includes a (very slowly) moving platform. Young children (or maybe just MY young children) are thrown off by it so I just pick them up and pop them in myself. Bonus: You get a mini piece of free chocolate at the end. Woo!

Woman and toddler Ride on Hershey's Trolley Works
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Riding on the trolley!

My favorite paid attraction also includes being given sweets! It’s the Trolley Works show! This is a ride on a real trolley around Hershey, PA. It’s relaxing and educational and heartwarming. Learn the story of Milton Hershey, his family, and his journey to success (after some serious failure). It’s enjoyable to get a look at the town, hear the history, and understand how The Hershey Company came to exist. During the Halloween and Christmas seasons, they offer adjusted “specialty” shows. I’ve done the winter Holly Jolly Trolley and we really enjoyed that one with my sons. It’s important to note that these trolley rides take about an hour from loading to unloading. Stop for a potty break before getting in line if you have kids (or a weak bladder lik me) and choose a time for your ticket that everyone is likely to be in good spirits. The classic trolley show may be a bit much for more energetic young children, but the holiday ones bump up the energy and fun factor.

Want even more fun? Check out the Create Your Own Candy Bar experience for a unique souvenir or purchase tickets for the Hershey’s Unwrapped show. HERSHEY’S Unwrapped is a theatrical performance that will “dazzle your taste buds, fill you with laughter and sweeten you with Hershey heartwarming moments” according to the Chocolate World website.

Are souvenirs available?

I’ll be honest. It’s basically a jumbo gift shop with fun activities inside. There are lots of goodies to take home, tons of them. Every candy made by the Hershey Company is available, along with cups, apparel, candles, toys, plushies, chap stick, home decor, pens, bags… Photo mementos and custom candy wrappers are also available for the true candy lover.

Pricing of items is more than fair, in my opinion. General souvenirs seemed to be priced at average retail and you can even get some good deals on the candy! (I got pumpkin pie kitkats for like $.50/bag once after the season was over. Bahaha.)

Notably nearby

Toddler at Hershey Park Zoo, ZooAmerica
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We love Hershey Zoo!

There’s tons to do and see in Hershey, PA! My favorite pairing is a visit to ZOOAMERICA topped off with a trip to Chocolate World. If you want something more action packed, stop at Chocolate World on your way in to HERSHEYPARK! Hershey history buff? THE HERSHEY STORY should be your next stop after your Trolley Works trolley ride!

I recommend HERSHEY LODGE or THE HOTEL HERSHEY for the full Hershey chocolate experience. Both provide luxury accommodations with entertainment offerings within the hotel and packages that include other Hershey, PA attractions. If you’re on a budget, though, there are plenty of other local hotels and motels available for booking! We stayed at TRU BY HILTON during our latest visit.

Is Hershey’s Chocolate World worth it?

Yes! We love spending time at Chocolate World when we’re in Hershey, PA! It’s a quick stop in an otherwise jampacked day of fun, an excellent addition to a relaxing day in the area, or its own full day attraction when you purchase tickets to experience all of the offerings!

Have you been? Did you enjoy it? How many sweets did you take home? (Don’t try to fool me. There’s no way you visited and didn’t stock up!) Find us on INSTAGRAM or TIKTOK and tell me all about it!

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