Hershey Park Holiday Event , Info Please

Suddenly it seems that we have a reason to visit the area where Hershey Park is, b/c I found out the people I’m thinking of visiting after Christmas actually live much closer than I realized. We went to HP once in a very hot summer for a few days. My kids LOVED it and have asked to go back more than for Orlando. Can anyone shed some light on what it’s like in those days between Christmas and New Year? DH is still recovering from a major foot surgery so can walk but not that well. I wonder how he’ll fare in an unfamiliar park and with possibly crowds. But I did find a crowd calendar that said it’s not that bad on those dates. I worry about it being too cold and them closing down rides b/c of it. I read that if it gets too cold most of the rides close. We would just have to forewarn the kids. We’ve been mourning the Six Flags Christmas event at our local SF that just got canceled with out notice so this would be a great substitute though. I’m sure it is much fancier than our local SF, the DC one. Thanks for any info. If we did this it would probably just be for one day.

I can’t speak to the crowds- I haven’t been during that week. I will say it can be cold. If you’re standing in line the cold can seep in because you aren’t moving and then when you’re on the ride, that air moving past you can feel pretty darn cold. The later opening time (usually 2pm) means less sun/warmth but it’s really about the lights! Also, double check what rides they plan to have open ( Rides | Hersheypark) . Lots of kiddie rides, not many coasters. Depending on what’s important it may or may not work for you (my DD could do Laff Trak & Candymonium all day so she’s set).

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Last time we went then, we were very disappointed that all the outdoor coasters were not running. Mainly because they fail to talk about it, or warn you. And it wasn’t even terrible cold that day, I forget what the threshold temp is for that. But, thrill is more important to us than some people.

Also, considering DH’s foot, don’t forget that there are a good number of hills in the park. Definitely not flat like FL.

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The coasters will close if it is too cold.

Hershey park is very easy to navigate. It is hilly at the park so keep that in mind. The lights are beautiful.

I would definitely visit between Christmas and New Year. If you can, go on a weekday.

How old are your children?

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Thanks for the call out!

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I do wish that they would work on their communication better!

Their app is not the best! I use it when I am there… most days it is accurate but not all days!

If you have any other questions, make sure to tag me. I am a season pass holder at Hersheypark!

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this is down for some unscheduled maintenance…not sure how long it is going to be closed.

keep in mind “plan”…this can change

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Thanks everyone! My kids are 16, 14, and 11 at that point. We went to HP once about 6 yrs ago but it was summer so very different. The older 2 kids would be intently focused on the coasters which of course might not be open. Would have to taper expectations there. But since it’s been so long since we’ve been there most things would seem fresh and new regardless.

Let me know if I can answer any other questions. You can also go to Chocolate World.

My grandkids are little so we are mostly taking in the kiddie rides.

Hopefully, if you go, the weather is decent and things will be open.

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We were season passholders for 2 years before Covid. We stopped our season passes for several reasons, one of which is that HP has been short handed. They switch which rides are open and closed throughout the day and say that all the rides have been open at some point. Most of the coasters cannot run in the cold, so they are typically closed. Laff Track and Candimonium are the only ones that will stay open and their lines will be crazy long. The week after Christmas is busy, as kids are off from school.

I love Hershey at Christmas, but we won’t go at this point. The last time we went, in 2020, it was less crowded due to Covid restrictions and the ticket prices were reasonable. But they now charge the same price for tickets throughout the entire year (sometimes having discounts with online fees tacked on), and at Christmas only maybe half the park is open.

Sorry to be a downer, but most locals have gotten very frustrated with HP. They don’t pay their staff that well (hence the shortages) and they seem to have forgotten that they are a regional park that needs its locals to stay afloat in times of downturns. A lot of people around here have started going to Knoebles.

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Thanks for your input. My memory of going there is from around 2016. Has it changed a lot since then? It seems like you’re saying yes. Is the week after Christmas so busy that you can’t move around or do anything, like it would be at WDW, or is it more manageable?

It’s not packed like WDW in terms of moving around the park. During the week is not as bad as the weekends. But the food lines and the lines for the thrill rides can be quite long. There just aren’t enough staff for what they have in the park.

We had our season passes in 2018 and 2019. We saw a difference in the park just between those 2 years.

In 2016, Hersheypark Christmas Candylane was $19 per person at regular price. (I had to look it up.). There were coasters open in non cold weather that year. You can see how much it has gone up in 6 years.

Also check out Hershey Gardens across the street. They’re lovely and a nice change of pace.

We’re waiting for the people we’re potentially visiting to give us the green light b/c they’ve had some health issues and aren’t sure they’re up for company, but I’ll know in about a week. I went ahead and spilled the beans to the kids b/c one of them started asking if we could go to Kings Dominion or Busch Gardens over Xmas break, and it just didn’t make sense then not to tell him of the possible HP plans. He’s the big coaster fan and was ok with the idea that we might just get to see lights and not actually do many coasters. Despite the drawbacks I think we probably would go to HP for one day while in the area. But it’s good to know that it’s short staffed and have a realistic idea of what to expect. Honestly it won’t be that different from our Six Flags b/c they’ve been noticeably short staffed since coming back from the pandemic. The number of monsters at Fright Fest was just sad.

Well now I don’t know what to do. We’re definitely visiting the relatives for a few days, and I’ve promised HP to the kids, but the weather is going to be atrociously cold. Highs for the potential days are 37 and 42 (actually that’s better than what I’ve been seeing, which said all days were highs in the 30s…). Kids have a realistic idea of what coasters might be open and know they might be closed. I just don’t know if I want to venture out and do this. We’ve gotten pretty used to unseasonably warm winter weather in Dec these past few years and this seems incredibly cold to me. DH still has to walk with a cane b/c of his foot surgery last Aug, although he gets around ok. I could see going for a few hrs and seeing the reindeer and riding on the train to see the lights, but not doing much else. Not sure if that is worth the $$$. But, I’d also hate to go all the way to this area and not do HP, given that we’ve only been once, and that was 3 days in unbearable summer heat in 2016. It would be really nice to see all the lights that are little hershey kisses. I hate cold though. I suffered through a lot of evenings at the Six Flags holiday in the park, but in recent years with it being warmer we managed to find days when it was pleasant. I’d like to give this to my kids who are upset that HITP is now cancelled at our SF for this year and next, probably forever.

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Are you staying over? Hershey Lodge has small indoor water park if you stay there. It includes tickets to the gardens and the Hershey story and of course you can still go to Chocolate World.

Was going to say the same thing! My kids are younger, but we’ve made several trips where we just go to the hotel so kids can swim and do water slides in winter….

We’re going over MLK as our winter getaway. We don’t want fly and it’s less than a 2 hour drive for us.

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We were too late to get rooms with the right kind of beds for our family size. We’ll be staying at a far more economical hotel closer to our relatives, but i made sure we have an indoor pool. We’re ok with not having a hershey hotel this time.