Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Hersheypark in the Dark 2020: A Guide to Halloween
- What is Hersheypark In The Dark?
- What are Hersheypark’s Operating Hours for Halloween?
- 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?
- 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?
- New Hersheypark in the Dark Additions for 2020: Hershey’s Chocolatetown
- Does Hershey’s Chocolate World Offer Any Halloween Overlays?
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.
Updated October 2020
Hersheypark in the Dark 2020: A Guide to Halloween
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!
Hersheypark is a 121-acre theme park located about 15 miles east of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The outdoor space was originally created years ago by Milton Hershey as a recreation area for chocolate factory employees. Over the years it was reimagined into an amusement park complete with a zoo and waterpark.
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.
SheBuysTravel 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 Halloween?
2020 Hersheypark In The Dark Halloween schedule:
- Friday, October 16: 5-9 p.m.
- Saturday, October 17: 2 p.m.- 9 p.m.
- Sunday, October 18: 2 p.m.- 9 p.m.
- Friday, October 23: 5-10 p.m.
- Saturday, October 24: 2 p.m.- 9 p.m.
- Sunday, October 25: 2 p.m.- 9 p.m.
- Friday, October 30: 5-9 p.m.
- Saturday, October 31: 2 p.m.- 9 p.m.
- Sunday, October 1: 2 p.m.- 9 p.m.
SheBuysTravel tip: ZooAmerica is open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on all of these dates. If you want to make a day of it check out the Zoo first.
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! This year it is included with admission.
Pumpkin Glow at Hershey Gardens will be running in daylight in 2020 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. October 24, 25, 31st and November 1st. Carved pumpkins and painted pumpkins will be on display and pre-filled Halloween treat bags will be handed out. My boys loved checking out the different Jack-O-lanterns and collecting more candy!
SheBuysTravel 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. Bring your flashlights and have fun learning about the nighttime habits of the nocturnal animals at ZooAmerica! Creatures of the Night begins in the zoo at 6 pm and is free when you enter the zoo from Hersheypark.
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.
Hersheypark Costume Rules
- All guests 2+ are required to wear face coverings. Costume masks do not count as a face covering and may not be worn.
- No revealing or offensive clothing.
- No weapons or anything that resembles or could be confused as a weapon.
- Dragging costumes that may constitute a trip hazard are not allowed.
- Adults cannot wear face paint.
- Adults can wear costumes.
SheBuysTravel 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.
(For 2020, concerts are conducted drive-in style to support social distancing.)
How Long Does it Take to Trick-Or-Treat through Hersheypark?
This year, Hersheypark In The Dark’s Treatville will have 13 stations along the Boardwalk at Hersheypark and Hersheypark’s Chocolate World Attraction. If your family is more interested in the treats versus the rides, I would start early. What other chance are you going to have to collect candy from people-sized candy bars?!
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!
SheBuysTravel 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 2020 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.
Definitely plan to check out the fall-themed desserts and treats like the pumpkin king-size shakes (garnished with pumpkin roll cake), pumpkin pie funnel cake sundae, hard apple cider sloshie and variety of s’mores. Check out the full list of available food on the Hersheypark website.
SheBuysTravel 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. In 2020, Laff Trakk, Lightning Racer, Wildcat, and Comet will have special “lights out” features.
SheBuysTravel 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.
New Hersheypark in the Dark Additions for 2020: Hershey’s Chocolatetown
With the opening of Chocolatetown, an all-new region of the park, additional rides will be open for the first time in the fall. The new rides and attractions in this area include the World’s Sweetest Coaster Candymonium, the Kisses Fountain, and the 101-year-old Carrousel in a new location. In addition, this new area features a Starbucks and a virtual reality experience.
In 2021, additional Chocolatetown features will be opening including Sweeterie confectionery kitchen, ice cream parlor, and a full-service restaurant.
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 wander around Chocolate World. The last time we stopped in, we saw Hershey’s Kisses by the 4D Chocolate Movie entrance.
SheBuysTravel tip: If it’s your first time to Hershey’s Chocolate World, don’t skip the free ride! The Hershey story and how Hershey’s candy is made are covered.
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! Can’t make it for Halloween? Look into Hersheypark’s Christmas Candylane event which will begin on November 13th.
SheBuysTravel 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.
Buy your Hersheypark tickets online for the best price. A one-day admission to Hersheypark In The Dark ticket, costs $44.95 plus tax for ages 9 to 61 and $36.95 for ages 3 to 8 and ages 62 and older.