Do you have any places you visited as a child that were lasting memories for you even though they weren’t life changing destinations? I think most of us have one or two from our childhood. Hersheypark is one of those for me.
It’s not Disney World or Disneyland. But, it’s special in its own way. Our family has held season passes the last few years. A short 2 hour drive from our house, I think we take for granted the enjoyment our kids get from the experience. Every year includes a handful of Hersheypark trips.
We hit their seasonal Christmas Candylane celebration right after Thanksgiving. I haven’t covered Hersheypark in great deal, so I thought it might be worth a quick look at the value of a ticket to Christmas Candylane. We also took a swing through Sweet Lights which I’ll touch on briefly.
Hersheypark Christmas Candylane
Tickets for the seasonal festivals are generally about $20 a pop. According to the Hersheypark website a one-day ticket will set you back $24. I’ve seen these as cheap as $15 in the past. They’ll sometimes package them with other special events. I think they’ve also thrown them as a bonus with new annual pass purchases at times.
The park is decorated with Christmas themes (shocker) and most of the attractions are operational. There were a few roller coasters shut down during our recent trip. Part of that is probably due to demand/repairs.
In at least one instance, it was due to a special guest.
The park tends to be less crowded on these special days. It’s where I think a family can get a lot of value out of a $24 ticket. That’s about half what you would spend to come to Hersheypark in the summer. You won’t get the waterpark. But, you’ll get shorter lines at pretty much everything. Even Laff Trak, an indoor roller coaster brand new last year, saw lines of 30 minutes or less. Those lines are normally around an hour.
The weather will dictate a lot of your activities. Along with the standard rides, the park does a good job including extras. Simple things like hot chocolate stands are obvious. However, they also have “ice skating” on a large vinyl surface, cookie decorating and a chance to visit Santa. Heck, you can even spend time with his reindeer.
Is A Hersheypark Christmas Candylane Ticket Worth It?
Absolutely. The rides are all a bit more fun with the holiday decorations. After night fall, walking through the park is especially festive. For the most part, you’ll avoid the crowds and make some great family memories. For the price of a movie ticket and popcorn, you can have a pretty enjoyable day.
What Is Hershey Sweet Lights? Is It Worth It?
Hershey Sweet Lights is a drivable holiday light show. There are literally hundreds of lighted displays throughout the drive. Think 12 days of Christmas, hiding Rudolphs, Menorahs, Jack In the Beanstalk and much more. Hershey has their own radio station set up for Sweet Lights. The lights are synced to the music (or vice versa?) and make for an enjoyable show.
On a weeknight, you can probably buzz through in less than 20 minutes. On weekends, I’d budget an hour given the popularity. Though they sell tickets on their website ahead of time, there’s no reason to book early IMO. During the week, a car of up to 8 people will set you back $20. Weekends are $27. It feels a bit pricey. We enjoy it every year, so when I break down the costs amongst a family of 4 it seems worth it.
The Final Two Pennies
Both Christmas Candylane and Sweet Lights are Hersheypark staples for our family. Our kids don’t ask if we’re going each year. They ask when we’re going. At a time when a one-day ticket to Disney World will set you back over $100, this is an affordable day of family fun.
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