Friday, May 31, 2013

Hershey: Part 2

After a really fun afternoon in Hershey (check out this post) and a comfy night's sleep in our hotel, we were so excited to visit the park. 
We headed to the park at 10 (that's when it opened.) Even though Gia doesn't love to sit in her stroller much anymore, we brought it anyway. The walk from the car to the park is a bit long, so she sat. They have a tram but we missed it somehow.
The park is absolutely adorable. It looks like a little village straight out of a fairy tale. When you first walk up, there are a few shops selling chocolate and other cute souvenirs like Christmas decorations and t-shirts and stuff.   We saved those till the end of the day because we were just so excited to get started.
We paid our entrance fees (Gia was free bc she's still 2) and off we went. Like Disney, the park is divided into areas where there are clusters of rides and different food options. The map and rides are both clearly marked with information about who can ride that particular ride. Little kids (the 2-3 year old crowd who are under 36" tall) are called Mini Kisses. Kids who are a little bigger (36" to 42" tall) are called Kisses. So, you can either look at the map or look at the ride to see if your child is tall enough to ride that ride.
 The first area is called "Founder's Circle" and there's a huge carousel right in the middle. Gia took one look at it and decided she was in heaven. 
She rode the carousel and about 5 other rides just in that one small area. She was a huge fan of the Mini Himalaya and the helicopter ride.

Because it was a weekday and schools are not yet out, the lines were minimal. There were several schools on day trips there, but the kids were middle schoolers for the most part. They definitely didn't want anything to do with the kiddie rides, so many times if Gia wanted to ride again, she just didn't get off the ride and they let her go around again.

We spent the day moving from area to area, letting Gia pick what rides she wanted to ride on. Some of them she could go on alone and some required Daddy to accompany her. 
Below is a picture of the pirate ship ride. You know those pirate ships that swing back and forth and go really high? Well this was a mini version of it (I thought it was so cute that they have mini versions of so many "adult" rides.).  Gia was dying to go on it. The first half of the ride was glorious...
And then she got a little scared at the speed and height. But she hung in there like a trooper and was excited and proud of herself when she came off.
Easily her most favorite ride of the day was the mini log flume. She called it the boat ride and she was so happy to be "in" the water. 
 She & Jon rode it and there was a line, so she had to get off, which she was not happy about. Jon had to carry her off and down the ramp.  She was exhausted and we planned to put her in the stroller to nap for a little bit. She did NOT want to get in her stroller, even with the promise of a fruit pouch. With a little coaxing she got in and promptly said, "I wish this stroller was a boat".
She napped for a while and we woke her up and let her go on the mini log flume 2 more times. It was getting late and we were all tired and hungry, so we made our way out of the park, stopping for a few more rides as we left.
Not the greatest family picture ever, but we were all hot and tired...
We went to dinner in downtown Hershey and then headed back to NJ. Next time we go back (hopefully next year) we'd like to do the Boardwalk part of the park (the water rides) and ZooAmerica. We didn't have a chance to check those out as we only had time for 1 overnight. It was a short, but very very sweet trip.

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