Everything You Need to Know.
Today was a scorcher. I’m sure that somewhere I saw a forecast that said 83 degrees, but I realized part way through the morning that I must have been looking at the low. We packed up our Twizzlers van and headed into Hersheypark nevertheless, armed with water bottles and sunscreen. The goal for the day was to hit all of the must-do rides by early afternoon so that we could retreat to the air-conditioning of Chocolate World as soon as possible. Noah was not having it. Somewhere between being conned into riding the flume (for which I got punched very hard in the leg as soon as we reached the bottom of the plummet) and losing completely on the goblet toss, Noah decided that he is not really a fan of Hersheypark. Emma, however, was loving every second from having to tell me when the Flying Falcons were beginning their descent (I’m afraid of heights)…
…to riding The Claw to finally going on The Comet, the very first real roller coaster I ever went on some twenty odd years ago. She is fearless when it comes to amusement parks and would have braved the incredible heat all day had it not been for the foreboding stares coming from the men in our lives.
On to cooler pastures…
Hershey’s Chocolate World has changed dramatically since I was a child, and I could not believe the variety of things to do once inside! With a two and a half hour drive ahead of us, we had a limited time and had to choose wisely. After taking the somewhat re-worked chocolate “factory” tour ride, we checked out the Create Your Own Candy Bar exhibit. The kids were obviously excited to be cool, er, I mean about to design their own candy bar.
Once inside, each person gets to choose their type of chocolate. Now before you get excited like I did about the idea of a customized dark chocolate bar (mmmmm, dark chocolate), just the base is dark, milk, or white. They then run every bar through milk chocolate filling, so my recommendation is to just choose milk chocolate from the jump rather than confuse your taste buds. From there you get to choose what you’d like to add into your bar. The kids loved this part and added fun things like chocolate chips and sprinkles.
Not wanting to overwhelm my tastebuds, I just chose pretzels. Yes, that’s right. Pretzel pieces inside a chocolate bar. And no, I’m not sharing. We then got to watch as our chocolate bar shells moved along a conveyor belt to receive their ingredients and the remainder of their chocolate. While the bars cooled, we were able to design our own labels on another set of computer screens. In the end, we picked up our bars waiting for us in a case wrapped in our custom labels.
The kids loved this portion of our day, but I have to say that I was a little frustrated by my confused bar of dark and milk chocolate with six sad little pieces of pretzel. I was ready for some DESSERT, so we headed to the Design Your Dessert bar upstairs. Now this was my favorite part of the day. The kids and I all chose S’mores kits, and while we waited for our food, we painted the table with edible paint.
Once the S’mores ingredients arrived, we actually roasted our marshmallows over a fire inside Chocolate World! Okay, so it was really a burner surrounded by what appeared to be a campfire, but the ambiance was spot on. The kids and I had a blast and for once, I did not set my marshmallows on fire.
After our S’mores were assembled, we used the edible paint to make them extra special!
With happy hearts, full tummies, and completely exhausted bodies, we headed back to the Twizzlers van to begin our journey home. Before leaving, we snapped one last shot of the van visiting the home of Twizzlers’ parent company, Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Thank you, Twizzlers Landmark Summer, for this amazing experience! Here’s to a summer of wonderful blogger roadtrips!
Disclosure: Travel accommodations and expenses were paid for as a part of this sponsored opportunity with Twizzlers. Thank you to The Hershey Company for also providing complimentary park tickets during the final leg of our trip. All opinions are my own. And seriously, don’t ask me to share that custom bar I made or the two GIANT Special Darks I bought in the gift shop. Back off.
There’s nothing like arriving somewhere and realizing immediately that you want to come back. That’s how I felt the first time I visited Walt Disney World as an adult, and that’s the feeling I got when I was checking in tonight to the Hershey Lodge. But more about that soon! First, I have to tell you how we ended up in Hershey, Pennsylvania, after two days in Philadelphia.
We began our day this morning by bidding Philly farewell, being sure to hand out Twizzlers on our way to the curious tourists outside of our hotel. We headed west towards central Pennsylvania to visit both the factory where Twizzlers are made and the home of Twizzlers’ parent company, Hershey.
We decided that day three called for a lazier pace, so we took our time driving through places like Gap and Paradise, giggling uncontrollably at the sign for the Paradise Motel (there was vacancy!) and the Paradise Quickee Mart. We kept our eyes peeled for great little places to buy antiques, but instead ended up stopping by a Pottery Barn Outlet. Nothing like an unexpected shopping trip to complete any roadtrip.
Along the winding path from Philadelphia to the western side of Lancaster, we stopped by my brother’s home to spend a couple hours with his two kids. Our boys are only eight months apart, so they enjoyed riding around the cul-de-sac, expertly avoiding the Twizzlermobile, while we handed out Twizzlers to curious and grateful neighbors. My brother will now forever be that guy at the end of the court whose sister gives out candy. Nice.
Our next stop was the Y&S Candy Factory where most Twizzlers are made (there is a smaller plant in Memphis as well). This factory is not open to the public, but we were allowed a super special tour thanks to the folks at The Hershey Company. While my son was not thrilled with the hair net, the hard hat, or the vacuuming of his entire body (seriously, folks, your Twizzlers are CLEAN), he quickly got over it when he was allowed to taste some of the new sweet & sour Twizzlers as well as the reformulated chocolate Twizzlers (my favorite!) made with real Hershey’s chocolate. And if you’ve ever doubted if there’s really chocolate mixed in there, I’m here to tell you that I saw the chocolate pieces with my own eyes.
Ever wonder what Twizzlers look like when they’re being made? Wonder no more…
After touring the Twizzlers factory, we headed north to Hershey to spend the night at the Hershey Lodge (thank you to The Hershey Company for the generous accommodations and tickets during this portion of our roadtrip!). Having grown up less than an hour from Hersheypark, I’ve never before had a reason to stay overnight in this area. I have heard amazing things about the Lodge, however, so was anxious to get here. The kids were thrilled to find that the pool was heated and teeming with other happy kids. And now we’ve come full circle to arriving at the Lodge and realizing immediately that I’d like to come back here again with the extended family to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the impressive facilities.
Tomorrow we hit the park and make our own candy bars at Chocolate World. Just one day left on our Twizzlers Landmark Summer Roadtrip!
Disclosure: Travel accommodations and expenses were paid for as a part of this sponsored opportunity with Twizzlers. Thank you to The Hershey Company for also providing complimentary park tickets during the final leg of our trip. All opinions are my own. That scowl is my son’s. And those delicious looking Twizzlers are mine, all mine I say!!!!
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