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Sweet changes coming to some of biggest draws in Hershey - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Sweet changes coming to some of biggest draws in Hershey

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Sweet changes are coming to some of the biggest draws in Hershey.

Next year is Chocolate World's 40th anniversary. Officials said they have some exciting expansion plans in the works, but details are still under wraps. They are also planning on a bigger parking lot.

Hersheypark is making big changes, too, by getting rid of the old and making room for the new.

Hersheypark officials said guests are always asking for two things: more roller coasters and more water. Last season, Hersheypark delivered with its newest coaster, Skyrush.

Now Hersheypark is getting rid of another roller coaster to make room for more water park fun.

The Roller Soaker has been making a splash at Hersheypark for 11 seasons. But the interactive water coaster has run dry and is being torn down.

"This year we decided we would honor those guests who like to have a lot of water at Hersheypark," said Kathy Burrows, a spokesperson for Hersheypark. "So we are dismantling Roller Soaker and we are freeing up about 7,000 square foot of space."

Of that, 5,000 square feet will be converted into a spray park. The other 2,000 square feet will become additional lounge space with more shade structures.

"And those are things, again, our guests asked us for here at Hersheypark," said Burrows.

The change may leave a bitter taste in the mouths of roller coaster-lovers, but Hersheypark has a challenge for them.

"If you think you're unhappy about Roller Soaker being removed, please come out in 2013, give it a try and please enjoy the water here at Hersheypark," said Burrows.

If all goes as planned, the new water attraction will be ready for Memorial Day weekend.

Those aren't the only changes in Hershey.

The Hotel Hershey is looking to renovate its popular Circular Dining Room. It has been a fixture at the hotel since Milton Hershey founded it in 1933.

Guests said the restaurant, though beautiful, is a little stale. So the restaurant is serving up some changes.

"A lot of what we're doing is based on feedback we got from our customers and also part of Milton Hershey's legacy," said John Daly, Director of Food and Beverage. "He was an innovator and we want to innovate the restaurant, take it to the next level basically."

The Circular Dining Room will be renamed The Circular, and the atmosphere will be changed to upscale casual dining. That means the menu will be changed, slightly, as will the décor.

"Different furniture, that's the first change," said Daly. "The really good part of the story regarding the furniture is that it's all made in America. Milton Hershey was the American icon, so part of that is all American-made furniture here," he said. "I wouldn't say modernized. Gonna be giving it probably more contemporary feel, rather than modernized."

What will not change is the room's circular shape, the stained glass windows and the light fixtures.

"That's the legacy of Milton Hershey," said Daly. "He built the room and when you get to touch something he built, that's a big responsibility for everyone involved."

The Circular Dining Room will close New Year's Day for renovations and will re-open as The Circular in April.

This will be the first major renovation since the restaurant was founded.

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