HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — With fall right around the corner, Hersheypark is starting to prepare for its annual festivities for the Halloween season.
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But, this year, there are brand new enhancements to the fall season at the Sweetest Place on Earth.
For the first time, the event will be open for seven weekends, starting on Sept. 17 and running until Oct. 30. Hours vary each day the park is open.
abc27 reporter Taylor Tosheff checked out some of the new frights and delights in store for this season. Watch in the player above.
If anyone in the family likes to be scared, they are in for a real treat with the new Dark Nights haunt experience. This experience contains four haunted houses, as well as three scare zones, ranging from eerie to intense. The four-acre enhancement is considered the largest investment to date for a seasonal event for the park.
The four haunted houses require a separate Dark Nights add-on ticket to experience unlimited access to all four of the haunted houses during a single visit. The scare zones located throughout the park are included with any Hersheypark Halloween general admission ticket or season pass.
How to bypass scare zones
For those who are not looking be frightened, there are ways to get around the scare zones to enjoy the attractions. An example would be guests wanting to go to sooperdooperLooper and do not want to go through the Darkstone’s Hollow scare zone. Those guests can take the Skyrush path to the attractions.
You can enjoy attractions in the Kissing Tower Hill area by using the bridge next to the top of the aqua theatre. Wild Mouse and Laff Trakk are accessible without entering the Midway of Misery scare zone. However, to reach attractions such as the Ferris Wheel, Music Express, and Lighting Racer can only be accessed by walking through the scare zone after 6 p.m.
New Frightful Food and Beverages
New for 2022, Hersheypark is stepping up its food game with many new and unique food offerings.
One of the coolest offerings is at The Spring Creek Smokehouse. It is a brisket or pulled pork sandwich which will be offered with a black brioche bun. There is also a toxic mac and cheese, which is a frightful take on an American classic, as well as a Haloween king size donut
Three new cocktails are also being introduced. The Dark Nights Inferno features cranberry juice and Fireball. The Blue Beast is a blend of Blue Raspberry Lemonade and malted spirits. Finally, the Rotten Apple cocktail features tart sour apple and malted spirits. New drinks are also being introduced at The Chocolatier Restaurant.
The family-friendly experiences that have been Hersheypark staples for years make a return for Hersheypark Halloween.
Hershey’s Trick or Treat Trail
Children 12 and younger can enjoy 13 sweet stops on this annual trick-or-treat adventure. Three of the stops are in Hershey’s Chocolate World which is located outside the park, while the rest of the stops are located in Hersheypark. This event runs daily until 8 p.m.
There will be 13 coasters open for the event as well as plenty of thrill rides and rides for kids. Exclusive to Herhsyepark Halloween is the night rides on Candymonium, Comet, Laff Trakk, and Lightning Racer. The lights on Laff Trakk will be turned off every hour, while the other coasters mentioned will have the lights turned off during the last hour of operations. There is also a new seasonal flavor for Jolly Rancher Remix that will be available only during the event.
According to Hersheypark, Skyview and The Whip will not open for the entirety of the Halloween season. Certain attractions such as Trailblazer, Monorail, Sweet Swings, Tea Cups, Granny Bugs, Pony Parade, and Tiny Tracks will close around 5 p.m. each evening before the start of Dark Nights.
Hershey’s Character Glow Dance Party
Every night, you can dance the night away with Hershey Characters, dressed up for Halloween and ready to party. This event is held in the Founder’s Way section of the park. The dance party is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. each night.
ZooAmerica’s Creatures of the Night
Starting on October 14, ZooAmerica is getting in on the action with a nighttime flashlight tour included with admission to Hersheypark Halloween when accessing the zoo from the bridge located inside the park. Guests can see the wild and fascinating animal activity that only happens after the sun sets.
Tickets for the event can be purchased here. To experience the Dark Nights haunted houses, separate tickets need to be purchased. The scare zones are free to walk through and are included in all Hersheypark Halloween tickets
As quoted in the release, Hersheypark’s costume policy is listed below:
For Guests ages 12 and Under: Costumes and costume masks that provide unobstructed peripheral vision at all times with openings that allow the eyes to be fully seen may be worn. Costume masks are not allowed to be worn on any attractions. Having a fully painted face is permitted. This applies to guests who come to Hersheypark in makeup and also for guests who have their face painted by the Park’s face painters.
For Guests 13 and Older: Costumes may be worn but must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, revealing, objectionable, violent, or otherwise disrupt the general safety of guests or employees. Costumes may not contain any props or accessories that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon. Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another guest.
Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and may be subject to additional security screening and may not be permitted on certain attractions if they prevent guests from properly using the seating and safety restraints. Costumes may not drag on the ground as they could be a trip hazard. Costume masks are not permitted, but guests may have up to half of their face painted provided that it does not alter their identity.
For all guests: Costumes that may cause confusion between the Dark Nights actors and guests are not permitted. Failure to adhere to the Hersheypark Costume Policy may result in the costume not being permitted or removal from the Park.