Hershey, Pa. (WPMT) — Hersheypark made its “biggest announcement ever” Wednesday, and it’s a doozie.
The park said it is embarking on a $150 million “transformational expansion,” creating Chocolatetown — a new region of the park where guests can eat, play, shop, and gather year round.
The new section of the park will cover 23 acres. It will open in the summer of 2020, park officials say.
It is the largest expansion in Hersheypark history.
“We are incredibly excited to enter this next chapter in the rich history of Hersheypark,” said Hershey Entertainment & Resorts CEO John Lawn in the announcement. “Hershey’s Chocolatetown will mark the true intersection where fun meets chocolate. Chocolatetownwill be a place where chocolate-inspired attractions will transform the guest experience in new and engaging ways.”
Among Chocolatetown’s unique feature elements are:
A new arrival experience at the front gate
Hersheypark’s 15th roller coaster, which will be the park’s longest, fastest, and tallest attraction
A restaurant, bar and patio — the largest full-service themed restaurant in Hershey
An ice cream parlor and confectionary scratch kitchen
A 2,200-square foot Starbucks store
The largest kettle corn location in Hersheypark
A new, one-of-a-kind Kisses fountain
A new home for the park’s carousel, which turns 100 years old in 2019
A flagship store with the largest collection of Hersheypark merchandise
“This will be a definitive project for Hersheypark, HE&R and our destination,” said Lawn. “Inspired by our visionary founder, we are so proud to be able to leverage our remarkable history and our shared iconic brand in creating a sense of place that you can only find in Hershey, Pa.”
Construction is slated to begin in January, and Hersheypark will remain fully operational during the 2019 season as the construction is done.
Hershey’s Chocolatetown will offer more than five locations to eat, drink and gather, including the largest themed restaurant, bar, and patio in Hershey with one-of-a-kind views of Hersheypark. Open year round, this full-service restaurant and bar will feature a second-story patio & bar and offer an innovative menu with hints of chocolate, craft cocktails, and signature desserts.
Other sweet experiences in Chocolatetown will feature an ice cream parlor with personal ice cream-ologists serving up exclusive ice cream creations. A new confectionary scratch kitchen will invite guests to watch the candy makers at work. Other welcome additions to Chocolatetown will be a full-service 2,200-square-foot Starbucks® store, with indoor and outdoor seating areas, and the largest kettle corn location at Hersheypark.
Finally, a new 10,000-square-foot flagship retail experience will feature the largest collection of apparel, personalized souvenirs, and toys exclusive to Hersheypark. In addition, guests will enjoy interactive boutique shopping experiences.