Travel Advisor Traci Conner is back to bring us more info on Hersheypark. This time about the various programs and options they have to accommodate visitors of all needs. So check out the accessibility options at Hersheypark.
I have a little confession…we moved back to central PA this summer, but we lived here for 3 years prior and never once visited Hersheypark. Why, you might ask? Because my daughters had allergies to soy, dairy and gluten and back then their website did not instill confidence that I would be able to feed them while there. Plus, having to explain to my young kids over and over why they could not eat anything “Hershey” all day did not sound like fun to me.
Fast forward a few years and my daughters seem to have out grown the dairy and soy allergies. As I reviewed dining options prior to our visit, there were many options listed as “gluten free” so I thought we might be able to enjoy it now. They are also older and understand food allergies better which makes it easier to say no to a particular food. The Hersheypark app allows you to search for dining options that are gluten, nut or dairy free. I don’t know when the app became available but I loved having it. It is very user friendly. The Outpost is an allergy friendly restaurant where all menu options are gluten, nut, fish and shellfish free. These include pizzas, wraps, salads, and chicken tenders. Check out their FAQs to find out food handling procedures and other options here.
The all day drink package was automatically added to our tickets as the promo when I purchased them. We did not add the meal package on. We ate lunch at Chick-Fil-A because we love it and already knew the safe options for our family. It is the only location in the park that does not use vegetable oil for frying, they use peanut oil. And even though my girls can now have ice cream, they chose Rita’s Italian ice as a treat. Go figure.
Hersheypark has a program you can register for called Rider Accessibility Program. You can download the required questionnaire on the Hersheypark website prior to your arrival(be sure to bring it with you) or go to Hospitality Services to fill out the form and enroll in the program. This will generate a Boarding Pass for you with the rides that are accessible for you. You can utilize your own wheelchair or rent one on arrival before you go through the entrance. Either way, they ask you enroll in this program to utilize the accessible entrances for each ride. If you utilize a manual chair be prepared for a few steep hills.
Lastly, the park has designated quiet spaces. These areas are designed to take a break from sensory stimulation. You can learn more about these spaces and accessibility in the park here and here you can access the full safety and accessibility guide. The guide discusses in more detail accommodations for hearing impairments, service animals and other considerations.
Hersheypark takes into consideration many different challenges their guests may face when visiting. Whether you have a physical disability, hearing impairment or invisible disease Hersheypark has thought of you and wants you to have an enjoyable experience. As someone who could not ride the rollercoasters and needs to frequently rest, I appreciated the many benches in shade around the park. I never had difficulty finding somewhere to sit and was thrilled there was always shade as it was 95 the day we went! Other Hershey attractions are open now as well so consider a trip to central PA.