Becoming Hersheypark in the Dark
The saying “It takes a village….” certainly applies to the transformation that takes place as Hersheypark becomes Hersheypark in the Dark.
A Halloween celebration began in Hershey more than 30 years ago when guests asked the staff at ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park to host a family-friendly, safe event.
It began as Creatures of the Night and guests were encouraged to bring flashlights to view the animals’ nocturnal habits. Story-telling, making luminaries to float on Spring Creek and animal encounters were included for fun and education.
As the years passed, the event became so popular that it expanded to Hersheypark with select rides opened and renamed for the “spooky season.” Comet became “Icabod’s Train,” the Carrousel was named “Night Mares.” Now there are more than 50 rides and attractions open, including the Park’s 12 roller coasters, all with Halloween-themed names.
As everyone knows, Hershey is synonymous with chocolate, candy and Trick-or-Treating, so the Park created a safe alternative to that Halloween ritual with “Treatville,” a Halloween-themed village where children 12 and younger can come in costume and Trick-or-Treat in a safe environment, and receive some really great candy, too.
The Park Maintenance team supplies 30 personnel and approximately 800 man hours in setting up displays and signs, wiring, lighting and ground preparation. In addition, this team moves the large pumpkins and seasonal displays into place.
Hersheypark Entertainment produces two new shows for Halloween: Bunsen and the Burners and Screaming Mummies, but that’s just a portion of their efforts. Numerous HE&R staff members assist the Entertainment Team in creating Treatville. Annually, nearly 200 hours are spent decorating this Halloween village.
That’s not all! Hersheypark Ride Operations team puts in an estimated 260 hours of time to assist with the Park and ride transformation.
So what DOES it take to transform Hersheypark into a Halloween celebration?
Lots of hours, lots of people and, most importantly lots of fun, as Hersheypark transitions for the Halloween season and creates Hersheypark in the Dark for guests of all ages to enjoy.
What are your favorite memories of Halloween in Hershey? Share them with us.