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Family-Friendly Guide to Hersheypark Halloween 2023

Things for Families to Do During Seven Weekends of Halloween Fun at Hersheypark

The countdown is on to fall in Hershey, Pa., as Hersheypark Halloween returns to Hersheypark amusement park in just a few weeks. The seasonal event at the largest amusement park in Pennsylvania runs for seven weekends from September 15 through October 29, 2023, with family-friendly offerings during the day and frights at night. 

Hersheypark Halloween will continue to offer kid-friendly rides, chocolatey trick-or-treat adventures, festive Hershey Character experiences and more for families before Dark Nights immersive haunt experience begins at 6 p.m. Guests with young ghosts and goblins can use this guide of family-friendly things to do at Hersheypark Halloween to help plan their fall visit. 

Rides for All Ages

Hersheypark Halloween tickets include 50 rides, weather and maintenance permitting, with options for all Hershey height categories, from more than 40 kiddie and family rides to over a dozen thrilling coasters. 

Thrill seekers in the family are in for a real treat during Hersheypark Halloween, as the lights go out for dark rides on CandymoniumCometLightning Racer and the new Wildcat's Revenge hybrid coaster during the last hour of operation. Plus, Laff Trakk will be lights-out all day and night long. The Halloween season is the only time of the year that guests can feel the rush of epic coasters with white-knuckle speed and unbeatable inversions in the dark. 

Please note that select kiddie and family rides will close by 5 p.m. each operating evening before the start of Dark Nights. Guests can download the Hersheypark app for a map and real-time ride availability. 

Trick-or-Treating for Guests 12 and Under

There’s no sweeter place to trick-or-treat than Hersheypark! Children 12 and under are invited to don a Halloween costume* and enjoy 13 sweet stops on the Hershey's Trick Or Treat Trail winding from Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction with three stops to Treatville in The Boardwalk At Hersheypark water park with 10 candy stops. Treatville is open at the start of each operating day until 8 p.m., with a new entrance location by Rita’s in The Boardwalk.

*Costume Policy

  • All guests: Costumes that may cause confusion between the Dark Nights actors and guests are not permitted. Additionally, except as otherwise noted below, costumes are permitted on attractions provided they do not interfere with the restraint system, proper riding position, or cause a hazard to guests, employees, and/or the attraction. The loose articles policy for each attraction can be found under the “Additional Restrictions/Accessibility” link located on the information pages for each attraction on Hersheypark’s website, in the Rider Safety & Accessibility Guide, and on the Height Signs located at each attraction. Failure to adhere to the Hersheypark Costume Policy may result in the costume not being permitted or guest removal from the Park.
  • Guests age 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 to guests who have their faces painted by the Park’s face painters.
  • Guests age 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. 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.

Hershey Characters Glow Dance Parties

The Hershey Characters are dressed up in their Halloween finest and ready to party to the season's classics during more party times offered each day at a new location inside Music Box Theatre. The Hershey Characters Glow Dance Party returns twice on Fridays and three times on Saturdays and Sundays for guests to put their rhythm to the test and dance the night away with the most beloved Characters. Times are listed in the Hersheypark app.

Hershey Character Photo Opportunities

Hersheypark is the only place guests can snap selfies with Hershey Characters dressed in Halloween costumes. Photo opportunities at Hershey’s Hangout are listed in the Hersheypark app. Don’t forget to tag us in your photos using #HersheyparkHappy!

Our Friends From The Sea Show

Guests can see California sea lions, Atlantic harbor seals and a grey seal during the Our Friends From The Sea show in the Aquatheatre at 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

All-New Dining Experiences

Guests often come for the rides but stay for the sweets at Hersheypark, and Halloween is no different. Hersheypark offers a taste of fall with more than 75 limited-time treats, savory eats and cocktails available during Hersheypark Halloween. Instagram-worthy items include a Halloween-themed King Size Shake topped with baked goods, Toxic Mac & Cheese and a Garlic Knot Meatball Slider. 

Check out our 2023 Food Guide to Hersheypark Halloween and Dark Nights to eat your way through Hersheypark.

Parkgoers interested in a more interactive experience can attend the RIP Dinner Buffet at Great Scare Catering on Fridays starting at 5 p.m. and Saturdays beginning at 4 p.m. The dreadfully delicious dinner buffet includes eerie entrées, desserts to die for and more, while some monsters lurk about. RIP Dinner Buffet guests will receive a Single-Use Fast Track accepted at any of the five Dark Nights haunted houses and a Buy One Get One Hyperdeck Coupon, valid on the new Zombie-themed virtual reality game. Please note there will be scare actors at the buffet, so it may not be suitable for small children. Tickets are $44.99 plus tax and can be purchased online in advance. Guests will have to select a date and time at checkout. 

Guests can also sample some of the frightfully delicious food offerings available during Dark Nights with the Dark Nights Tasting Pass, which includes a choice of up to five specialty menu items from more than 35 food and beverage options throughout the Park, such as Pulled Pork Sliders, Blood Orange Lemonade, Black Velvet Cake and more. The Tasting Pass is $34.99 plus tax and can be purchased online in advance. 

Creatures Of The Night at ZooAmerica (Starting October 13)

Guests should bring their flashlight and curiosity because ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park is getting in on the Halloween action. The Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. this fall, with the Creatures Of The Night attraction running three weekends on Fridays through Sundays from Oct. 13-29. The Halloween-themed experience from 6-9 p.m. is the only time of year that ZooAmerica is open after dark for visitors to explore the Zoo by flashlight to see their favorite nocturnal animals under cover of nightfall and enjoy educational activities. 

Check out our 2023 Creatures Of The Night Guide with details on animal enrichments, unique displays and themed activities.

ZooAmerica is included in the one-price admission to Hersheypark Halloween when accessing the Zoo from the bridge inside Hersheypark during posted Park hours. Guests interested in visiting ZooAmerica before Hersheypark opens will have to purchase separate Zoo admission here.

Dark Nights Haunted Houses and Scare Zones

For scare fans, this is not a trick! The nightmare continues for Dark Nights in its second year with new, blood-curdling frights lurking about beginning nightly at 6 p.m. New this year,  a Hersheypark Halloween ticket or 2023 Hersheypark Season Pass includes Dark Nights admission with five haunted houses and three spine-chilling Scare Zones that vary in intensity.

Some aspects of the experience may be too intense for children younger than 13. Parental discretion and guidance are advised. Once Dark Nights begins, guests can follow non-scary paths to popular rides. For example, guests can get to sooperdooperLooper by avoiding Darkstone’s Hollow via the Skyrush path and enjoy the attractions in the Kissing Tower Hill area by using the high bridge past the Aquatheatre. Wildcat’s Revenge, Wild Mouse, Laff Trakk, Ferris Wheel and Lightning Racer can only be accessed by walking through Scare Zones after 6 p.m. 

Halloween Getaway

Visitors looking to treat the family to a Halloween weekend in The Sweetest Place On Earth can book the perfect fall getaway at The Official Resorts of Hersheypark, with rates available here

The Hotel Hershey and Hershey Lodge will offer several Halloween packages, including a Dark Nights package featuring two nights of deluxe accommodations, a two-day Hersheypark ticket, breakfast each day, Dark Nights Tasting Passes and Dark Nights Haunted House Fast Track Passes for each guest. 

All guests of The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge or Hersheypark Camping Resort receive FREE Resort Benefits, including the best price on Hersheypark tickets, extra hours at the Park with Preview Plan, and free front-gate shuttle service to the all-new exclusive resort drop-off location.