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Reindeer Arrive at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane 2023

Hersheypark is the only place in Northeast where guests can see all nine reindeer

For more than 25 years,  Santa's reindeer have made a special stop at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane, and they've returned for another magical holiday season that kicks off on Nov. 10, 2023. All nine reindeer will continue to delight guests each day Hersheypark is open through Jan. 1, 2024. 

Christmas Candylane is the only place in the Northeast where guests can get an up-close look at all nine of Santa's reindeer, including Rudolph. Included with Christmas Candylane admission, this magical viewing experience is located in Santa’s Reindeer Stables in Pioneer Frontier Catering near Fahrenheit during all hours of operation. 

Fascinating Facts About Reindeer

Beyond their famous names and sleigh-pulling skills, how much do you really know about these fascinating animals? Check out some sweet facts about the reindeer that call Christmas Candylane home for the holidays. 

1. Reindeer are native to the Arctic areas of Europe, Asia and North America. The largest herds of reindeer are in Alaska, Scandinavia and Russia, also known as Lapland. But, the most famous reindeer live at the North Pole.

2. Reindeer like to eat Lichens, the moss that grows on rocks and trees.  It's a tough life for reindeer in the wild. Finding food can be difficult in the winter, with snow on the ground and very little vegetation. Reindeer mostly survive on Lichens, also called Reindeer Moss. Lichens are rich in vitamins and give them energy. But Santa's reindeer don't have the same struggles. The reindeer at Christmas Candylane eat a pellet diet that is great for antlered animals. They also get plenty of their favorite snack, Beet Feed (dried nutritious and sweet beets). On Christmas Eve, Santa feeds them special food that makes them fly called “Magic Dust.” The Reindeer Keepers at Hersheypark are not allowed to feed the herd Magic Dust, or there would be flying reindeer all over Hershey!

3. Reindeer and caribou differ according to where they live. People in North America call them caribou, but people in Europe and Asia call them reindeer. Their size also varies depending on their location.

4. Reindeer have distinct personalities.  Just like people, each reindeer has its own unique personality. The ZooAmerica team takes care of Santa's reindeer inside Hersheypark during the holiday season. Trained reindeer experts are on-site during all hours of Christmas Candylane operations to answer guest questions.

5. Reindeer have antlers.  Baby reindeer can grow small spike antlers just two months after they are born. In general, reindeer lose their antlers every year, which is what makes them deer.

6. Reindeer have two coats of fur. The bottom layer of the fur is like lamb’s wool, and it twists around the upper coat, which is long and coarse. Wind and water cannot penetrate it. Reindeer also have fur on their noses, lips and under their hooves on the pad. They are well-equipped for cold weather in Central Pennsylvania. 

7. Reindeer make a clicking noise when they walk. The tendons in their feet make a snapping sound that they use in the wild to keep in line. This noise is where “Up on the rooftop, click, click, click” originates.

8. Santa's one reindeer is named Donder, not Donner. Santa was speaking Dutch when he named his reindeer. Donder means Thunder and Blitzen means Lightning, which are also the names of our dueling coaster cars on Lightning Racer!

Other Unique Holiday Experiences at Hersheypark

In addition to the majestic reindeer, Christmas Candylane also features many only-in-Hershey experiences, including:  

  • The most lights in Pennsylvania, with 5 million, including a dazzling NOEL light show with more than 250,000 dancing lights synchronized to Christmas music
  • Select family-friendly rides and seven thrilling coasters, weather permitting, including the first winter for the new Wildcat's Revenge hybrid coaster
  • Interactive experience and photo opportunity with Santa through Dec. 24 with his elves entertaining guests while in line
  • New Mrs. Claus’ Dance Party under the old Carrousel pavilion
  • Hershey Characters Sweet Greets inside the heated Chevrolet Music Box Theatre
  • TREEville trail with more than a dozen decorated trees that tell the stories of The Sweetest Place On Earth (opening Dec. 1)
  • Seasonal food offerings such as signature hot chocolate, new flavors of holiday-themed King Size Shakes, a new Thanksgiving pizza and the return of the fan-favorite Baked Potato Bar 
  • Holiday shopping in Hershey’s Chocolatetown region

Celebrating 40 years, Christmas Candylane is open on select dates starting this Friday, Nov. 10, through Jan. 1, with daily operations beginning Dec. 14 (closed Christmas Day). The merriest event of the year in Hershey, Pa., offers more weekend hours for holiday fun in 2023.

Tickets starting at $29.99 are available with the Hersheypark 12 Days of Christmas Pre-Sale from Nov. 1-12 onlinePrices vary based on the number of tickets purchased and the date selected. Guests purchasing 1-3 tickets can save with tickets starting at $36.99, and guests purchasing 4+ tickets can save with tickets starting at $29.99. General Any-Day 2023 tickets can be used on any operating day through Jan. 1, 2024.