Is it a roller coaster? “No,” replies the patient ride attendant at the free, 30-minute “Hershey’s Chocolate Tour” at Hershey’s Chocolate World in the company town of Hershey, Pennsylvania. Is there a river of chocolate? “Yes,” she says. Which is true in matter of speaking, but not quite in the Willy Wonka way I dreamed.
The line weaves through a timeline of Hershey company history and past signs of how the company sources its ingredients. Then you board carriages shaped something like Hershey candies for a journey into the chocolate-making process.
“Taste the love!” robot cows sing. “All over the world!” It’s not a factory tour, but an educational/advertising cartoon of one, with robot candy characters, a human video docent and model factory machines illustrating the manufacturing process—including simulated cascades and vats of flowing chocolate. At the end, “enjoy a complimentary Hershey’s product sample.”
If you hanker for more, Chocolate World also offers paid attractions: “Create Your Own Chocolate Bar,” “4D Chocolate Movie,” “Chocolate Tasting Experience.” The heart of Chocolate World, though, is a giant store selling a dazzling array of Hershey candies, clothing and souvenirs.