Hersheypark has had several main entrances for the park, with a substantial change occurring over the 1971 to 1973 seasons. The original main entrance for the park was used as the main entrance between the park opening in 1906 until 1970, a total of 64 years. The current main entrance of the park has been in existence since 1973, which is a total of 44 years.
Original main entrance | 1906 – 1970
The original main entrance of the park was located at the intersection of Park Avenue and Park Boulevard. In 1913, an elk statue was placed in the main entrance area, which became a popular landmark for family photos.
There were several other spots designated as secondary entrances to the park:
- West Derry Road near Hersheypark Arena. The walkway was shifted further west, right next to Hersheypark Arena in 1961 when Dry Gulch Railroad was constructed.
- In the Sunken Garden region of the park across from Hershey Park Ballroom.
- Along Park Boulevard by Comet’s first turnaround.
Renovations | 1971 – 1972
When the park was gated, in 1971, there were five entrances to the park. This was to help guests adjust to there being a gate around the park. With the park beginning to undergo renovations, this was another way to de-emphasize the original main entrance, as the main entrance was going to be moved to the west end of the park in the 1973 season.
For the 1972 season, the five entrances were reduced to one main entrance at West Derry Road adjacent Lobby 1 of Hersheypark Arena, also where the Monorail station and Dry Gulch Railroad station were. This entrance is known today as the 1972 Temporary Main Gate.
There are essentially no pictures of this entrance despite it being the only way to get into the park that year. The closest picture is this image of the Monorail below, from 1972 (and the image above, which was from 1971).
There was some intention of keeping this temporary entrance as a secondary entrance to the park, but the idea was scrapped in 1971. The way the R. Duell & Associates plan was coming together, the park wouldn’t have been renovating the area around this secondary entrance for a few seasons. It made more sense to have everyone come in at the main entrance which featured three new regions – Tudor Square, Rhineland, and Carrousel Circle.
Tudor Castle Entrance | 1973 – 2018
In 1973, the modern current main entrance opened in Tudor Square / Rhineland as part of Phase II of the R. Duell & Associates renovation of Hersheypark. The main entrance gate was a castle called Tudor Castle, although the name was not typically used.
In the mid-1990s, the area including Tudor Square and the space immediately inside the Main Gate technically part of Rhineland was referred as Tudor Court. The postcard above is an example.
Four years later, in 2018, Hersheypark announced that this main gate would be replaced in the 2020 season with a new main gate and region, Hershey’s Chocolatetown. A temporary entrance will be in place for the 2019 season while the new region is being constructed.