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.
Today, this entrance is where Kissing Tower and Twin Turnpike are located, in the Kissing Tower Hill region.
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.
In 2014, the two regions bordering the Main Gate, Tudor Square and Rhineland, were merged with Music Box Way and Founder’s Circle to become the current theme region Founder’s Way.
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.
Temporary Entrance | 2019
In 2019, a temporary entrance debuted between the old Sky Ride building and the Hospitality Services building in Founder’s Way. A new path was created leading from the new Tram Circle to the Temporary Entrance. The gate was covered with a canvas material that was plain.
The entrance was soon altered to have Hersheypark’s logo on the roof. This entrance operated from April 2019 to November 2019. The entrance needed to be relocated one last time so construction on Hershey’s Chocolatetown could continue.
Candylane Temporary Entrance | 2019
For the 2019 Hersheypark Christmas Candylane seasonal event, the entrance of Hersheypark was relocated to a spot not far from where the 1972 Entrance of Hersheypark had been. This entrance was located near The Claw, at a gate meant for park emergency vehicles could access the park.
This temporary entrance was intended to be used for Christmas Candylane and Hersheypark’s 2020 Springtime in the Park, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Hersheypark from having it’s Springtime in the Park event. As a result, this Temporary Entrance was only used in 2019.
Hershey’s Chocolatetown Entrance | 2020 – present
The grand new main entrance of Hersheypark was originally slated to open around May 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this slid from May until July. Hersheypark didn’t open to the general public until July 3, 2020. However, the new entrance made its debut a few days earlier when the park was having a special event for the new roller coaster Candymonium.
The new entrance is much larger and more spacious than the Tudor Castle Main Gate, which allows for people to be more spread out. Directly in front of the entrance is a compass with plates that note the various businesses of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company and the direction they are at from the entrance.
One part of the entrance was also the Hersheypark Supply Company, the new signature store of Hersheypark. Guests were able to exit the park through the store.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, social distancing was necessary, so much less of the entrance was used that might have been expected. Furthermore, one part of the main entrance, a special entrance for Hershey Resorts guests who would be transported to the park by bus, was never completed for the 2020 season. This was in part due to Resorts transportation being suspended due to the pandemic.
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8 thoughts on “The entrances of Hersheypark”
I remember being asked to come in to work earlier to work at the gate. When there were two admission prices, we had to put colored strings on their wrists so they could ride the rides with their one fee.
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This was fascinating to read. I’m glad that Hersheypark’s entrance is what it is today. The security has greatly increased so everyone can have a fun and safe day.
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