The History of Hersheypark

This section of the website is all about Hersheypark, and the original area for this website, which I began as a supplement to the Hersheypark History Group on Facebook. I’ve since expanded the scope of The Amusement Parkives to cover other things, such as ride manufacturers, monorail systems, West View Park, and defunct parks, Hersheypark is still this website’s highest topic of discussion.

A brief history of Hersheypark

Hersheypark opened on May 30, 1906. The first major ride was a used carousel which was replaced after a few years. It was followed up by the addition of the Miniature Railroad, which operated from 1910 to 1971. Hersheypark had a zoo, the first which was called Hershey Park Zoo.

The park had a pool located in the heart of the park from 1908 until 1928. It was replaced by a much larger pool at the intersection of Park Boulevard and West Derry Road, which operated from 1929 to 1971. 

The first roller coaster was The Wild Cat, which opened in 1923 (and was originally named The Joy Ride). Hersheypark had a ballroom where many famous acts played at. This transitioned to many famous acts playing at Hersheypark Stadium in current times. The oldest ride currently in Hersheypark is the Carrousel which was added to the park in 1945, but first operated in 1919. The oldest roller coaster in Hersheypark today is Comet, which opened in 1946, replacing The Wild Cat.

Hersheypark was renovated into a theme park in the 1970s, having a bunch of theme regions including Tudor Square, Rhineland, Tower Plaza, Minetown, and more. Hershey Park Zoo had closed in 1970 and was replaced by the Animal Garden in 1972; the old Zoo area was converted into ZooAmerica in 1978. From 1980 until 2007, Hersheypark expanded into new areas of land adding three new theme regions: Pioneer Frontier (1984-1985), Midway America (1996), and the waterpark – The Boardwalk at Hersheypark (2007).

Hersheypark currently has 14 roller coasters, with the newest being a water coaster. Future developments are underway, with Reese’s Cupfusion to debut in 2019, and Hershey’s Chocolatetown, a new themed region with a new roller coaster, to debut in 2020.

If you want to learn more about Hersheypark, click here to read all kinds of articles about the park! There is a lot to read about aside from rides, including influential people, the main gates of Hersheypark, the Monorail, and so much more.

Click here to see the Hersheypark Library subsection of the site which contains a timeline of the park, maps, a list of rides, general managers, and more!

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