Freaky Hershey

Go and watch this video guide to chocolate from our friends at Hersheys. I find myself drawn into the world of the vaguely animatronic nature of the young hosts; they both have unnaturally large mouths, and their manner of speaking seems designed for cartoon characters, not regular people.

What’s more disturbing even still is that at Hersheys Chocolate World, you can “explore the art of chocolate-making on a FREE simulated factory tour ride that concludes with a delicious sample.” What is the point of driving all the way to Hershey if the factory tour is simulated, and what does that mean, anyway?

Ironically, I’ve actually been on the tour, and either when I was young it wasn’t “simulated” or I was so young I didn’t notice the conceit.


Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on July 18, 2003 - 03:12 Permalink

Disturbing indeed. I too took the tour in Hershey, PA. I swear that the entire town smelled like chocolate.

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on July 18, 2003 - 11:45 Permalink

I was on the “simulated” tour in April. My 12 month old loved it. You ride moving cars through the mock factory, which has real equipment, some of which has projected images of the equipment working, such as the chocolate roasters, etc., and some of which is actually functional. I expect it would difficult to always have chocolate roasting or bars being packaged just as the tour arrives. The simulations are a way to reduce staffing (The tour is free, and you get a free Hershey bar at the end), avoid liability concerns (factory equipment is dangerous), and mitigate product sabotage concerns (you don’t want people dropping poison in the chocolate vat!). The chocolate smell is certainly not simulated!

Hershey PA was designed by founder Milton Hershey as a model factory town, with recreational facilities, quality housing, and a school for underprivileged children which continues to this day. The street lamps are shaped like Hershey’s kisses. The chocolate theme may be a bit overwhelming, but it’s well worth a visit!

Alan's picture
Alan on July 18, 2003 - 13:34 Permalink

The Smiths Falls, Ontario factory and its shop is small and not freaky at all just a plant in an older industrial park. There is a self-guided tour (a walk around a walkway above the machines) in which they have examples of old brands. Apparently therer used to be an entire set of chocolates along the lines of the Cherry Blossom nicluding the Peach Blossom. That just sounds like an amazingly good idea.

nathan's picture
nathan on July 18, 2003 - 13:39 Permalink

I was just at the Hershey plant in Smith Falls Ontario last weekend. The tour is not much to see since, but the cheap bulk chocolate availble in the store is always worth stopping for. I only spent $5 for three bagfuls plus they throw in extra sample bars at the checkout.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 18, 2003 - 14:17 Permalink

Yes, that is the real treat — the bargain bags. It has been a few years snice I was there but I recall that the fresh chocolate has a very different creamier taste.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on July 18, 2003 - 19:18 Permalink

Best tour I had was Anhaser-Bush (Sp) in Tampa…lots of free samples of cold Coors in cans on a hot day. Beer snob I confess I am not as I loved ‘em with some Ginger Ale and ice…I got a few funny looks from the employees, but did not care.

Mandy's picture
Mandy on July 20, 2003 - 14:17 Permalink

I’d much rather go on Willy Wonka’s boat ride in his factory. More to see there…

Jo Duhaime's picture
Jo Duhaime on September 11, 2003 - 00:38 Permalink

Does anyone know if plans exist for the boat in Willy Wonka?

t's picture
t on January 10, 2004 - 02:36 Permalink


angie's picture
angie on March 28, 2004 - 16:07 Permalink

i wish smith falls ontario was closer to me. my dad had us there when we were abot 8 or 10 and i totally enjoyed it. I live only an hour away from hershey pa and the park is fun and the simulated factory ride “chocolate world” is nice but nothing compared to the live tour and experience in smith falls. i also enjoyed purchasing the bulk bag of chocolate at smith falls but you can’t do that at hershey pa. you purchase what they make and package. The final product before it is shipped to the grocery store. I would rather have the duds that come off of the assembly line.

Chris P.'s picture
Chris P. on May 3, 2004 - 14:03 Permalink

I have lived near Hershey PA my entire life. Yes the town smells like chocolate and somedays even like peanuts from the Reeses plant. The Chocolate World ride is a representation of how Hershey’s is manufactured. The actual tours of the plant stopped years ago. Although the rest of the town does smell of actual chocolate on certain days I can assure you that the smell of chocolate in Chocolate world is a fake scent piped through to make you hungry so you want to purchase all of their goodies in the gift shop.