Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Flowers Explore - Hershey's Chocolate World Pt 1 - Hershey Factory Tour - 2021/08/28

Today we're visiting a place that I've wanted to see for a while! It's a place that's all about chocolate. Welcome to Hershey's Chocolate World!

Opened in 1973, Hershey's Chocolate World is very well reviewed, holding a 4.6 of 5 stars with over 24k reviews! 

I'm sure 12 year old me would have loved to visit here. I think I saw the advertisement for this Hershey Hat and Shirt in the back of an Archie magazine or something and mailed away for them. Well "Can You Handle It?" "Just Pure Milk Chocolate."

Too cool, right? 

The commercial the clothes were based on. 

Alright, back to Hershey's Chocolate World. It's a pretty big complex with lots of different stations inside. 

Make sure you're wearing a mask. Even Chocolate Bars need to wear a mask. 

As well as Kiss and Reese. 

Inside it's huge! And it smells like chocolate!

I had to wait a little while for this to clear off to get a picture of the entrance mural. 

We've got to get a few pictures together in front of the giant logo. 

And with life-size Kiss, Hershey, and Reese. 

Here's the layout of what it looks like inside. We'll visit most of these places during our trip today. 

There's a few places inside here that are free, but they do have a few upcharge items. The kids have been super excited and talking for the last couple weeks about making their own candy bar. We're definitely going to do that! And we'll do a few other things too. 

One of the special things that's absolutely free is the Hershey's Chocolate Tour! We love factory tours! This is a look at how they make real Hershey's Chocolate!

When it comes to Chocolate, Milton Hershey's name is one of the first that comes to mind. International Chocolate Day is September 13th, which is his birthday. 

As we wound our way down the queue, there was a timeline of the history of Hershey's candies. If there was a line, we would have had more of an opportunity to stop and read everything. But since there's no line, we walked past them pretty quickly. Next we walked through rooms showing where all the cocoa beans come from. 

The last special ingredient in Hershey's Milk Chocolate is MILK! Situated here in Pennsylvania allowed him access to lots of milk, one of the main ingredients in his Milk Chocolate. 

And here's where the real tour begins! This is a ride! Everyone loaded onto this moving dark ride, which is set up like an omni-mover. The three cars are themed to Kiss, Hershey, and Reese.

How fun!

It starts with the cows, singing a catchy little tune to "Taste the Love, All Over the World."

Next we went into a simulated Hershey's Chocolate Factory. A screen in our vehicle switched over to show Alex, a Hershey Chocolate Quality Supervisor, who will be narrating our tour today. 

It starts with the cocoa beans that are delivered from all over the world. Each region has a different flavor profile and it's up to Hershey to mix them together to get a consistent product. We learned about roasting the beans, then breaking them to get the nibs out. That's where the chocolate comes from. 

Those nibs get ground up into unsweetened chocolate. Hershey was on the catwalk above to tell us how it's done. Next the mixture is pressed to separate the cocoa butter and cocoa powder. They will reuse the cocoa butter a little later, but for now, we're going to be focusing on the cocoa powder. 

Milk is brought in from local dairies. I found that 10 years ago, they used 250,000 gallons of milk a day! I wonder what it is now? That milk is condensed and then mixed with sugar to make sweetened condensed milk. 

"Isn't it amazing how, a little sugar and cacao, become perfection just by adding milk!"
At central blending the chocolate and sweetened milk come together to make milk chocolate, but we're not quite done yet. That mixture goes through a series of rollers to make it all silky smooth. 

And then production machines pour that into moulds and make the Hershey Bars that we all love!
There's Hershey Bars, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (something we are all very familiar with), and a host of other Hershey's products. 

Like Hershey Kisses! 
I find the mascots interesting here. Giant versions of something telling us to eat smaller versions of themselves. 

To finish, we went through a light tunnel and then to an on-ride photo location. 

I just don't understand the pricing model for on-ride photos. I think it was something like $35 for the photo in a cardboard frame. Why not a cheap digital copy that's easier to buy on a whim? 

And you couldn't take a tour, seeing and smelling all that Hershey chocolate without wanting just a little taste, could you? Luckily at the exit, Hershey is happy to oblige with a free snack-size bar!

Oh boy did that excite the kids. Free Chocolate! 
Alli - So we could ride this all day and keep getting chocolate? 
Alli - We should do that! 

Hopefully you like Hershey's Chocolate! 

And at the urging of the kids, we'd go back a second, and even a third time! 

And I didn't record a video of the ride, but someone else did, and they did a pretty good job. 

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