This week marked the last week of freedom for my kids before they head back to school for the 2010-2011 school year. I wanted to do something fun with them, and since my wife was busy at work we opted for a quick get away to Hershey Park. Hershey Park is an amusement style theme park located 2 hours west of Philadelphia, and it’s built entirely on and around the Hershey Chocolate company.
One of the park’s newest attractions is located in its “Chocolate World” and it’s here where you can personally create your very own chocolate bar, watch it be made and then taken home. “DIY” stuff is all the rage it seems these days. We’ve seen a lot of make your own iPhone cases and other gadget items, and it seems the trend has made its way to Hershey too. The whole process takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, and one ticket (good for one bar) runs $14.95.
Because you are entering an actually production line within the factory, you’re required to put on proper food production attire.
Once dressed for the part you watch a short video which explains the entire process. Using computer terminals, you first create the base for your bar. The attraction offers three bases, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. On the day we visited only milk chocolate was available, which is good because that’s what we all would have chosen anyway.
Then you choose 3 ingredients from a list of 6 that you want placed into your personalized bar. On our visit we could choose from rainbow jimmies, caramel pieces, cookie pieces, chocolate bits, graham cracker or crispy rice. Once all your ingredients are set you enter the factory line to start the production process.
You are able to actually follow your own bar along the belt and watch as the ingredients you selected get placed inside the chocolate bar base.
Each base has its own digital label so you can see exactly what’s going into your bar.
Once all the items you selected have been placed into the base the entire bar gets coated in chocolate. We all wanted to climb into this part of the production line and take a chocolate bath.
The bar then travels through a 6 minute drying process.
While you wait you visit the packaging department where you can customize the wrapper that will go on your bar. You can choose from pre-made templates or design one completely from scratch. I went with the traditional Hershey Bar looking wrapper while my kids were a little more adventurous (not really a surprise.)
Each bar comes individually wrapped inside a keepsake tin.
The hardest part about the whole process was deciding whether or not we should eat the bars or freeze them and somehow preserve them as a permanent souvenir. I’ll bet you can guess what we decided on.
In the end the process was really entertaining at definitely worth the $14.95 price tag. If you’re ever in the Hershey area, make plans to visit Chocolate world and get your creative juices flowing by creating a chocolate bar of your very own.
You can learn more about Hershey Park by visiting their home page here.