Review of Hersheypark Park in the Dark

From Jenn, a member of our community:

Okay, here is my review as a new handicapped/ECV user at Hershey Park (for our Park in the Dark visit, so things may be better during regular season). I give it overall 3 out of 5.

The staff at the ECV office were great, even keeping my custom wheelchair in their storage while we were in the park. Although the traffic getting back to the chocolate tour in Chocolate World was crazy, the staff were totally awesome and had it down to a T! Now, getting the accessibility pass should be a sped up process. They have a form you can download and print and bring with you, but unfortunately I forgot it. Why can’t this form be online? That would’ve sped up my interaction, at least. There was only one person working the accessibility area. The train staff were great, no problem there. We had no problem at the old time cars, liked the light button to alert staff that we were standing there. The two rides we had issues with was the monorail and the kissing tower. Normally, the accessibility entrance is separate or the exit. Both these rides were different. The sign for the monorail said to go in the normal line. I had issues driving the ECV through the normal line, especially on the hill, where it kept falling backward. My husband had to stand behind me so I wouldn’t hit other people. The monorail platform really isn’t equipped for two ECVs, which is unfortunately what happened. It also didn’t help that the other family didn’t understand that your entire party stays together, so we ended up getting jumped in line. The staff, though, were awesome, playing with my kids, and helped myself and the other lady get turned around to go back down the ramp.

At the kissing tower, the sign said to get the attention of the attendants. Didn’t say at the beginning of the line or at the exit, which going in the exit would’ve solved some of my issues. So, I ended up going through the line with my crutches. Then, when we entered, they just had us go with the regular line, essentially causing me to slide one crutch all the way to the back of the tower, and then having to do it all the way back. I would’ve had them place me toward the front of the ride, maybe held us back, since we weren’t first in line, and let the rest of the people enter.

The tram also had issues. The first one, the staff never even saw me, even though I was at the stop when they rolled up (and there are only a few handicapped accessible trams, so the first one we were there for wasn’t equipped for me). They had seen me and said the next one would be available for me. Maybe if the first tram had contacted the second one, they would’ve been looking for me. The tram back was a whole other story. It was the end of the night, so there were people waiting to leave. The accessible line was chained off, so the staff member initially had us go in the next one. Well, apparently that was the wrong line, and there was this whole thing with the family in front of us. We finally got on the tram, after having to have three trams go before us. Security also decided in the last hour we were there to stop us twice about my daughter riding on the ECV with me, but were no where to be found when there were people smoking in non designated areas. I understand, it’s a liability issue, but we had been there for 4 hours and no one had stopped us before that. And if it had been my own personal ECV/motorized scooter, they couldn’t have stopped me. I think it wouldn’t have been such an issue if someone had told us earlier, so we could’ve gotten a stroller for her.

Overall, the accessibility process was better than Dutch Wonderland, as my card had my information on it, and listed the rides I could get on. The ECV rental was outside of the park, instead of right inside, and they were able to hold my wheelchair. But across the board, both staffs had shining stars and those that seemed to need more education.