Hershey Park in Pennsylvania is not a good choice for little kids! We entered the park and went to the measuring station where kids are measured to see which rides they can get on. Each height range is assigned a type of candy. My six-year olds were Reese Cups (gag) and the gentleman measuring them tried to hand them a Reese Cup (double gag).
The park itself was bad. Kids of Reese Cup size can ride alone only on really boring kiddie rides. To ride on better rides, they have to be accompanied by someone over five feet tall. This means that Mom or Dad (not older brother or sister) had to ride with them. Well, Mom doesn't do rides. So Dad would have had to wait in line (about a 30 minute wait for each ride) with each little kid to give them a chance to ride.
The good news: management was very nice about exchanging our Hershey Park tickets for Dutch Wonderland tickets at no charge. We were at Dutch Wonderland about 40 minutes later and had a great time. It is a beautiful, clean, safe park and we highly recommend it!
On Aug 25, 2005
We spent a long weekend in that area a couple of years ago, planning to go to Hershey. It was between 98 - 103 degrees that weekend, and we quickly realized that Hershey would be a waste since we would probably wilt after a short time. We went to Dutch Wonderland instead, and had a great time. It's very manageable with children, clean and well run. Plus, they had these misting stations everywhere so we managed to keep cool even when we weren't on water rides.
My kids are now 11 and almost 15 so I know they are way past Dutch Wonderland age, but I think it's a great place.
On Aug 26, 2005
In Penn., check out Dorney Park. it has an amusement park and water park combined. Much better than Hershey, it also has plenty of 'big' rides for those adventuresome kids. Sometimes it can get very crowded though.
Another good park in Penn is Knoebel's Grove. You pay by the ride, so adults who don't want to ride, don't have to pay anything. It's not as big as Dorney Park, but it's great if you have a big group with a lot of different interests (something for everyone). For those not from Penn., The K in Knoebel's is NOT silent.
On Aug 26, 2005
DS was also disappointed this summer at a local water park. All the good slides had a height requirement over 48 inches. He is small for his age but good strong swimmer and was really bummed to not be able to enjoy the bigger kid attractions.
I will be sure to check height requirements at any amusement parks that we visit until he grows a bit. No sense going only to find them inaccessible.
On Aug 26, 2005
I highly recommend Knoebel's. We go there every year. But if you're used to going to Disneyworld every year (like my one friend is), you will be disappointed. As a kid between 9 - 14, I loved Hersheypark. We used to live nearby so we went frequently and always had a blast.
Dorneypark I don't frequent at all. I know many people love it, but I've always found there to be a great influx of "rougher" kids--more from the Philly area. Maybe not, but that's my perception. Up where I live Camelbeach is hugely popular. That's one of THE water parks in the Poconos. That's the place we MUST go every year, at least that's what my kids say.