Top shelf milkshakes have been a trend in the food world for years – and many people are willing to pay big bucks to taste pure sugary perfection.
Enter Hershey Park, a theme park in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and the source of many sweet treats. Hershey Park is the centerpiece of this sugar-filled town that celebrates the famous milk chocolate bar 365 days a year. Created by chocolate expert Milton S. Hershey, this award-winning theme park boasts family-friendly attractions and globally recognized roller coasters, but it’s the milkshakes served inside its gates that have gained a near-raving following.
Hershey Park’s jumbo-sized milkshakes have become a staple of theme park trips. And, while the destination has many other tasty treats – like Pennsylvania-born whooping cough pie and irresistible Dutch-style pretzels – they are the one treat that continues to draw crowds. In both appearance and size, King Size Shakes seem to be a direct departure from the whimsical world of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
What is a King Size Shake?
“The king-size milkshake starts with a rich 28-ounce shake in a cup with a delicious drizzle, chocolate chip cookies and a creative bowler hat,” shares Olivia Haist, director of theme park food and beverage operations at Hersheypark. “We often try many different king-size milkshakes, adding a fun curveball to each season.”
The extra-large milkshake is the brainchild of Hester. This culinary creation is considered a “milkshake expert” by her team. Haist’s passion for Hersheypark hospitality has a long history: she started with the company in 2005 as a teenager and has worked her way up to her current position. As the second woman to serve as park food and beverage director, she is currently part of Hersheypark’s first all-female leadership team.
One must enter the theme park to try these mouth-watering, mouth-watering creations: the extra-large milkshakes are only available at the park’s Simply Chocolate, a food stand that specializes in selling a variety of ice creams. Thanks to the extraordinary nature of the shakes, they’re not only delicious, but also very photogenic – and a fan favorite on Instagram and TikTok.
King Size Shakes debuted at the theme park in 2016 and won an industry award in its first year of existence. The shakes cost $16.95 and come in a variety of flavors, such as chocolate, peanut butter and vanilla. While the prices may sound shocking, they’re a treat meant to be shared: These giant concoctions are topped with everything from cookies and cupcakes to pie slices and chocolate crunch – because more chocolate is always a good thing.
Seasonal varieties are often created for limited release, such as the Christmas marshmallow tree of frozen hot chocolate and pumpkin roll pastries topped with fall favorites. Hersheypark is even known for creating special editions to celebrate specific attractions within the park.
Hersheypark is currently celebrating the spooky season with the seasonal Ghostly King Size Shake and Monster King Size Shake. Both are offered during the park’s seasonal events, Hersheypark Halloween and its first-ever immersive haunted experience, Dark Nights. These highly creative creations may be the most visually stunning to date, embellished with chocolate covered tombstones and adorable ghouls.
In 2021 alone, Hersheypark sold nearly 500,000 ounces of these now-famous milkshakes. By early 2023, sales are expected to reach nearly 100,000 king-size milkshakes.
This hospitality offered only at Hersheypark is a direct collaboration between the culinary teams at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts and the ingenuity of The Sweeterie, Hersheypark’s on-site candy kitchen, which continues to push the boundaries each season and take things to the next level over previous creations.
But what if they can’t make a trip to Pennsylvania in the near future? With the guidance of the Hersheypark culinary team, I decided to try an extra-large milkshake at home.
Not only are the milkshakes super easy to make, but they’re fun – if a little messy. I love the customization of flavors and the ability to make a creamy milkshake that matches my preferred taste. The best part? I can use ingredients I already have in my fridge and pantry.
For my recipe, I drizzled Hershey’s special dark chocolate syrup over the cups. For the mixture, I used espresso ice cream and almond milk, which turned into a creamy consistency once blended together in my blender. I finished it off with a classic Hershey’s bar, Reese’s chocolate chunks and some marshmallows.
The verdict? Absolutely delicious and the perfect treat for family movie night or entertaining friends.
Hersheypark’s Signature King Size Shake
- Crushed items of choice, like nuts or candy
- Drizzle of choice, like Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
- Preferred ice cream flavor
- Preferred milk
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate covered pretzel rods
- Favorite Hershey’s candy, like Reese’s pieces
1. Rim any glass with a frosting and roll in your items of choice.
2. Add a drizzle of choice around the inside of the cup (our favorite is Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup).
3. Blend up your favorite ice cream with some milk to make a creamy shake.
4. Pour your shake in your glass and top with whipped cream.
5. Add some chocolate covered pretzel rods and a straw as a way to hold up your topper.
6. Finally, top it with your favorite Hershey’s candy or a homemade treat.