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Here at HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction, we like to pay tribute to our roots…in this case, quite literally! That’s right – smack dab in the center of our store, surrounded by your favorite HERSHEY’S Candies and our food hall, is a tropical jungle that dives more than 8 feet underground, producing stems, trunks and leaves. It towers over 40 feet above ground, 30 feet in diameter, and is home to more than 38 tropical plants. The signature species is the Theobroma Cacao Tree, which produces the cacao beans used to make our famous HERSHEY’S Chocolate and acts as the focal point of our "oasis."

The manmade jungle was first planted in 1973 when HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD was built, and make no mistake – it isn’t just any garden. The unique environment is specially designed to mimic the natural habitat of plants that can only survive at latitudes of 15-20 degrees above or below the equator. They grow in a blend of 50% soil, 50% sand and are watered 3 times per week to lend humidity and remove any dust on the leaves.

It's our great pleasure to tend to these trees and provide state-of-the-art horticulture through fertilization, pest control, pollination, and enzyme care. And we're especially proud to watch as the cacao trees bear fruit twice per year. They start out green in color, grow into yellow, and turn brown when ready to be picked.

The best part?! Exploring our tropical jungle and riding the HERSHEY'S Chocolate Tour are both completely free. Together, they tell the story of how HERSHEY'S Chocolate is made. Explore, learn, and discover the wonder of how cacao pods turn into the sweet treat you know and love.

All About Our Plants

  • None of our jungle's plants would be able to survive outside of our specially designed jungle.
  • The plants originate from Hawaii, India, Peru, Brazil, China, Bahia, and Malaya.
  • The Princess Palm (our jungle's crowning glory) is extinct in its natural habitat, so this is one of only a handful that still exist!
  • We have three surviving Theobroma Cacao Trees that were bred as part of a study by molecular biologists at The Pennsylvania State University. Seeking to improve the productivity of cocoa farming, they identified plants that produced the most cacao, and then tissue cultured and cloned them.

Cacao to Chocolate

  • Cocoa beans only come from tropical countries within 10 degrees north or south of the equator.
  • HERSHEY’S Chocolate comes from the Theobroma Cacao Tree. There are 20-60 cocoa beans in the average cacao pod, covered by a layer of fruit. It takes 45 beans to make one HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Bar.
  • When harvested, the cacao fruit, or pod, is cut open to reveal the seeds and pulp. The seeds dry and ferment for about a week and a half to become cacao beans. The rich chocolate flavor only emerges after the beans have been fermented and roasted. 
  • Cacao beans (plus milk and sugar) are used to make HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate!
  • The shell grinds from cacao beans are used in mulch and fertilizer. 
Adventures in Chocolate

Join us on more Adventures in Chocolate!

HERSHEY'S Chocolate Tour

Hop on our tour ride to learn how cacao transforms into HERSHEY'S Chocolate!

World's Largest HERSHEY'S Store

The jungle is surrounded by the very goodies that its cacao creates!