Take a Tour Inside Our Jungle!
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 court, is a tropical jungle that’s 30 feet in diameter, 40+ feet tall, and home to more than 38 plants. The signature species, of course, is the Theobroma Cacao Tree, which produces the cacao beans used to make our famous HERSHEY’S Chocolate.
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.
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.
Can You Spot the Cacao Fruit?
Can’t get enough fun facts? Here are a couple more!
- Our jungle’s plants originate from Hawaii, India, Peru, Brazil, China, and Malaya.
- 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.
- 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.