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One Tank Trip: Make Your Own Candy Bar

By Karin Mallett
Published On: Aug 17 2011 09:57:07 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 23 2010 06:32:13 AM CDT
HERSHEY, Pa. -

Hershey has been making chocolate for more than 100 years, and even though you may love it "their way," now you can make it "your way."

I love chocolate, said Todd Kohl.

So do we.

And in Hershey, you're surrounded by the gooey goodness.

They want to be part of the process, said Kohl. They want to be immersed in the process.

And who wouldn't?

Now, instead of just watching the factory churn out thousands of bars an hour, you can create your own in a matter of minutes.

It's the first time that we've taken visitors and consumers right up against our factory equipment and actually allowed them, in a way, to control that equipment by selecting and deciding what they want in their chocolate bar, said Kohl.

Chocolate World's new experience, "Create Your Own Candy Bar," starts the minute you don an apron and hair net, and if you have some scruff, one for the beard.

For $14.95, a ticket lets you choose the chocolate and what ingredients you want stuffed inside.

At the factory line station, they make about 180 bars an hour.

A smart system lets you track your creation.

We've slowed down the process here so that visitors can really see every step, said Kohl, what happens with their candy bar.

One thing you'll notice as soon as you step on to the factory floor is the aroma.

MMmmm. Chocolate.

If I could share it with you, I would.

But you'll have to trust me for now that it smells heavenly.

You smell the chocolate and it's a wonderful smell and you never really get used to it, said Kohl. It's a great smell.

When your bar heads into the cooling tunnel, you have eight minutes to design a custom wrapper.

And while you're working at a kiosk, the production schedule keeps you up to date.

You can catch the last few steps in the process, like the addition of your own serial number.

And at the end of the line, you get to go home with a custom candy bar.