As part of the theme park's COVID-19 safety measures, Hersheypark is using an artificial intelligence (AI)-based, touchless security screening system for entries.

Hersheypark was originally created by businessman and philanthropist Milton S. Hershey more than 110 years ago as leisure grounds for employees of Hershey's Chocolate Factory. The theme park welcomes millions of guests annually.

Following state mandates related to the pandemic, Hersheypark delayed opening until July 3, which marked the debut of the park’s renovated main entrance. One component of a $150 million, 23-acre “Hershey’s Chocolatetown” development and park expansion, includes Evolv Express systems located at the new main entrance.

The touchless Evolv Express systems use AI software and sensors to screen up to 3,600 people per hour. The system enables Hersheypark to facilitate social distancing at its security checkpoints while minimizing person-to-person interaction and guests do not need to stop, empty pockets or remove bags.

Response about the new screening solution at Hersheypark has been uniformly positive. The park’s security team estimates a four-to-five times improvement in the number of guests screened per hour using the system when compared to metal detectors or other dated approaches. The frictionless experience that precludes unnecessary physical contact makes it particularly relevant right now during the COVID-19 pandemic.    

“We knew our former security screening process would provide challenges in the pandemic environment,” said Jason White, managing director of corporate safety and security at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. “We’d already been evaluating how we could improve on our guest screening process and had piloted Evolv Express last fall because the system could accommodate thousands of people an hour in a frictionless, no-stop flow. As we began formulating the security screening aspect of our pandemic reopening strategy, it was clear that Evolv Express was the best solution that could meet our requirements. Our guests and security staff have been pleasantly surprised at the speed of the touchless screening experience that largely eliminates manual bag checks.”