on February 5, 2007
Generally, you wait in line just a few minutes. However, I went on holiday between Christmas and New Year's, when all the parents AND all the kids have time off, and the line was several hours long. Workers supply a constant flow of free samples the whole time. It wasn't really that bad, though, because there were four of us, so we split in pairs and took turns waiting while the others went to the gift shop and ate lunch. In the end, we had to let a couple groups pass us becuase the second group to eat hadn't finished eating yet! Once inside, the tour lasts about 45 minutes, and you really get to see almost every room in the factory. The machines are really cool to watch, as they do everything from making the sugar goo, to baking them, to coating them, to bagging them, to boxing them, to shipping them. It's very impressive. There are stops all along the way with TV videos, alternating between the tour guide's input. At the end everyone gets free samples, and then you return to where you started—in the gift shop, of course! While the tour itself is free, most people end up spending money in the cafeteria, which serves jelly bean shaped pizzas and hamburgers, or in the gift shop, which sells every flavor of Jelly Belly and every kind of souvenir trinket you can imagine. I suggest the "Belly Flops"—bags of beans that were too big, too small, or too ugly to receive the Jelly Belly name, but they taste exactly the same (and sell for half price)!
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