Jelly Belly: great candy, disappointing tour

“Sweet sensations and a world of delight await you at the Jelly Belly Center, a mouthwatering stop located off the I-94 Milwaukee/Chicago corridor, near the state line. The Center is designed so visitors can take a tour of our warehouse (really, it’s fun!) and taste the magic of “the original gourmet jelly bean,” Jelly Belly. ” That’s a quote off the Jelly Belly website inviting you to take a warehouse tour.

The tour is nothing more than a “train” ride around the perimeter of the warehouse about the size of a Costco. The ride stops every few yards in front of a some big screen that shows you a video covering a portion of the process of making a Jelly Belly or a bit of the company history. And while it is somewhat educational, it is all rather boring. Luckily it is all free.

Outside of the main entrance to the tour, there are signs marking the wait time. The farthest sign marks 1 hour wait time. If I had to wait 1 hour for the tour, I would’ve been extremely disappointed and upset.

So if you happen to be visiting the Jelly Belly factory, don’t waste your time. Skip the tour, skip the waiting and go straight for the factory shop. Sample some candy. Buy some bags of Belly Flops – the irregular candies that didn’t make the cut. And mark the Jelly Belly factory as another place you have visited in your travels.

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