I am 23, have lived in the midlands all my life, yet had never visited cadbury world until april 2013. My workmate decided it was not allowed to live in the midlands and not sample cadburys world!
First of all, the amount of free choclate you get given for free is fab. You get 4 bars (if I remember correctly) as you walk in, and the you get 2 cups of liquid chocolate, plus toppings (marshmallows, biscuit, sweets etc) also.
The attractions throughout the tour are primarily based on children, and as 3 twsn2ry something girls, we weren't totally entertained if I'm honest. A few of the things you find out re the history of cadburys is very interesting, and seeing inside the factory is okay, but the photo shoot and other parts are only really entertaining for children.
Finally, I was expecting the shop at the end of the tour to be practically at cost prices, but they weren't. You can buy stuff on offer at tesco for cheaper, so this was rather disappointing also.
We live in the Midlands and have visited Cadbury World a few times since it opened, over 20 years ago. Recently, the kids (aged 7, 9 and 11) had been pestering me to visit, as we hadn't been for a few years. I checked out the website and the admission prices were as follows:
Child (4-15): £10.75
Under 4: Free
Family of 4: £45
Family of 5: £53
As there are 5 of us, I felt that £53 was a bit steep for a visit to a chocolate factory, especially as in my experience, the whole visit only takes a couple of hours. Luckily though, I had some Tesco Clubcard vouchers and was able to redeem them and get us all in for free.
Booking And Getting There
Although I had vouchers, all customers are still required to book a visiting slot by phone to guarantee a place, as the factory gets very busy. I had to phone an 0844 number (not cheap) and was kept on hold for 10 minutes before someone booked be in for 12:20 the next day. She gave me a reference number to tell the receptionist when I arrived.
Cadbury World is pretty easy to find and well signposted from the M5 and M6 motorways with brown signs. The attraction is located near pretty Bournville village, which was a special housing area built especially for the workers of the Cadbury factory in Victorian times. The entrance to the attraction is unmissable, with its trademark purple signposts and visuals.
The car park is huge, with lots of spaces, and also has a large area for coaches. the car park is located a shork distance from the attraction, which is just as well, as it was pouring down with rain on the day we visited and I appreciated the fact that I could get inside quickly.
I must admit, I was shocked by the cluttered reception area. There were people everywhere, all squashed in like sardines. I think the main problem was that the lobby had too many things going on: There were queues for booked tickets and unbooked tickets, a cafe and a large shop, not to mention the queue to enter the attraction itself. This made it very difficult to locate the correct queue, as the sheer volume of people heading in different directions was quite distracting. I did eventually manage to check in and the receptionist, like all the staff, was friendly and pleasant, taking the time to talk us through the attraction and how to get the most from our day. Entrance was by timed ticket, so when out time came up on the clock, we made our way to yet another queue to enter the attraction itself. Before we went in, the lady gave us a Crunchie bar and Curly Wurly each. My little boy didn't like the Curly Wurly because the toffee got stuck in his teeth. I think they would have done better giving out something like a fudge bar instead.
Cadbury World is made up of fourteen seperate zones, or distinct areas:
1: Aztec Jungle
The first area explains the early origins of chocolate. The area is made to look like a jungle, and is very atmospheric, with appropriate noises and atmosphere. there are statues, telling the story of the Aztecs and Mayans and how they prized the cocoa bean, even using it as currency. This area reminded me a bit of the crystal maze and i almost expected Richard O Brian to jump out and give us a challenge!
2: Journey to Europe
This area consists of corridors which are lined with box scenes with little hologram characters inside, telling the story of how Cortez brought chocolate to Europe. My only criticism of this area is that the scenes were too high for children to see properly, and the narrow corridors were a but crowded and uncomfortable.
3: Bull Street
The corridor culminates in a reconstruction of Bull St, where Mr Cadbury had his first shop. This area isn't so much a zone as a waiting area for the next attraction, which is in a seated theatre. This area gets very crowded and squashy as people pool in to go to the next part of the building. there is a lady with a microphone trying to chat and keep everyone entertained, but it got very noisy and my little boy got a bit scared of the crowd, noise and heat and the fact we had to wait for so long before moving on.
4: Cadbury Story
We were then ushered into a room with lots of long benches. The seating was not tiered, so the people who were not seated at the front could not really see very well. The area used holograms of actors to tell the story of Cadbury and how they revolutionized working conditions in Victorian times. To be honest, it went over the head of the kids present, and my kids found it a bit boring. Also, it sounded a bit like an extended advert for the Cadbury brand, which was unecessary, as we already like Cadburys, or we wouln't have been there!
5: Making Chocolate Story
After that, we were ushered into yet another theatre area, to much moaning and groaning of my kids! This area was quite good though, because it told how chocolate was made, and we saw what happens to the beans, with the benches vibrating and moving from side to side to illustrate the machinery, and large rollers and heaters descending from the ceiling to show the roasting process. Everyone enjoyed this part and most of the guests were laughing.
This area is the actual factory area, although you don't see much, other than a few machines shunting boxes. They have added a few attractions, such as some games and a couple of Wii games, but to be honest, I took my kids here to get away from the games consoles, so gave them a wide berth. There was also a green screen where you could have your photo taken against a funny background. We had our picture taken with our heads popping out of a couple of easyer eggs, but didn't buy the photo, as it was £6!
This area was shut, and has been shut every time I have visited Cadbury World. There is a lady at the end of a corridor handing out Dairy milks and a couple of metal chairs facing a screen on the wall showing another film about chocolate, but to be honest, it seems a bit of a badly thought out space filler.
For me, Cadabra is the best attraction at Cadbury World. it is a little ride which takes you in a car around a fantasy chocolate land, the closest this place gets to Willy Wonkas factory. Unfortunately, the queue for the ride was a whopping 30 minutes, with nothing really to entertain you during the long, tedious wait. When we finally got on the ride, it broke down, but fortunately got going again in a short time! The ride was great, really magaical, and in my opinion, they should just make the whole place one big Cadabra ride!
9: Chocolate Making
After Cadabra, we went to the chocolate making room, where a lady greets you with a plastic tub full of warm chocolate and a spoon! In this room, you can write your name in chocolate and also see the staff making the moulded chocolate and eggs. Visisbility was poor though as this was a very popular and crowded area, and it was hard to get near the demonstrations.
10: Advertising Avenue
Cadburys have made some memorable TV ads over the years and this area showcases the best. The whole area is based on the clips that they used to show when they sponsored Coronation St a few years ago, with a little street where everything was made of chocolate, including the people. If you look in the windows of the houses you can see some of the classic ads. They even have the drum playing gorilla from the Dairy Milk ad, and who can forget the cool ad with the kids wiggling their eyebrows?
11: Purple Planet
The idea for this section is good, it is an interactive area with high tech attractions. Unfortunately, when we visited, most of the things in this area were broken. My kids liked the floor which had projections of chocolates that you could tread on and squash. there was also a screen where you could have your photo taken and they would make a statue of you out of chocolate.
12: Cadbury Shop
The shop leads you back to the lobby. There is lots of chocolate in the shop, but to be honest, I'd had my fill at this point! There is a factory shop, but there wasn't anything in the shop that was cheaper than the supermarkets. they had some nice Cadbury merchandise though. The shop also leads to the cafe, which was jam packed, but as we were thirsty, we had to grab a few drinks. The most basic drinks were £1.80 each, so it is a good idea to bring your own. They had some lovely looking smoothies and shakes, but at nearly £3 each, they were too expensive for our family of five.
13: Bournville Experience
Not so much an experience, as a little room with some old Cadbury photos and packaging. A bit dull really. Just outside this area is a huge brand new adventure play area, which looked really impressive, but unfortunately was closed for the day as it was raining. Shame, as it looked fantastic.
In this final area you get to watch another scene with holographic actors, before going into a room where the staff have lined up different sweets and goodies that you can cover in warm chocolate. I opted for marshmallows and so did my daughter. My oldest son opted for biscuits and my husband went for jelly babies. My youngest had had enough chocolate at this point and didn't want any!
Cadbury World was an enjoyable alternative to theme parks and other days out, offering something different. The high points were the lovely Cadabra ride, the great friendly staff and the fact that the place catered well for disabled visitors, offering good access and even having a special wheelchair car on the ride. They also had an audio guide in different languages to cater for visitors from different countries.
On the down side, I found the place very crowded and cluttered and I think that some of the areas were badly thought through. The queue system needed streamlining. The emphasis on history was a bit boring for children in the way it was put across, and some of the areas offered poor visibilty for small children. Some of the attractions were broken and did not work properly.
I would probably not bother returning to Cadbury World. I think that once you have done the tour, there is not really any reason to go back, as very little changes. However, it is a nice day out for families with young kids who want something a little different from the usual school holiday fare. Just make sure you pay with clubcard vouchers though.
A chocoholics dream!
I am the Queen of Savvy shopping and so having saved enough Tesco Vouchers we redeemed these for vouchers to cadburys world.
What is Cadbury World ?
Cadbury world is a tour of part of the cadbury factory and also a history of the famous Cadbury Chocolate.
Booking is essential and can be done via there website www.cadburyworld.co.uk or over the phone if like me you have Tesco vouchers you can only book over the phone but this is still very easy and efficiant.
Cadbury orld is not cheap costing £14.75 per Adult and children 4-15 are £10.75 seniors and students are £11.10 however a family ticketof 4 brings the price to £11.25 and a family of five the price becomes £10.60.
However if you are paying with club card vouchers you cannot buy a family ticket you have to pay individually which I feel is unfair as you also cannot book online and take advantage of the 5% discount.
Like all good establishments Cadbury world has a cafe and the food looked good and was reasonably priced, however in my opinion the drinks were very expensive costing £3.95 for a Hot chocolate and my daft hubby got 4 bearing in mind my neice and youngest daughter are 3 &4 yes you guessed it they ate the cream of the top and then he drank all three and I am pleased to report the toilets are plentiful!
the cafe is also very clean.
Getting there and Parking:
We found that the website has good directions and also gave a postcode for the Sat Nav and the journey was very easy and on arrival the parking was plentiful and free.
What is there to do?
Alonside your tour there is also a big adventure playground, the bournville experiance, and Essence as well as at weekends family shows.
This is a history of how the factory came to be at bournville and also has an old shop with differant packaging you can design yout own packaging for dairy milk and flake which is then displayed in the shop window this is really good exhibition with plenty to keep the children interested.
well yes its a good one the children liked it and there is a seperate section for the little ones.
This was a half hour show and we went twice it really was suberb a very funny magician and ventriliquest kept the parents laughing too.
This tells the story of dairy milk and was again well thought out to keep the children entertained too it starts as a modern employee telling the story when the pictures of the original inventors come to life and then you see the " ghosts" making dairy milk and finally you get to pick a filling and liquid dairy milk is poured over the top jelly babies and choclate is very yummy but sickly!!
we enterred into the tour and we recieved a curly wurly and crunchie each and were offerd to buy the cloth bag at £2.00 to put our chocolate freebies in well do not bother as you get three free bars which fit easily into a pocket of small freezer bag!
The tour is excellant informative and fun the story of cocoa bean harvest is very good and is interactive which kept the little ones amused as they enjoyed being shaken the a bean! you also get to see how chocolates are made and see them being decorated and write with chocolate,
There is also advertising avenue amazing at only 35 how many differant adverts you remember and packaging made me feel very old and nostalig for that cute little boy who told us a finger of fudge is just enough!
We also had our photo taken popping out of an easter egg and a photo with a giant coco bean and also the flake bath I felt the cost of these was very reasonable at only £7 for the first picture and then £4.00 per picture after that and this included differant images.
you can also catch bubbles , fling a cream egg, make your own advert , take a chocolate quiz (I was surprising good!)
The only thing we didnt do was ride the cadbara car as there was a 40 minute wait which we thought was just too long for the little ones at that point.
The tour brings you out into the shop and naturally you feel the need to by something we opted for the coco beans as thesea re something you do not get in the shops all the prices were reasonable although there is not a lot of only available at the shop products which in my opinion is a pity.
We all had a really good time not marred by the youngest feeling poorly and all took something differant from the day I was very interested in the history, hubby throughly enjoyed the adverts and and the girls liked a bit of everything and indeed the youngest took about an hour telling her Auntie all about it and my neice still thinks she went to a shop!
We all enjoyed ourselves we would not go two hours before the tour as really only need an hour to explore essence and bournville experiance and if we go again then we would also walk around bournville.
Whilst we were staying near to Birmingham recently we took a trip to Cadbury World, we had been told good things about it and were expecting a great day. From where we were staying in Tamworth Cadbury World was a half hour drive into the centre of Birmingham to a village called Bournville and I would have to say the roads are not wonderful lots of quick lane changes and confusing roads but we got there in the end and found Cadbury World situated just off a tree lined road.
Once in the grounds the car park was clearly sign posted but although the attraction only opened at 9am and we had arrived by 10am we found we were directed around the outside of the building to the overflow car park around the back, all the parking was free. We found the car parking spaces were pretty tight and we only drive a Renault Scenic so the car really isn't massive.
We walked the length of the overflow car park (hadn't realised we had parked at the furthest point away) and we first came across a huge play park and a smallish building to our left called Essence. We walked further forward and there was another building called the Bournville Experience and then there was a steep bank to climb to get to the main attraction. There are sets of steps and ramps up to the building and a couple of childrens rides outside what we later realised was the door you come out of once you have been around the inside and straight away our daughter wanted a ride.
On finally reaching the front doors we found there were roped (bright purple ropes) sections for queuing in although at first it was confusing which queue you should be in we managed to work it out and join the relevant queue. There was a large TV screen behind the desk stating that the next available time slot was 12.30pm so I would really advise booking in advance if you are planning on going as this was at about 10.15am.
By the time we reached the front of the queue the time on the screen had changed to 12.40pm for the next available entrance which considering you are advised that 3 hours is enough for your visit was quite a wait. We bought our tickets with Tesco reward vouchers and it cost us £5 of clubcard vouchers for every £15 of Cadbury World vouchers. The entrance fees are,
Adult - £14.30
Children aged 4 to15 - £10.40
Senior citizens - £10.90
Under 4's - Free
Our visit for all of us cost £39 but since we used vouchers it was actually £15 in vouchers which I personally think is a great saving.
Whilst we waited for our entry time we went back around the rear of the building to explore a little more. We decided to have a look inside Essence and see what it was about, the tour runs every 5 minutes so you don't have to wait for too long and once inside there are holographic figures which talk to you about Cadbury. There is a young bumbling man who gets everything wrong and then the personal assistant of Mr Cadbury (when the chocolate was invented) takes over, I think the bumbling man was supposed to make the short talk funny but to be honest it wasn't.
After a five minutes talk about Cadbury we were allowed through a set of doors where we were met with more holographic figures and they take you through how the chocolate came to be made with fresh milk rather than dried. Finally in here you were allowed to make your own sweet and chocolate mix, there were about 6 different choices rice snaps (like rice crispies), jelly babies, popcorn, marshmallow and 2 others I can't remember, the staff put your choice in the bottom of a plastic cup and covered it with melted chocolate, the lady was very surprised when I asked for just marshmallows until she realised they were for the baby. Myself and my husband found this bit interesting but at 4 my daughter was bored but as we were only in there for about ten minutes she managed to behave herself and be patient.
The play park was the next part we spent some time in as we had plenty of it to kill, there were two different enclosed parks all made of wooden huts with activities between such as rope nets and bits to climb along with some slides and a swinging circle made of net that the children could sit on. Each park had a height chart and recommended age and even though the bigger park was recommended for 5 years and up our daughter was tall enough so went in. I must say she loved the park and I think this was the best part of her day, within this part there was a hut serving chips and beverages all overpriced as you would expect and then there are plenty of benches for you sit and have picnics. I think that this part is set out badly as you cannot actually sit at a table and be able to watch your child at the same time so I spent the whole time following her like a shadow as unfortunately you never know who is lurking around.
Finally we came to our time slot and made our way back to the main building, inside there was a screen displaying what time were allowed to queue and when it displayed our time we joined the queue which didn't take long and at the front we were given 4 free crunchies and 4 free curly wurlys which I was impressed with as we hadn't paid entry for our baby daughter and she obviously wasn't able to eat the chocolate bars but we were still given one of each for her too.
The journey begins in the Aztec Jungle and when you enter there are numerous models showing the cocoa beans and what they did with them, this part was dark and our daughter didn't like it as your whole group is bunched together and it scared her. Next you have the journey of the cocoa beans making it to Europe and then a full sized replica street of where John Cadbury opened his shop in 1824, all of this was also very dark.
The next two parts of the journey are cinema screens which we had to miss out, they are again in darkness and you sit on hard benches, buggies and wheelchairs are parked in the aisles without any thought of fire exits and again this scared out daughter. Finally we managed to find a part that our daughter enjoyed which was some interactive machines where you can select what chocolate you would like to learn about and then you are shown how they are made, we saw how crème eggs were made and it was really interesting and how muttons are cut out of huge sheets of chocolate (yum)
The next part was a huge disappointed as it was the packing station, you are not allowed buggies up to it which was fine and as our daughter had fallen asleep myself and my partner were going to go up separately to see what happens. We found as we had found throughout the tour there was not much thought of how many wheelchairs and buggies were being allowed in at any one time and the buggy park was full to bursting with people trying to get buggies out from the back where they had ended up blocked in so we had to give this a miss completely.
We then got to see some chocolates being made and you saw loads of pipes running around the ceilings which were actually carrying melted chocolate, our daughter got to write her name in it but this was a quick thing as the queue behind was huge and there was literally an area of half a metre square for people to try and get in to have a turn. This area was really big and I don't see any reason why customers were being crammed in to small spaces to be able to take part. We saw some detailing being done on some chocolate bunnies and some huge chocolate balls being made the boxes of which had the stars and stripes logo on, I am guessing we will see these in the shops shortly.
Towards the end you walk through another narrow darkened corridor where lots of previous Cadbury's adverts are shown either with models or on actual TV's of course our daughter was far too young to remember any of them. Finally there was an interactive virtual area where you could do things like jumping on the floor to try and cover it all with pretend chocolate, have your photo taken and turned into a chocolate model (not at all realistic) chase a crème egg and grow some cocoa beans. This area was very busy, cold and again dark and so we bypassed this too.
Finally we ended the tour by coming out into the Cadbury shop, the shop sold lots of different chocolate, there were novelty chocolates such as bears and shoes but also bars of chocolate like we see in the shops. You were able to buy jumpers and soft toys and there was even a bargain section where you could buy mis-shapes and cheap multipacks. Our daughter did manage to enjoy the shops and bought some presents for her Aunties and we bought a chocolate making set (a melting pot and moulds) which we have played with and she loves. Next to the shop was a café but as we didn't go in I can't comment although the scones looked lovely and fresh.
The staff at the attraction were all dressed in bright purple so very easy to spot and they were all very friendly and helpful, when we told the lady we wanted to miss the cinema bit because of our daughter she took us straight through it without problem. The toilets were clean and well stocked but we found the baby change is joint with the disabled toilet which I personally think should be separate but you find this in a lot of places. Myself and my husband found most of the tour interesting but it was not suitable for our daughter, at 4 years old she was bored and I am not sure what I expected but I had been told that she would love it by people who had been so I hadn't expected this. I would recommend this attraction if you have older children but certainly not young ones, the best part of her day was the Bill and Ben ride and the huge playground.
Entry and Tickets
I visited Cadbury World on Easter Sunday. We pre-booked via the website, getting a measly 5% discount off ticket prices (by entering the code 'web') as we expected massive queues when we arrived. Although the free car park was pretty full, the actual factory was not packed. This is due to their entry time system. Tickets are timed so that only a certain amount of people can enter the factory experience at any one time. This limits queuing times and creates a steady flow throughout the factory.
Tickets are not overly cheap: one adult is £14.30 and one child is £10.40 but under 4's do go free. Family tickets can also be bought for a slight discount.
The Cadbury Experience and Essence
Upon entry you are handed a couple of bars of free chocolate to eat as you go around. Although there are plenty of bins some people still felt the need to drop their wrappers around the factory. There are several zones throughout the factory which take you through the history of chocolate and then the history of the Cadbury factory and the village of Bourneville. The zones are fun and educational, although there is quite a bit of reading for some younger children. There is some clever use of holographic videos intermingled with creative scenery and models. The next zones take you through how the chocolate is processed from the bean to the wrapper via a short video which is quite in depth but keeps the kids entertained by using different sensory effects to make you feel like the cocoa bean. Next you go through the actual factory, some long corridors and stairs here (there are lifts available) but they don't allow pushchairs in this section. You see and smell the chocolate being wrapped and packaged before you get to a short ride. The ride is probably the highlight for children but this is also where you will queue for the longest time. Luckily they give you another chocolate bar before you start to queue and also an activity to keep the kids interested. Once off the ride you get the chance to play with some chocolate, but unfortunately you can't make any of your own samples, which was a huge disappointment for me! All in all it took 2 hours to get around the actual experience, but it flew past.
After the experience there is another section called 'Essence'. Here you learn about the creation of Dairy Milk Chocolate through two videos. You then go through to a room where you create your own chocolate combination (although someone else makes it). You get a cup of liquid chocolate and add things like rice-crispies, popcorn, marshmallows or wine-gums. This then also ends in a smaller gift shop.
Gift Shop and Cafe
The experience finishes in the gift shop, where you can buy all the chocolate you could possibly eat. There are other gift items but not a massive range to choose from. The usual teddies, pencils and pens. Prices were surprisingly reasonable, but most of the things you could buy in your local newsagents or supermarket. The cafe was also reasonably priced, not cheap but not expensive. There was hot and cold food and drinks available. Baguettes, salads or pasta pots were about £4 and cold drinks were £1.60, a coffee was £1.90. We went to the cafe around 12.30 and there weren't any queues.
There is also an outside kiosk selling drinks, ice-creams and hotdogs and burgers. This is located by a colourful playground area for the kids.
Cadbury Trail and Bourneville
If you want to walk off the chocolate you've eaten then the visitor's map shows you a trail you can take around the factory and then a couple of highlights to see in the village of Bournville. The Trail is not worth the bother, the outside of the factory is not attractive and not overly well kept. The trail isn't circular either so you have to walk back on yourself when you come to the end. The village of Bourneville, however, is very pretty and picturesque. Nearby is a tudor house which Mr. Cadbury bought and restored, called Selby manor which you can visit, although there is an entrance fee.
Cadbury's world is worth a visit, but kids are going to get more out of it than adults. There's some free chocolate and it is quite educational. A visit will probably take about 4-5 hours in total. I'm glad I went but I'm not sure I would go again. It's a good place to visit, even if the weather is miserable as most of it is indoors. The experience would be much improved if you could make your own samples. I definitely advise pre-booking as you can walk right through when your time comes and skip the queues!
After my darling Dad won a family ticket for Cadbury world last year, and decided to give it to me for my family use, I finally got around to using it....today!
My reasoning for this fact is due to the crappy weather (fog and freezing weather), it would be nice to be indoors doing something we never have done before and secondly due to the fact that it is very close to Christmas, so was hoping for a few festive freebies!
We are lucky travel wise as we live a few miles away from Birmingham, being situation in the borough of Nuneaton, so after gleaming the directions from the internet with the Cadbury website itself being very useful, we found a relatively easy journey there, though there are various methods of travel open to you, with there being a train station two minutes outside of the Cadbury complex.
I was also impressed that there is free parking available to the visitors, a couple of the places we have visited before have had the cheek to charge for parking on top of the extortionate entry prices, but here there was plenty of parking available in various different areas and all for free.
On entrance to the building I instantly felt festive and uplifted, with there being a 9ft plastic formed tree to have your picture taken in front of and a huge brass band playing Christmas carols to the people waiting to get in, and boy were there a few, though luckily as I had already reserved my time slot over the telephone the day before, we could go to one of the empty ticket desks to get our family ticket, and even though we got there an hour early, the delightful attendant changed the start time of our tour and we went to queue straight away.
This is where the queuing began, though thankfully we were only there for about 15 minutes, just the right amount of time to soak up the festive atmosphere, and visit the strategically placed toilets, next to the queue!
On the way into the first "zone" we had our ticket scanned by a very friendly "elf", and was given two chocolate bars each, (curly whirly and buttons in case you wondering!), and we entered the first room......which is the precise moment my son decided to kick off!
The first two or three zones consist of a history of chocolate and it's origins coming from the Aztec jungle and how it came to England in the first place, this was shown in a jungle filled with (what my son described as) very scary looking men.
The fact that the room was lit by lamplight gave a very gloomy and scary looking look to the room, so I was starting to panic that the entire tour would be ark and scary for him, with my husband getting dangerously close to walking out!
After rushing through the jungle part, which in fairness didn't really hold much interest to any of use, we came into a room that held a selection of Victorian looking shop fronts, depicting Bull street, where George Cadbury opened his first shop, funnily enough selling tea!
This was nice enough display, but was a holding room to go into two other rooms with shows on in them, again this was in a dark room that very soon filled up, so we decided the best thing to do was skip these two shows and go onto the next zone, which I have to say was easily achieved with the help of a lovely man escorting us through.
Due to us missing the shows out we got into a room with loads of computers and screens that enabled you to choose and educational film showing how specific types of Cadburys sweets are made, this thankfully was in a well lit room, and we didn't have to worry from that moment on as Connor decided actually he really liked this place, as long as he could start eating the free chocolate, bribery is such a harsh word!
From this point on we were heading to the factory itself, meaning that we got to see in detail every part of manufacturing of the chocolate, which I found really interesting, from the tempering of the chocolate through to the moulding and wrapping of particular bars, these were Dairy milks today, but it does state that there maybe times there is no action on the factory floor, though the impression we got was that there was the factory parts behind the scenes and certain areas filled with action and workers that were there 24/7 to be seen.
A t a few moments through this tour (and endless sets of stairs, though there plenty of toilets and lifts for the disabled on the way), there were areas for getting freebies, with there newest bars "spots and stripes" being given out, but also the chance to sit with a Santa in a sleigh for a photo opportunity, (which there were plenty of, all with the chance to buy at specific points throughout the tour, but not obligated to do so!), at which point my children were given a Cadbury's plastic cup with twirly straw from Santa, which I though was a lovely touch.
After this my son again decided he didn't like the look of the next area, which turned out to be my daughters favourite part, car ride round what I can only described as "chocolate egg land", which contained lots of different funny scene's of eggs in their houses watching the television, even eggs skiing down a slope, which my daughter thought was funny and amazing with the temperature even being dropped to mimic how it would feel in the snow!
The car journey was fun, and suitable for all ages, and just as much fun for the children as it was for the adults, my favourite part was an adult sized caramel bunny sitting under a tree having a caramel bar, fantastic!
The last zone again was touch and go for my son, as it started in a darkish corridor, backlit with the Cadbury's purple strip lights, but it wasn't until we turned the corner that we saw the corridor in it's entirety, with this being the new advertising zone, with adverts and displays from the very beginning.
After watching a few vintage adverts(and myself and my hubby having a sing along, the kids looking at use bemused!), we wandered into a room with a large mirrored area and a huge DJ's desk and chocolate DJ model.
After watching someone hitting one of four buttons at the bottom of the base we heard the Phil Collins song piped into the room, "in the air tonight" and was gob smacked to find the mirrored area become clear glass with a completely mechanised gorilla on the drums behind it, we were all transfixed by it, and we did play it at least three times more!
In he next room there were a plethora of interactive and child friendly games, from shadow football to a fantastic area that encourages children to "jump" or "stamp" onto the unwrapping chocolates projected onto the white floor, this created enough noise and vibrations to actually make some of the other displays shake, but was thoroughly enjoyed by my children and another family there at the time.
We then came out of this area straight into the words biggest Cadbury's shop, and needless to say went onto to spend £30.00 on sweets and merchandise, well it would be rude not to! And there is even an area where the mis-shaped chocolate is sold, along with other discounted priced sweets, a bargain or two was picked up from here I can tell you!
There loads of other area's to visit once the initial tour is over with, there is lovely clean and quite spacious looking restaurant, serving holt and cold meals with plenty of choice of everything in-between, we stuck to the hot drinks though (to go) and let the kids play on the massive adventure playground for a bit, well to at least burn of all the energy they had gained from the chocolate they had eaten so far!
There is another display featured with the "Bourneville experience" that is part display and part interactive, though aimed more towards an adult, my kids (and hubby!) enjoyed designing their own chocolate box then typing who designed it, it instantly got displayed on a bill board in a fake sweet shop front, it took a good three attempts for me to be able to take a photograph of their designs but I got there in the end!
Finally we got to the last show, again one that my husband decided to sit out of as my son preferred to stay outside on the playground.
The show in question was one called "essence", which involved a ten minute laser show of George Cadbury and two of his staff at the moment he discovered the "two and half glasses" of milk was the secret ingredient, this then ended in a room with two lovely men who let each person choose a ingredient and then they poured a generous helping of warm runny chocolate, I had marshmallows and it was delicious and the perfect ending to the experience.
There are full listings of prices and opening times on the website - www.cadbury.co.uk, with my particular family ticket (two adults and two children), saving me £42.00! Bargain!
This is a lovely trip out that started slow, but soon became fascinating and a lot of fun.
The staff are more than helpful and almost determined that everyone has a good time, with each one offering extra advice and directions to the best stands and shows, though I do feel this was the best time to come as I know feel extremely festive!
Thanks for reading, especially if you made it until the end! xx
There is 6 of us in our family with children ages ranging from 10-16years an can honestly say the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves there was enough to keep you entertained as they went around the factory and other parts of the site which includes lots of chocolate given to you during the course of the tour, I could explain lots about the different parts and areas including the section where a photo taken of you and it is converted in a chocolate image of yourself, but it would take too long.
The only downside I would say is the shop which is billed as the largest Cadbury shop in the world Now given that Cadbury are not having to pay for transportation costs, or mark up cost by a retailer selling Cadbury products, you would expect the chocolate to be reasonably priced, it was not, in fact it would have been far cheaper to go down the road to the local supermarket and buy the exact same product. Some people may say that it is part of the experience buying from the shop, unfortunately if being overcharged for items which should be considerably cheaper is your idea of fun then fine, but as far as I am concerned this is just ripping off the customer, by all means walk around the shop but save your money and by the same product anywhere but here as it will be cheaper.
The only other gripe I had was that I was more interested in their attitudes towards social health and social welfare, which was dealt with informatively and without boring the pants off the children, but to find any information about the wonderful surrounding village which was built by Cadbury as part of their whole plan for the welfare of the workers was almost impossible except for a miniature scale model and a poor quality photocopied sheet which offered after some searching.
There are discounts vouchers to be had on the ticket price by printing the vouchers which you can be picked off the internet for Cadbury World but you have to present these on the day and as such you could be left waiting for sometime, having said this we went at the height of summer and people who turned up who had not pre-booked seemed to get in ahead of us, who had paid in advance and reserved our spot.
In conclusion do go and see the factory and the other parts which were all lively and interesting but avoid the shop.
We went to Wales for our summer holiday this year but decided to split the six hour drive up a bit by staying in a few places along the way. One of these places was Birmingham. Whilst we were there we visited the famous Cadbury world. Here is what we thought of it.
On arrival - There is a massive car park right in front of the factory.
At the enterance are two queues, one for pre booked tickets and one for 'pay on day', they were both about as long as each other. I had booked my tickets to guarantee our entry as it was a busy Sunday in the school holidays. Once you have your tickets you can make your way to a giant bar of Dairy milk to start your adventure. Before going in we were each given a curly whirly and a bag of chocolate buttons -yum.
Cadbury world is split into fourteen sections, I will try to briefly go through each one in order they appear on the tour.
Aztec jungle - this is a little walk through area that is themed like the jungle, there are display boards and images explaining the origins of the cocoa bean. I found them quite interesting but my five and ten year old children seemed to whizz through it.
Journey to Europe - this is a mini animated theatre that shows you how and why chocolate came to Europe. It is very clever how it is animated and the whole family enjoyed the show.
Bull Street - This is a mock up of the street where the Cadbury business started. There are shop fronts and signs which look very authentic. This is also a sort of holding area whilst you wait for the next attraction to become free.
Cadbury story - This is a short animation showing how the Cadbury business was started and how it grew to become so successful.
Making chocolate - This is a film showing how cocoa beans are turned into chocolate. It has special effects such as smoke and the seats shaking. The children especially liked this bit.
Manufacturing - This is just a hallway with several computers in it, the computers show you how specific chocolates are made, such as roses and buttons. We were also each given a bar of Dairy milk.
Packaging - This way my favourite part of the tour, it is where you go into the actual factory and see how the chocolate is packaged. When we were there they were packaging the giant bars of Dairy milk, but it changes depending on when you go and some times there may be no production line.
Cadabra - this is a little ride that takes you on a journey through chocolate land, full of cute cocoa beans and magical music. It is really aimed at small children.
Demonstration - here you can write your name with chocolate onto a marble slab, you can also see some of the staff making chocolate teddy bears and different shapes.
Advertising avenue - this is an area full of happy memories with old and new Cadbury adverts.
Purple planet - This is an interactive area where computers can make you into chocolate, you can dance in chocolate rain and find out loads of fun chocolaty facts.
The worlds biggest Cadbury shop - which well isn't that big, it sells all sorts of things from Bertie Bassett keyrings to bars of chocolate. It also has a mini factory shop selling reduced items.
The bournville experience - this is outside the actual factory and is so hidden that we missed it, so I can't comment on what it is like. But it tells the story of how Bourneville village was built.
Essence - This is also outside the main building and was my husband and children's favourite part, you travel back in time with holographic images to find out how the secret recipe for Dairy milk came to life. You then get to create your own recipe where you are given a cup of hot melted chocolate and can put in an added ingredient such a s popcorn, wine gums, biscuit or marshmallow. This was so so so sickly but the kids loved it.
Outside of Essence there is a large play area and a small hut selling hot and cold drinks, ice cream and hot dogs.
At the entrance there is a restaurant selling lunches, cakes and drinks.
We didn't visit the food areas so I can't really comment on these. There were loads of picnic benches and grass areas for people who wished to bring there own lunch, which I thought was great.
We were one of the first families to arrive and I would suggest get there as early as possible as on all the attractions it was only us and another family, when we left the queues were huge and so I think enjoyment would be hindered with too many people .
There is disabled access for most areas except the actual factory part and the Cadabra ride, prams are not allowed in these areas either.
Ticket prices are
Adult - £13.90
Child (4-15), OAP, students- £10.10
Family (2 + 2) - £42.00
Family (2 + 3) - £49.00
Under fours - Free
We found a deal on a website giving us free children with a paying adult (not sure if I can put it here, but message me if you want it) .
I think it was good value for money we all had a great day and it was an interesting and fascinating experience. It is only a half day activity though, although you could bring lunch and enjoy the play area to lengthen your visit.
I would recommend this to any chocolate fan
Just returned from a visit to Cadbury World today. Went with 10 and 7 year old and both really loved it. We thought it was interesting varied and having scouted around on the internet and got 1 child in free it was good value. I hadn't expected to get anything free (you don't at the guiness factory in dublin) - so coming away with our clutch of goodies was a result!! Shop prices were cheaper than both Tesco and Sainsbury's. All in all good day out - we spent 3 hours there and the time sped by!! - If you research the venue, you will see that there is not really much time spent actually in the factory so the other reviewers can't have researched their day out properly. Polite friendly staff. Well sign posted from M42, plenty of parking and facilities for outdoor eating. Probably one of the best tourist venues I have been too (beats Chessington, Thorpe Park, Madame Tussards hands down!!)
Over priced, out dated, tacky and uninspiring. You get to see hardly anything related to the actual manufacture of the chocolate either. Don't expect lots of freebies, you get a bag of buttons and a curly wurly and thats it. The place is now in its 20th year and badly needs a revamp. Not that new owners Kraft will be spending any money on improving the attraction or its value for money. Will only be enjoyed by small children and is a costly day out for what it is
On visiting Cadbury World in Birmingham yesterday I decided to write this review whilst it is still fresh in my mind.
I went with my two younger children who are 7 and 8. My 16 year old didn't fancy coming and I am glad really as it would have been a waste of £13 for his ticket. It would not appeal to a teenage lad.
Having £50 of Tesco vouchers spare I had a look around my local (ish) area to see what we could use them on and on reading this out my children's eyes lit up and so the choice was made.
Having looked on the website for information and seeing that you could not book online using vouchers I had to ring them up to book. You do have to book as they cannot have too many people going around at one time as the rooms would not cater for it.
You can look online though to see what is available before you ring.
I booked us all in, was given a booking reference and then all I had to do was find the directions to get there and take my vouchers with me.
On the site it states which best ways to go and to NOT go through Birmingham itself. Once you get off the main motorways (we went from the M42 jt 2) there are brown signposts so it is easy to find without a map.
On driving in, there are many car parks so there is sufficient parking and we did not have to walk too far to get to reception and collect our tickets and leaflet about the different areas. You do have the option to purchase further bumph but I declined.
We went to the entrance of the tour, our tickets were slightly ripped by the guy there and we were all given two bars of chocolate much to my kids delight.
We entered through the double doors into almost darkness and we were then into the Aztec Jungle area. There was a made up jungle and wax dummies showing us where the cocoa beans originated from and what they used them for. This was a nice area and very interesting.
The next area was the story of how it came to Europe, there are four screens and a projected film with little actors against real furniture which was quite a good effect. The only downside I felt was that if there are too many people here then the children would have trouble seeing it properly.
The next room was Bull Street. This was basically just shop fronts with old versions of chocolate in the window. We had to wait a few minutes here until we were allowed in the next room. There was a man telling us some facts on a screen above.
Once allowed in the next room it is like the cinema, and we sat down and watched the man from the previous room tell us a bit more about the history along with the sons. You get to know how they created the town Bourneville and made a better life for their employees.
The next room, you are given a warning about any medical reasons for sudden movements, these people need to stand or sit at the back. We then sit down and watch yet another movie about the actual making of chocolate. The sudden movements are - smoke coming out of the bottom of the seats, the seats shaking (like the cocoa beans) and the heaters coming on above, along with a huge roller above going around.
Coming out of this room and you have screens that look like video arcade games, and you can choose what film you would like to watch and see how that chocolate is made.
Next is packaging, you go up some stairs and follow the white line. We are met by a man who offers us another bar of chocolate and tell us that the packaging plant is not working at the moment and so all we could do here was walk along and see yet another short film and then walk back round where we came in.
The next part of the tour was a short ride in Cadabra. You can fit four people in a car and it takes you around a track inside and you see all the little cocoa beans dancing around and fishing and skiing. They also take a picture of you which you can purchase.
After this was the demonstration area where they put liquid chocolate in a tube and you have the chance to write something in chocolate on the marble worktop. As we were there one of the guys behind the counter did an amazing picture of Tinkerbelle.
Moving along there is a corridor with all the old advertising posters and towards the end is a DJ and TVS showing old adverts.
The purple planet is the next room which is interactive. You have a game where you can help make a tree grow, have your picture taken and then have it look like you are made out of chocolate, play on a maze screen. See bubbles on a screen and move them around with your shadow, and jump on a screen on the floor to crack the chocolate open or open rose wrappers.
Outside is the park and another part of the factory showing the Bourneville experience. This shows a small model of the town, along with busts of the main people and a shop window. In front of the shop window is an interactive computer screen where you can design your own chocolate box or wrapper and then a poster advertisement to put it on and once completed, you put your name in and when you look in the shop window your design is there.
Also across from here is Essence. This is another separate room which takes you back in time, you see another projected image and go through to another similar room. After this you can go through to test samples and choose what ingredient you would like to add to melted chocolate. This ranges from wine gums, popcorn, shortcake, jelly babies and so on. You get this in a small cup with a fork.
After all of this the children were finally allowed (by me) to go the park which my son half way through had just been eager to do as he got quite bored of all the history and films.
There is also the world's biggest Cadburys shop which you come into after the purple planet and a cafe but I did not really look into any of these as we brought our own drinks and food. As the parking was close by, we could leave these in the car and go back to them whenever we wanted. (after the internal tour)
It cost in total £34 for the three of us and I think this is a bit steep (although I didn't pay of course) and my youngest was only really interested in about half of the whole thing. Having walked past the park on the way in, he was mostly eager to get to that. But the other zones he was interested in included the purple planet, the cadabra ride, the Bourneville experience computer game and the special effects in the video chocolate making. It only took us 2 hours to go around the whole thing and therefore it is only a half day out really. We left home at 1pm and got there at 2.40, our booking was 2.50pm. we were all done including the play area by 6pm. In the play area there is also a small cabin that sells drinks and ice lollies etc.
The children liked the free samples which included a curly wurly and buttons on entry and a dairy milk at the production area. At the essence area the melted chocolate with a filling was nice but a bit sickly for me, even the kids didn't finish theirs.
They could have spent a bit longer in the purple planet room and it would have been nice to be able to go back there but there is no way to get there separately, whereas the Bourneville experience is separate?? They should swap that around.
I don't think they have the mix for children right as they get quite bored with the history lesson and this did seem to drag on. Also I would have liked to have seem more of the production department and maybe more magical stuff like willy wonka (ok maybe not little orange men walking around!)
A not bad afternoon out but not worth the money.
Cadbury world the perfect day out for children or even adults who love chocolate, at least that is what I thought! Located in Birmingham, just leave the M42 at junction two and follow the brown signs to Cadbury world. Cadbury world is actually within the Cadbury factory, and the tour takes you through the chocolate making process right from making the chocolate and along to packaging it ready for sale.
Ticket prices are £13.90 for adults £10.10 for a child and under four year olds get in for free, For two adults and two children there is a family deal of £42.00. I have seen a lot of reviewers on here complaining about the entry fee, but nowadays there is not much you can do on less than £15 each.
When you arrive at the factory there is a large car park, so no problems finding a parking space. When we entered the building we had already bought the tickets online, so we skipped a fair chunk of the queue.
When you are queuing to enter the actual attraction, you are handed a bag of goodies, at the time we went we were given a fudge, dairy milk, caramel and a bag of buttons. I ate all of mine whilst waiting, which I later realised was a big mistake, I should have taken my girlfriends advice and kept them for later, you don't get as much free chocolate during the tour as I had hoped!
When we were finally allowed to enter the museum, the first stop was the Aztec jungle, I didn't really enjoy this bit myself, it was more to do with the history of cocoa rather than Cadbury.
After the jungle is the journey to Europe, a story of how cocoa beans made it to Europe, another section that didn't impress me - I wanted to see some Cadbury's chocolate.
You are then walked through to Bull Street, this is a life size model of the street where the first Cadbury shop opened. This wasn't too bad, but by now the children seemed to be getting restless, up to now it had been a history lesson!
Then you come to the Cadbury story, and the history continues, this tells you how the Cadbury brand started and how it made itself famous.
Finally, after what seemed like eternity, you are greeted with another two free chocolate bars, for us, it was a Wispa and a Freddo. Here you can see a huge bowl full of melted chocolate, at the start of the production line. Unfortnately this had a plastic screen in front, or I would of been tempted to dip my Wispa in!
The tour continues to the manufacturing stage, where you can watch interactive videos of how each product is made.
The packaging stage was very good, this was the first look into the actual factory, here we saw thousands of crunchies whizzing past us ready to be wrapped, further on you see them packaged up and then into the boxes. Here you can also see boxes of other sweets ready to be despatched to the shops, it's a staggering amount.
Cadabra is the next step, a small ride where you sit in a car which takes you through the journey of chocolate, this ride is more for children, but I found it good to rest my legs for a bit!
From Cadabra you enter the demonstration area, here you are shown how they work with the chocolate and some people can write their name in chocolate, here we were offered a chocolate from the roses selection tubs, I was hoping for a full tub!
After the demonstration you can see the advertising section, this shows all of the Cadburys adverts that have ever been shown, my favourite was the adverts used when Cadburys sponsored Coronation Street, it gave an in depth video of how this was done.
Purple planet was next, this is definitely for children so me and the girlfriend gave this bit a miss, but you can step inside booths and see yourself made out of chocolate.
We were now coming to the end of the Cadbury experience, but luckily for us they had just opened a new attraction called Essence, here you get a chance to create your own chocolate, well not really, you are given a cup of warm chocolate and can add one sweet of your choice e.g popcorn, biscuits or rice crispies. Unfortunately you are only allowed one cup, and the cups were small!
At the end of the tour, you can visit the worlds biggest Cadbury shop, this bit was great, and it housed more chocolate than we had seen all day, it then dawns on you that you are no longer on the tour, and are actually in the shop, no freebies in here!
There was a cafe there, we didn't try this as by this time i had eaten all of my chocolate and half of my girlfriends, and the thought of a greasy burger didn't seem like a good mix.
Overall, for the money its not a bad day out, considering you are in a chocolate factory, i feel a lot more freebies should have been available. Also more of the tour should have been within the actual factory, much of it was sat in front of a TV screen rather than seeing the real thing.
The admission price isn't bad for what it is, it's a good day out for children, and perfect for a rainy day.
I will give it 3/5 it was a worthwhile look but won't be returning until we have children.
Cadbury World is a place where it is part factory, part heritage and a lot of fun. It is in the village of Bournville which is located near Birmingham City Centre. It is arranged in fourteen different zones which I will briefly tell you about.
Zone 1 - Aztec Jungle
Aztec Jungle is an area where there are wax figures and a fake tropical rainforest. This area tells us the origins of the cocoa bean and what the Aztec's used them for.
Zone 2 - Journey to Europe
This area is made up of four 3d models with Hernan Cortez and other people projected on to it to tell us the story of how he brought the cocoa bean to Europe and how it became a popular chocolate drink.
Zone 3 - Bull Street
There is not much to this area, it just looks like shop windows around the room and a voice tells you about John Cadbury and how the business started.
Zone 4 - Cadbury Story
This is a theatre style room with seats where you watch three different screens and John Cadbury's face. John Cadbury and his sons Richard and George tell us how Dairy Milk was born and how they built the village Bournville for their employee's.
Zone 5 - Making Chocolate
This is another theatre style room with seats. A man on a screen tells us what makes Cadbury's chocolate and there are special effects in here too. These effects are the seats shaking, hot lamps and a little smoke.
Zone 6 - Manufacturing
This is a little room with four screens with buttons and you can select a Cadbury chocolate and see how it is made. You can see the following chocolates being made: Turkish Delight, Creme Egg, Dairy Milk, Roses and Crunchie. There were two more but for the life of me I can't remember which one's they were.
Zone 7 - Packaging
This is the packing plant, which is up a set of stairs. You do need to leave pushchairs downstairs in an area as they are not permitted upstairs. Once upstairs you follow the white line round, you first come to an open mixing drum filled with melted chocolate. You then walk along and find computer screens where you can test your Cadbury knowledge. Next is a screen telling you more about the chocolate. Up another lot of stairs and you come to the packaging area and you can see the chocolates moving along the conveyer belt getting wrapped and packed. They were doing Dairy Milk as we walked around.
Zone 8 - Cadabra
This is a small ride in fun coloured cars. Going around you see small cocoa beans having fun and singing away. They also take a picture during the ride.
Zone 9 - Demonstration
This is as the title says where members of staff demonstrate some ways they use their chocolate and you can write your name on a marble slab with liquid chocolate.
Zone 10 - Advertising Avenue
This is what looks like a back alley with posters and TV screens showing past adverts for Cadbury's. At the end of the alley is a room that's set up as a disco with a DJ and you pick a song relating to one of the adverts.
Zone 11 - Purple Planet
This is an interactive zone where you can make a tree grow on screen, be made of chocolate in a picture, which you can later purchase. There is an area with chocolate squares on the floor that you jump on to make them break and a mirrored planet.
Zone 12 - The World's Biggest Cadbury Shop
Doesn't need much explaining it is a shop filled with chocolate to buy, plus souvenirs. There is also a factory area where you can but broken chocolate or mis-shapes or things that are slightly damaged.
Zone 13 - The Bournville Experience
I can't really comment on this bit as we never did it. But on the leaflet it says it tells you the ethics of the Cadbury family and how they created the Bournville village and why.
Zone 14 - Essence
Essence is made up of four areas; two rooms are areas where we travel back in time to see why dairy milk is so special, next is a little room that looks like a factory where you get a pot of melted chocolate added to a sweet treat. There were about ten different combinations available ranging from shortcake, jelly babies, liquorice all sorts, pop corn and others. The last area is another shop which is made to look old fashioned, it has most of the same things as the world's biggest Cadbury shop.
There is free parking, restaurant, and outdoor play area, facilities for the disabled, toilets and baby changing areas.
Adult - £13.90
Child (4 - 15) - £10.10
Child (under 4 years) - Free
Senior citizen/ Student (with NUS card) - £10.50
Family Ticket (2 adults, 2 children) - £42.00
Family Ticket (2 adults, 3 children) - £49.00
We went to Cadbury World for my daughter's second birthday. We had ordered voucher's from Tesco and then phoned and booked which was easy to do. On arrival it was very quiet as we were there for the opening time of 10 o'clock, just as we entered though there was a coach full of school children. Once in the building it was quick and easy to queue for our tickets and then we entered.
At the entrance you give them your ticket and a corner gets ripped off and you get a curly wurly and a packet of buttons each. You then follow the route around. On entering the packing area you get another freebie, this time a dairy milk.
Once you have finished the Zone 13 the biggest Cadbury shop in the world you need to go outside and around the corner to the last two zones which are situated in separate buildings. This was alright on our day out as the sun had come out but if it was bad weather it wouldn't be so good.
In the essence zone you get free melted chocolate and a filling of your choice, this is ok if you just want to add one filling but you are only aloud one and my partner wanted two. Also he found the melted chocolate a little to sickly however I and my daughter loved it.
The play area outside was a good size and was well kept. When we sat down for lunch there were hundreds of kids everywhere on day trips, there must have been at least three different schools. So we therefore had a noisy lunch and my daughter didn't get on any of the play area as it was just too busy.
Overall this was a lovely half day out. Knowing it was only a half day experience I'm glad we had the vouchers as I would never had paid the full price, it seems a bit expensive for just three and half hours we were there. You do always have Birmingham city centre nearby if you want to make a day of it. It is worthwhile going if you are a chocoholic and can handle smelling all the time whilst there.
I went to visit Cadbury's World just before the shareholders decided to sell it to Kraft. It was a great visit and I was surprised by how popular it was.
Cadbury's World is based in Bourneville near Birmingham and is open to the public generally 7 days a week up until the run up til Christmas. Opening times vary depending on the time of year and these can be found on the Cadbury's website. It generally opens from 9.00am and can close as early as 3.00pm some days.
I went with my boyfriend and an adult ticket cost £13.90 and a student ticket cost £10.50. There was the option to purchase tickets over its website and then collect on the day but we found this took just as long as the people who arrived on the day and purchased their tickets at the tills. Cadbury World also has a family ticket for two adults and two children or two adults and three children and these cost £42.00 and £49.00 respectively.
My boyfriend and I arrived at about 1.00pm and were told they were only selling tickets for the tour starting at 3.30pm. We weren't sure if we would find things to fill up the time before the tour started but we needn't have worried as there was plenty to do.
There was a large Cadbury store selling its products and other gifts and the price of chocolate was more than reasonable. Its chocolate products were being sold cheaper than in supermarkets and shops and a standard bar of Dairy Milk was being sold for 30p. They also sold great gift sets with chocolates and there was an abundance of Easter Eggs on sale too!
We spent a long time mooching around in the store and having a look at the things being sold and then we took a trip to see Essence which was a short walk away. This is the show which tells you how Mr Richard Cadbury came up with his "glass and a half" of milk for Dairy Milk chocolate. At the end of the show there is a chance for you to create your own flavour and taste it! I chose chocolate and jelly babies which I thought was a great combination but when trying it I discovered it was too sweet and I could only eat the chocolate.
We then went to the museum on site which I thought was small and didn't have a lot to see. It had a timeline showing the work of the Cadbury Brothers and how they created housing and encouraged education amongst their workers. The surprising thing we discovered was that there was not one single pub in Bourneville which is where the factory is as the Cadbury Brothers being Quakers did not approve of their workers spending so much time down the pub.
The tour started at 3.30pm and we had a great time. It is not a guided tour so you walk round at your own pace but they need to give you times as to when to go in to regulate numbers. It is recommended you leave one and a half hours for the tour and on it you find out about the history of chocolate and how it came to be known to the modern world. You are told of the chocolate making process and there are booths and games to keep you occupied and all the themes are about Cadbury and how its chocolate is made. There is also a chance to write with chocolate and to see the Cadbury employees at work. We were also given three bars of chocolate each throughout the tour so if you ever get hungry you have something to nibble on!
There is a café too so if after the tour you felt you needed a drink or food it was a good place to go. I felt the prices in the café was a tad bit on the expensive side and you may be better off taking your own food and drink.
Overall I thought this was a pleasant day out and well worth the money. We spent approximately 4 and a half hours there and whilst there was some queuing to see Essence and to buy tickets and to wait for the start of the tour, I thought there was plenty to keep you occupied. For the children there is a play area with several climbing frames so it would have kept them amused for part of the time. I thought it was great how you got to taste some chocolate and I didn't know you got given chocolate on the tour and I thought this was an added bonus. This was a great day out for us but it may be tiring for young children who probably aren't really bothered about where chocolate come from and how it is made.
I have two tenuous links to Cadbury. The first is that the former Chief Exec and Chairman of the company, Sir John Sunderland went to the boys' school next door to mine (though left 30 years before I started). The second is that I love chocolate.
I once went to Tasmania with the sole purpose of visiting their Cadbury factory ("...all because the lady loves Milk Tray") but my previous attempts to visit Birmingham's Cadbury World while in the area had all been thwarted, so we finally decided to make a specific trip recently. Big Sis lives in the Midlands, so I drove down to stay overnight and we set off early on Saturday morning. The route is not complicated, and (chocolate) brown tourist attraction signs, mixed with the occasional (caramel) yellow AA sign direct you from the nearby motorways to the factory itself. The car park is large and free, but there are no drive-through spaces - always our preferred option since it saves reversing into or out of a space.
We arrived just before the place opened at 10am and a queue was forming, perhaps because they stress in all their leaflets and on their website that you should book in advance due to limited room, as an indoor attraction. You can't do this, however, if using vouchers, and we had redeemed Tesco points for this outing. Ticket prices are steep for what you get, at almost £14 for an adult, and £10 for a child. Tesco tokens come under the Days Out banner so you get 4 times the voucher value, meaning I redeemed £7.50 in vouchers to get £30 in entry tokens. No change is given, but it still works out cheaper than redeeming £5 to get £20 and paying the difference. We had no trouble getting in but had to queue up for maybe 10 minutes, along with a lot of families NOT obeying the direction for one member to line up while others waited to the side.
We then proceeded to the entry to the first part, where they enticingly hand over two full-sized chocolate treats, currently a Curly Wurly and a bag of Buttons. I'd not had the former in maybe 20 years and I soon remembered why - I don't like them all that much - but you don't say no to free chocolate, even when expecting lots more to come. The first area you move into is small and cramped, and offers a rather boring museum style display about the history of chocolate rather than anything to do with Cadbury. I say boring because if you've been to any other chocolate museum or factory, you'll have seen or heard it all before. It was also extremely dark so people struggled to see where they were going, though flash photos lit the way (and came out surprisingly clearly). We dutifully read all the display signs but didn't really learn anything, and I could understand why many people, especially those with kids in tow, raced through this.
The next stop was a series of glass windows showing a hologram film of how Cadbury began. It's here that we began to think that doling out Curly Wurlys at the start was not the best idea. Waiting for the screens to reset took a few minutes, so we were not the only people who dug out the chocolate at this point and starting eating. However Curly Wurlys are quite messy - the chocolate literally falls off the toffee - so there were shards all over the floor that some poor person would clearly have to clean up later.
This was also a bit of a bottleneck as people had been flowing through the Aztec Jungle part only to get caught up here in batches waiting for the film to reset. At the time this seemed rather badly designed since there was no room really to wait in, but it soon became clear why they'd done it, as the next few areas were group activities - two little sit-down 'cinemas' showing films about Cadbury and where chocolate comes from. From here you go into the packaging area and again, cluster round a few screens which show you short films of how the make various items in the range - this was interesting to watch but there were a few too many people for the number of screens. You couldn't really hang around though, because the next lot would be spilling out of the previous cinema shortly. I would recommend heading to the furthest screen on offer in this bit since it gets you out of the way when the next lot come through. Some people gave up on this and just watched a couple of the shorts, but we worked our way through all of them.
Next up is the demonstration area where you, finally, get more chocolate. This may depend on what they're making that day and/or what they want to promote: we got a new Fair Trade Dairy Milk each. By this point the crowds have thinned out and you can go at your own pace again, walking round the packaging plant and having a nosy at how they make things. You can't get in to it, but you can peer through the glass as people are hard at work...watching the machines do their job. We saw bars being wrapped, and wrapped bars being batched into boxes. This part has a few steps, and is about a ¼ mile circuit to walk but is worth it if only for the glorious chocolate smell that suddenly hits you as you walk round. If you want, you can also do a computerised quiz at one point, but alas there are no prizes, chocolatey or otherwise, up for grabs.
Cadabra is a fairground style ride of the tamest sort, and the place you get to next on the circuit. To be honest, it is not worth bothering with as an adult (and you can skip it entirely) though little ones might like it. You sit in the world's slowest car and slowly crawl round the Cadbury equivalent of Disney's 'It's A Small World'. This is a newish attraction, but I really didn't see what it added, and I can imagine any child who has been treated to a trip to Disney or even Alton Towers would also feel underwhelmed.
Next up is the Demonstration Area where you can watch various talented artists among the staff make pretty chocolate shapes, and also write your name in chocolate and so on - it's fun, but also a bit of a let down as there's so much chocolate right in front of you but none is for eating and they have all sorts of signs up about how you can buy 'hygienic' chocolate in the shop at the entrance, thus implying that this stuff is not (probably because they use it for demos repeatedly throughout the day). It's quite hard to resist running your finger through it when they're not looking though. The third station at this stop was especially good when we went, because the demonstrator was a fantastic entertainer and really played to the crowd, putting everyone in a good mood (if you weren't already, and, hello, you're in Cadbury World).
The final two parts of the main circuit are a lot less chocolatey - first you walk through a tunnel full of old Cadbury adverts playing on loops, and old packaging to remember. You don't realise how much things like Buttons have changed until you see the old bags from the 90s. This is also the place to discover some famous faces - the Caramel Bunny and the Gorilla, for example. Finally you hit the Purple Planet which is an interactive area that has very little to do with chocolate, but which the kids seemed to like, and reminded me of parts of Blackpool Tower.
We left this area with a bit of an 'is that really it?' feeling. Somehow I'd been expecting something a little more...special. I had an image in my mind of what a trip to Cadbury World would be like, and the reality is a bit different. We had three (ok, by now two) full sized chocolate bars to take away but I had thought by this point I would have scoffed a bit more. At the Cadbury Factory in Tasmania they literally drip feed you chocolate as you go round, and even though the treats are smaller (some only Heroes or Roses sized) somehow it feels like more as it's a constant flow. That is also a guided tour, while this is a self-guided set up, though you can only go at your own pace during the bits where you're not caged up with dozens of other visitors in a little, locked room...
Luckily we weren't quite done yet, as there is a new exhibit, Essence, outside in the courtyard near the playground, and this won the place a few more brownie points. It starts with a hideous, irritating film but swiftly moves on to...more free chocolate. Yay! Though again, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. They sell it as the place you can concoct your own chocolate creation using all sorts of mix-ins, but in reality you can only have one of these. The choices include things like Wine Gums, marshmallows and popcorn, which they place in a small paper cup and drench in warm, liquid chocolate. I had shortcake pieces and the result was delicious - I just wish I could have gone back for more. This is the only place where the item you get is not pre-packaged, but they have dietary info for the items stuck up on the wall, so we could easily see which (few) were suitable for vegetarians.
Since we were out here, we headed into the Bourneville Experience exhibition which is also out here in the courtyard. It is about the history of Bourneville Village, but wasn't overly interesting, and we didn't stay long.
There were two places inside left to explore, both of which are accessible without a ticket (ditto the playground and the Bourneville Experience, but obviously not Essence). We had lunch in the cafe which had a reasonable choice though confusingly the menu of hot food was near the entrance, not next to the counters, and some things weren't on display. We requested a veggie burger which they said would be 5 minutes - it came out after a more reassuring 10, and was nice and well cooked, and choc full of veggies. I had a sandwich from their large range which again was nice and fresh, despite not having been made on site. We also delved into the sweet treats on offer, having a mousse desert thing and a slice of chocolate orange cake which was a little dry. Prices were not too bad, and the cafe layout was nice and airy, akin to my local Lakeland cafe.
The 'World's Biggest Cadbury Shop' lived up to its name but was nothing compared to the one in Tasmania, where they sold fresh-from-the-factory chocolate, not even packaged properly, but just wrapped up in paper bags. Here there was very little chocolate you could not find in supermarkets (often costing less too) and the 'extras' were really non-edible things like toy Gorillas and Cadbury Bunny post-its. Fun to have, but nothing to satisfy my sweet tooth. They had a few hand-made treats you wouldn't find elsewhere, which could make great gifts, but they weren't especially cheap, and didn't look like they would cost the money they did (always important when giving presents!)
It's a bit of a strange mix of part museum, part factory tour (sort of - more part of a nosy through the window of a tiny bit of the factory) but it seemed to lack good old fashioned entertainment value and while the idea of going to a world of chocolate would have appealed to me as a child, I'd have been left wondering where it was after a visit here - even with the silly ride they've thrown in, I can imagine more than a few disappointed kiddies leave here on a daily basis as it's kid friendly but not that, well, interesting for little ones.
Obviously I'm glad I have now visited Cadbury World, and I wouldn't try to dissuade anyone from going - once. I would, however, make sure you get some kind of discount. It is far too expensive for what you get to even consider paying full price, but there are all sorts of codes available online, or do what we did and let Tesco pick up the tab. As an indoor attraction (except for the walk round the corner to Essence) it is a suitable trip for any time of year, but it is a lot smaller than I'd imagined it would be, and we only stayed 3 hours despite including two trips to the cafe and a long trawl of the shop - you could easily do it in 90 minutes if you ploughed on and didn't dawdle. I won't be returning in a hurry, and that's something I'm a little sad about. It's ok, but I thought it could be better for the money. After all, just think how many bars of chocolate you could buy for £14...
I had wanted to go here for so long I was quite shocked by having to give it such a mediocre rating. This place currently ranks 5th (out of 5) on my list of chocolate experiences . For those who are interested, the others, in order of wow factor, are:
1, Chocolate Tasting at the Lindt Concept Store in Sydney - see review, this was an amazing evening I can still recall vividly 4 years later...
2, Cadbury Tasmania - for all the reasons above (and those in the review on the place)
3, Hershey (it RAINS chocolate here at one point, bars literally fall from the ceiling)
4, The chocolate museum in Cologne where they charge you less and are much more generous with the freebies