Newest Review: ... stuck in his teeth. I think they would have done better giving out something like a fudge bar instead. Fourteen Zones Cadbury World i... more
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate
Cadbury World (Birmingham)
Member Name: emmad5689
Cadbury World (Birmingham)
Advantages: Interesting, free chocolate, great playground
Disadvantages: Too old for our daughter, can't sit and watch children in playground, too many buggies/wheelchairs
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.
Summary: Not suitable for a 4 year old
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