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Cadbury World (Birmingham)
Member Name: WormThatTurned
Cadbury World (Birmingham)
Date: 06/03/03, updated on 07/03/03 (1460 review reads)
Advantages: Great for kids, Free chocolate, The smell
Disadvantages: Expensive, Very busy, Unfulfilling
I had a week off work last week and had a few days out with the missus and one of those rainy days was spent at Cadbury World in Bournville, near Birmingham. For those of you who don't know, this is where the Cadbury chocolate empire runs from and Cadbury World tells the story behind this modern-day phenomemon.
¬How to get there¬
Cadbury World is situated on-site to the chocolate factory in Bournville which is four miles south of Birmingham, it is well sign-posted from the M5, M6, M54 and M42 which all run close to Birmingham. Once you get within a mile of Bournville you cannot fail to miss the massive chimney's pumping out smoke from the chocolate making process. Alternatively and maybe a better option, considering Birmingham is a very congested City, is to use public transport. Bournville has it's own train station situated very close to the factory, the station has disabled access and is far more convenient. Buses 11a, 11c, 35 and 84 also run past the main entrance and are another option.
¬Admission prices and opening times¬
The opening and closing times vary considably and range from nine in the morning until five in the evening - I would highly recommend using their website to check the times prior to your visit or you could be disappointed.
Student/Senior Citizen £7
Family (2+2) £26.80
Family (2+3) £32
Groups of fifteen, Adult £6.50
Disabled and blind people and School parties are welcomed but are urged to check with the information line to guarantee admission.
¬Prior to your visit¬
This is a highly popular attraction especially during school holidays so I would advise if its possible to avoid school holidays and half terms for your visit or you could end up being trampled on by a gang of chocco-hungry kiddies. Another thing you will have to do is arrange your visit - you cannot sim
ply turn up or you will be turned away! You have to either ring up and obtain a booking reference number which you will need upon your arrival or alternatively you can e-mail them and obtain a reference number (allow 48 hours if you are using this option).
As soon as you step out of your car the thing that hits you is the smell - the smell of pure chocolate entices you inside. There are several car parks which serve Cadbury World all of which are free. Just inside the main entrance are at least twenty tills to cater for the hourdes of people waiting to pay for their tickets. In this main foyer is where the toilets and baby changing facilities are too. The toilets are clean and well maintained. You will be given a leaflet and given directions to join the queue of people waiting to enter into Cadbury World. Cameras and Camcorders are allowed on the tour but they must not be used in the production plant. Smoking is prohibited throughout the visitor centre.
Bear in mind this is a self guided tour and is not a tour of the factory, the only part of the chocolate making part of the building you will see is the packaging plant. We had to wait around ten minutes to go in which is fair enough and as we entered we were given two free chocolate bars - good way to calm down annoyed customers eh ? Ok the first part we came across was a dimly lit area which explained how the Aztec Indians of the Central American rainforest first discovered chocolate by way of cocoa beans. There were cine-screens explaining how the Aztec chiefs gave the secret away to Spanish conquistadors and little effigys of Indians extracting the cocoa beans from their shells.
On we moved to another room which was the story of how chocolate travelled from Central America to Britain in Victorian times and the story of George Cadbury and how he started out his chocolate empire in a little back street in Bull Street, Birmingham. Another cine-sc
reen went into m
ore detail about the struggles of George Cadbury and how he started to become successful and how his sons built on the foundations he laid. I found this part very interesting, especially how they outgrew their inner-city production factory and moved to the country - Bournville. I wasn't aware that Bournville was a town completely built for the factory and that all the shops, hospitals, schools etc were built for the chocolate workers.
The next stage was another cine-screen going into detail about every stage of chocolate production, starting from the cultivating of cocoa beans to the liquification of chocolate in the Bournville plant. There were countless further mini-screens explaining how each different product is made i.e Dairy Milk, Crunchie, Buttons, Creme Eggs etc.
On we went to the production plant, here we could see the chocolate bars via way of conveyor belts being wrapped and packed in boxes. We could see the employees at work overseeing the computers, working the machines - all very fascinating, at this point we were given two more free chocolate bars!
The next stage was a ride on Cadabra, this is a beanmobile which travels slowly through the world of the animated bean people and what they get upto. Here we had our picture taken that we could see at the end of the ride. The kids in our beanmobile looked bored while us adults laughed aloud at the antics of these curious bean people! At the end of the ride was a lift which could take you back to the main foyer if you so wished and also a chance for you to buy your ride-photo.
On we went to a room where Cadbury workers were making different shapes made out of chocolate, you could taste the chocolate in liquid form and how quickly it hardened, the missus got it all over herself - typical of her ! You could have cakes and chocolate with your name or face on it too. A bit further on was a kids section where you could shoot bean-people with air guns -
of course I had a go
hehe. Also in this section was where you could learn how animators made the Coronation Street adverts.
This is where the tour ended and which led us into a Cadburys shop where you could buy things you had just witnessed being made, there were countless souvenirs and knick-knacks and also a warehouse bit where there was lots of special offers. Parallel to the shop was a very busy coffee shop serving very expensive refreshments.
Outside the main foyer is Cadbury Land, this is a childrens play area where the kiddies can meet characters such as Dudley Sidebottom, Barney Buttons and Freindly Fudge (some people will do anything for a pint). This is also a picnic area where the adults can relax although when we were here it was throwing it down with rain.
The tour should take you between two and three hours. Overall I was a bit disappointed with Cadbury World, I thought I would see much more of the chocolate making process, basically it was a flashy, glitzy tour of cinema screens. At £8.75 I didnt think I got my moneys worth. I think it is heavily directed towards children who would undoubtedly get more out of the visit than us adults. I enjoyed parts of the tour like the history of Cadbury and learnt a few things but I doubt very much whether I will be returning in the near future.
Attraction rating 5/10
24 hour information line (opening/closing times) 0121 451 4180
Reserve/Booking line 0121 451 4159
Bus Information 0121 200 2700
Thanks for reading
Visited and partly enjoyed by WormVision2003
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