Cadbury World, set in Bournville in Birmingham is easily signposted from the M5, and really easy to find and access by car with ample car parking available. However, you can also just as easily arrive by train and walk just a few minutes from the station to the attraction itself (National Rail also do discounts on tickets if you arrive by train).
Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by staff and shown to the timed entry queue. We had been provided with pre-booked tickets and noticed that although it was early (9.30am) there were no further tickets available for the rest of the day…if you are planning on going, best to ensure you have pre-booked so you don’t turn up and get disappointed…
As you enter, you are immediately provided with some samples of chocolate (again, wide eyed disbelief from the children!) and enter into an Aztec jungle. Here, you can find out all about the history and origin of chocolate whilst also working out how many coco beans it would cost to buy a rabbit! As part of the experience, we were also encouraged to look for clues on the Freddo Trail. A word of advice here, remember to look for the clues in every room you go into, we were so distracted by the chocolate aspect of everything we forgot to find a couple of the clues and needed to ask a couple of more attentive parents for help!
After our jungle exploration, we spent some time exploring some more aspects of the history of chocolate. There are several small projected stories to listen to (each one is also interpreted through sign language too) before you go into a small theatre to listen to the history of Cadbury’s and how their famous brand was created and evolved. These were a little complex for our 3 under 5 year olds however, the grown-ups found it interested and used some of the chocolate as bribes for them to sit and listen!
Next, we found out about the manufacturing process and ‘became chocolate beans’ as we were manufactured’ in the interactive theatre, the children loved this, especially when the seats began to shake! We then looked at some of the popular brands in more detail and found out all about how chocolate buttons, Roses and Crème Eggs are made…all this put us in the mood for more chocolate tasting!
Next, it was time to enter the factory itself. You are led on a winding pathway through the factory and able to see the different stages of the manufacturing as you go. First, we were met by a giant vat of melted chocolate, then, we got a chance to have a go at playing with the melted chocolate itself! The children loved the chance to draw and write with the melted chocolate and then temper the chocolate ready to be moulded. The smell of chocolate is overwhelming and the temptation to eat the chocolate is huge! However, you are clearly advised that this isn’t chocolate for tasting, which comes later!
After this, it was time for the Cadabra ride, our children loved this so much, we went on twice! After settling into little cars, you are taken on a ride through the word of Cadabra, here, you can see the chocolate eggs in their own little worlds whilst also spotting a few Cadbury’s characters at the same time! There’s a chance to have your photo taken on this ride, however, our children were so distracted in looking at the ride itself that despite two attempts, we failed to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time!
Our next stop was the Chocolate Making area. You are able to make your own chocolate mix by choosing an ingredient to add to your little pot of melted chocolate. This was a delicious treat and we all enjoyed our individual concoctions and could have easily eaten more! There is also a chance to watch how moulded chocolate is made (such as chocolate shoes!) and we all enjoyed watching the staff hard at work while we munched on our treats.
The next stop was Advertising Avenue where you can take a trip down memory lane and recall the different Cadbury’s adverts of the past. The children loved looking at the different characters whilst the adults felt a little old recalling the adverts we grew up with and finding out they were often older than we thought they were! We all particularly enjoyed a session with the famous drumming Gorilla!
The final part of the tour took us into Purple Planet, a fully interactive area where the children can participate variety of different activities. The favourite by far was the interactive floor where the children had to jump on various chocolate related items for example, jumping on Rose’s to unwrap them! They absolutely loved the different activities and not only did we have to drag them away from this, we couldn’t get them to stand still long enough for a photo!
The Purple Planet takes you our directly into the shop, however, we were able to quickly distract the children with promises of a visit later and headed to the African Adventure Play area. There is also a small food outlet here so we were able to grab a much needed caffeine fix (tea and coffee is a little pricey) whilst the children ran off some of that chocolate! It was also time for lunch at this stage and not only can you grab snacks from the outdoor area, there is also a huge covered seating area so plenty of room for those bringing picnics.
The outdoor area is not to be missed, not only does it have the park, there are also a couple of other attractions. It’s worth noting that you can also do these before you go round Cadbury World, the queues do build up later in the day, particularly for the 4D cinema, so it is worth remembering that this is best done first…
After lunch, we headed to the theatre show. This was again, undercover and there were lots of seats available (kids can head to the front to sit on the floor too). Here, we watched a panto type performance for around half an hour featuring Freddo the Frog and lots of laughter, the children and adults alike really enjoyed this!
Our final stop was the 4D cinema. This interactive performance takes you on a ‘Chocolate Adventure’ where you can ride the Crunchie Rollercoaster and dive into liquid Cadbury Dairy milk on a totally interactive experience where even the seats move! We all loved this and it was funny watching the children’s reactions to all the 4D elements of the ride!
After all this excitement, we headed to the Café for a treat, the children enjoyed their Freddo treats for completing the trail and the adults enjoyed a Cadbury’s hot chocolate. There are lots of chocolate themed (and rather unusual!) foods available in the café but we were full of chocolate by this stage and so stayed away from the extra temptation!
We finally allowed the children a quick look around the shop to choose a treat before we left. There is a good variety of pocket money treats available to choose from along with some more expensive gifts. There is also an areas selling chocolate items in bulk for excellent reduced prices so be warned!
The whole experience took around 3 hours, including the park, however, we didn’t experience much queuing and arrived early so it may be worth noting that the queues build up during the day. We really enjoyed our experience and found that there were lots of different aspects that could appeal to adults, along with children of different ages. Thanks Cadbury World, we will be back for more chocolate treats soon!