Last weekend we took the hour trip from Leicestershire to Bournville near Birmingham to visit the famous Cadbury World. For those of you who follow me over on Instagram, you may know we had a bit of a scare last year and Jess ended up needing four…yes four injections to vaccinate her against rabies after a cat scratch in Morocco.
We’d just finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate factory and so instead of a trip to the toy shop as reward for her bravery, she insisted she wanted to visit a chocolate factory instead. Hence our Cadbury World jaunt.
I strongly advice you prebook a good few day in advance to guarantee a time slot. We’d left this until the night before and the only available time left was 3:40. Although I was initially disappointed, this ended up working out well for us.
We arrived at Cadbury World about 2pm, a bit later than we’d intended but this still gave us plenty of time to do everything we wanted. With more than an hour and a half before we were able to enter the actual factory tour, we headed to the adventure play area.
Unsurprisingly, on a Saturday afternoon, this area was really busy and there were lots of much older children. The African Adventure Play Park is only suitable from age 5 up and so my pair struggled to access the top section. According to the website there is a Mini Explorers zone for under 5s but we must have missed this.
In the same area, you’ll also find the 4D Cinema experience, Freddo Frog and Caramel Bunny shows on at regular intervals and the Bournville experience. As the 4D show had a 40 minute wait time we decided to go for a show before our tour.
Caramel Bunny Show
A children’s entertainer hosted a fab storytelling session aided by the lovely Caramel bunny. It was perfect for the girls. The interactive show included audience participation, jokes, bubbles and a photo opportunity at the end. A must do for little ones especially.
I was disappointed by this exhibition. Although I appreciate that preschoolers aren’t the age this area is designed for, it wouldn’t have taken much to make the displays more accessible for younger ones. The boards were colourful but the text was complicated and dull to explain. A few speech bubbles to pull out the key points would have been great.
Time to go in
Right next to the entrance, we browsed the gift shop whilst waiting for our group to be called through. There are some great bargains to be had and we picked our purchases for when we were heading home.
As you enter, you are handed two chocolate bars each. We got a Dairy Milk and Crunchie each and stashed our 8 bars in the bag for later. Inside the self guided tour, we walked through the displays and tried to simplify the information so it was age appropriate.
Again, it wouldn’t have been too tricky to break the huge blocks of text down into bite sized chunks. Even as an adult, I wouldn’t want to stand there and read it as it was presented.
In groups, you can go into a hologram talk and a screening of the chocolate process. This was done really well and I loved that they had included effects such as shaking seats and smoke to make the experience more exciting and engaging.
Have a go
We were handed more chocolate, this time a Curly Wurly and headed onto the next area. You can spread out some chocolate and try piping chocolate to write your name. The girls enjoyed this but it would have also been nice to see a demonstration. Maybe this is something they do on less busy days.
The wait time was about 20 minutes by the time we arrived but it had been longer as we’d passed the queue earlier. My pair aren’t the best waiters and so Daddy took them for a bit of wander whilst I held our place.
The ride was lovely and it was nice to have our own little car. There was lots to look at and it was just about worth the wait. We completely missed the camera and so our photo was terrible but we didn’t mind. We don’t buy them anyway.
Next we headed through the photography area. Here you can use props and get your green screen image printed onto all manner of things such as cups or magnets. Again, we weren’t interested in the upsell and passed straight through.
The girls had been handed chunks of chocolate here and there from my bag but they loved being able to choose toppings to add to a pot of the melted stuff. You could have biscuit, Crunchie, marshmallows, jelly babies or cranberries.
As we gobbled spoonfuls of our delicious mixtures, we wandered through the advertising avenue. It was a real blast for the past for me and the girl enjoyed looking at all the adverts. Lots were on screen and there were some brought to life too.
The final part of the tour leads you into Purple Planet where you will find a large space of interactive games and installations. There were projected puzzles, challenges to solve and this area was enjoyed by all of us.
We came out of the tour about 5:15 so it took us about 1.5-2hrs. This was perfect as we headed straight back to the outdoor space to catch the final 4D showing at 5:30. Earlier the queue had been over 40 minutes but at this time we walked straight through.
We all loved it. You are certainly being shown a lot of Cadbury products but if that’s not why you came, I don’t know what is. At the end, the girls were buzzing and said they’d had the best day ever. They certainly gave the place a big thumbs us.
Would we go again?
Probably not. Although the girls love chocolate, the ticket prices, at just shy of £50 for a family of four felt a bit steep for quite a short trip. Depending on the weather and age of the children you could probably spend longer exploring the ground but for our pair we were there for about 4hrs.
Personally I also feel if you are going to start charging from 4 yrs old then the exhibitions should have at least some elements that can be understood by a four year old. I’d say slightly older children would be better suited to the educational side of the day.
Overall we had a lovely afternoon and we’re glad we went. It’s definitely a fun experience I’d recommend for any chocoholic but maybe keep your eyes pealed for offers or discounts to avoid paying the full price.
Have you been? If so, what did you think?