I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Superbreak who asked if I'd like to review Cadbury World in Birmingham with my family. Erm, chocolate? Of course I would! Even better, I unwittingly planned it for the Easter weekend - what better way to spend Easter huh?
Cadbury World has changed somewhat since I last visited as a child in the early 1990's, for starters there are no Creme Egg cars outside anymore, but it's clear to see that a lot of money has been invested in the attraction and it well-organised with helpful staff. There was a slight delay with entering the actual attraction but a member of staff was on hand to keep the queue moving whilst giving us a bit of background information about Cadbury World. When we did get to the front of the queue (after passing a sign about the use of Heely's at Cadbury World that amused me) we were given the chocolate - four Crunchies and four CurlyWurlys. Good move Cadbury World, this pleased the children no end and certainly gets the "when are we getting chocolate" part out of the way!
The exhibition - a self-guided tour, which you need to allow around three hours for, follows a one-way system and is designed so you can enjoy it at your own pace, spending as much time as you want in the various zones. This is a good thing since as soon as we entered Zone 1: The Aztec Jungle my children were climbing up my body. It was rather dark and noisy in that section which frightened my children a little so we didn't hang around too long though a very nice member of staff made a fuss over them which made them feel a bit better! I suspect she's seen many a spooked child! The next zones are Zone 2: The Journey To Europe, Zone 3: Bull Street and Zone 4: The Cadbury Story - all about how chocolate first came about and how Bourneville was founded. I found this interesting but it was obviously over my children's head and not particularly exciting for them although they did enjoy watching the little films.
Zone 5: Chocolate Making which is a small special effects cinema which was lots of fun. There are warnings before hand that things might "move" so if you're of a delicate disposition you might want to sit at the back where nothing moves. It's not scary, the kids found it fun but I jumped a couple of times! Next was Zone 6: Manufacturing and Zone 7: The Packaging Plant where we were given yet more chocolate! Cadbury World is not a factory tour and therefore you can't walk through the plan but you can see a little of the equipment that is used. The packaging plant is not always operational and you are told at the entrance whether it's open or not. It was open on our visit and my son was fascinated by it. He loved to watch the chocolate bars getting wrapped and whizzing down the conveyors by the hundreds to be packed into boxes.
We then headed into Zone 8: Cadbara and hopped into a Beanmobile, a small car to you. This was a nice gentle ride through a little wonderland of chocolate characters and was perfect for small children. I think my two would have liked to stay in that car all day but we all to quickly had to move on to Zone 9: Demonstration Area where you could have a go at writing your name in chocolate. I decided it was best to refrain from this particular activity as it wasn't designed for eating and I couldn't be certain my three year old wouldn't start licking the table. Instead I watched a woman decorating chocolate shoes with my daughter. We were both amazed at how neat and quick she was.
The amazing shoe-decorating-lady
After that we were into Zone 10: Advertising where we saw that old favourite Roses advert (thank you very much, thank you very very very much...) and then Zone 11: Purple Planet which was oodles of fun - digital and interactive delights. We all had fun trying to catch the balls (as pictured below) and my daughter could barely be torn away from the "magic floor" as she called it.
"Catching" some balls
The "magic floor"
This is kind of the end of the tour and where you end up in the gift shop (of course!) with the opportunity of buying yet more chocolate, which of course we did before heading outside to the playground. My kids had seen this from the windows upstairs so were desperate to get out there and play, can't blame them it was one of the hottest days of the year so far! We had lots of fun out there before heading into Zone 12: Essence. This attraction is easy to miss but DON'T. You get warm liquid chocolate in a pot with a treat of your choice. We opted for shortbread whilst the kids had mini marshmallows. Mmmmm. Also out here is Zone 13: The Bourneville Experience which I found really interesting. The history surrounding how Bourneville village itself and what the Cadbury family did for the area came is quite fascinating.
Outside play area
Warm molten chocolate!
Our verdict? Cadbury World is a fun trip out for the whole family, there is something for everyone from the very young to the much older! I've seen other reviews where people have complained about having to queue, we didn't experience this which I think is down to having one of the earliest time slots available - which I would definitely recommend. Also another thing I would say is that is certainly not a whole "day out" and it would be well worth looking for other local attractions to split up your day with if you are traveling into the area specially as the whole experience will take you three hours, tops.
Cadbury World is easy to reach via the M42 and M5 with ample parking and luckily I live nearby but if you're outside the local area you might like to check out some Birmingham hotels or book yourself a Cadbury World Short Break with Superbreak.
With thanks to Superbreak for providing the opportunity to review this attraction.
Mrs M x
love & kisses