Cadbury World review. Diving headfirst into a vat of chocolate. Sort of

Cadbury world

When I was younger this was the home of chocolate.
It was our Willy Wonka factory. We lived just a few miles away so we would often drive past it’s industrial-looking factory and wonder at the magic going on inside.

These days, of course, you can pay to go in and see what magic is going on inside at Cadbury World.
Except it’s not like the old days. It’s a much more sanitized, modern version of chocolate making. Robot arms do the lion’s share of the work which isn’t nearly as exciting as watching people in white coats and hairnets!

So what’s there? What happens at Cadbury World? Does it smell of chocolate? It so does. Do they give out free chocolate? Yes they do. Do you get the opportunity to dive into a vat of chocolate? I’m afraid you don’t.
I was sent a family ticket to the attraction to review . . .

SO, JOIN US ON A TOUR OF CADBURY WORLD: 

Cadbury World sign

The first thing to note is that you have to book a time slot to visit (which means it’s not going to be heaving with people once you start the tour) but if you arrive early you can visit the large playground at the back of the building. You can also visit the Essence Emporium, a mini show about how the ‘glass and a half’ phrase came about, and at the end you get a free molten chocolate pot. There is also a mini museum ‘the Bournville Experience’.

cadbury world playground Cadbury world train

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cadbury gorilla

Next you move inside for the tour.
Say hello to the Cadbury gorilla. Don’t try to lick it as Mia appears to be doing (it’s not made of chocolate).
And then you move through the story of chocolate, starting with the Aztecs, moving onto an interactive story of how Cadbury was born (no mention whatsoever that they are now owned by Kraft!). There’s a little cocoa pod ride, the factory, the famous adverts, the music, some fun interactive games – even a spot where you can have a green-screen photo of yourself superimposed in a Flake bath, or popping out of an Easter egg, or weight lifting Creme Eggs. The prints aren’t horrendously expensive either.

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In parts the tour is a little boring, truth be told.
However you do get glimpses of what it once was like at the Bournville factory. My very favourite section of the Cadbury World experience is where you meet chocolatiers showing your how it used to be done.
The photos below are a demonstration of how they used to make filled chocolates – using molten chocolate, a marble slab and a giant mould.
We also discovered little nuggets of information like that fact that Flake was invented by accident when, after this process, the workers would scrape the valuable chocolate off the marble slab with a wide knife, leaving flakes of chocolate at the foot of the blade. And that the idea for Curly Wurly was also born from this process when the excess chocolate is scraped from the top of the moulds.

cadbury world molten chocolate

how to make chocolates

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Finally you are spat out into the shop. Which is apparently the World’s Biggest Cadbury Shop! And where the kids go crazy and WANT EVERYTHING!
You don’t actually have to go on the tour to visit the shop, it is open to the public.
Mia came home with this giant bar and that smile on her face for the whole week.

cadbury world shop

THINGS WE LOVED
Seeing workers in action. As in hand decorating chocolate, giving demonstrations of how things used to be made; just actual people. Personally I think the people make the tour far more interesting.
The music and adverts. Cadbury is an iconic brand and becomes part of your childhood. I was watching adverts on the tour and doing the ‘oh my god I SO remember that from when I was a kid’. The music and the jingles bring back so many memories – sadly it’s a very small section of the tour.
The free chocolate. As you walk in the door you’re handed two bars of chocolate each. You get handed more half way around. Sure you’re paying for it in the entrance price, but it still feels great!
There is the feint whiff of chocolate all the way around.
And did I mention the people? Really friendly, helpful and giving out chocolate!

cadbury world worker

THINGS WE WOULD CHANGE
The tour. Parts of it are quite boring. The section which shows how chocolate is made is OK, but it’s a bit dry in parts and a human presence could really lift it. It needs someone telling you interesting stories, because just looking through a window at a robot arm doing the packing isn’t all that mind-blowing. There are a wealth of interesting stories ingrained in those walls, pressing buttons on an information booth just isn’t the same I’m afraid.
In the interactive story of how the Cadbury brothers started the company, you are moved from one room to the next. But in the second room you could quite clearly hear the previous room’s story as a noisy background accompaniment to the one we were in. Annoying more than distracting.
Essence. At the end of the Essence mini tour, there is the chance to ‘create your own bar’. Which means you choose an ingredient from the optics hung on the wall, it’s put in a small pot and molten chocolate is poured on to it. However, when I’ve visited in the past there have been at least 10 choices of ingredient and the experience was all the poorer for having just four to choose from. Just felt less of you creating a taste sensation and more of a here’s four we’ve pre-approved for you.
The shop. It just didn’t feel special enough. There wasn’t really anything you couldn’t buy at the supermarket (sometimes cheaper). There are a few novelty gifts – Cadbury branded magnets, pens etc – and a few cuddly toys and hampers. There was also the ‘factory shop’ which isn’t earth shatteringly cheap. Nothing shouted I”VE BEEN TO CADBURY WORLD!

So there you go. We came, we devoured, we felt sick as pigs afterwards!

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Of course, one of the best things about bring all that chocolate home is the chance to cook with it.
Cadbury has a new product out now called Pebbles (think Mini Eggs but bigger) and they’re perfect for decorating a birthday cake with as we did here. Only thing is everyone picks them off as you’re trying to cut the cake so be warned!

Cadbury Pebbles

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16 Responses to Cadbury World review. Diving headfirst into a vat of chocolate. Sort of

  1. Kim Houston says:

    Wonderful review. Sounds like a good place to go, for the experience alone and for plenty of chocolate obvs 🙂 xx

  2. CoffeeCurls says:

    We went last December (imagine going on a rainy day, after paying full price… no using outside areas) for my son’s birthday. We all found it quite disappointing and shockingly over priced.

    The tour is too dull for little kids, the ride at the end is too naff for bigger kids. You don’t get to ‘make your own bar’ you get to ‘have someone else put rice crispies on some molten chocolate’. I thought those little pots of choc were horrid, although my son liked them!

    There’s lots more they could do to improve this, but if yhey aren’t going to make improvements then they need to be more honest about what the tour is and lower the price.

    Sorry for ranty comment I guess I still feel that what I hoped would be an amazing day for my choaholic son was a bit of a let down.

    • Tara says:

      Those pots of choc stick to the roof of your mouth and coat your teeth don't they CC? Strangely addictive I found though!
      And you are not alone with your thoughts. Seems to be an awful lot of people feeling let down

  3. Laura says:

    We went about ten years ago, with my stepdaughter and nephew. In those days every time you went through a door you were handed a chocolate bar each, which of course the children loved. However, it became apparent as we walked round that most of the tour wasn't available. There was no one giving demonstrations and the factory part was empty. It was a huge disappointment, and we'd travelled from Yorkshire.

    I think there is so much more that could be done, but it just feels like a money making exercise, which is a shame.

  4. Good, balanced post. As mentioned, we had mixed feelings about our visit too. I did say in my review that I think if you're chocolate mad you'll still be happy since you get given so much of the stuff, but the tour, which feels like it should be a big part, is indeed boring!
    My recent post Spinach and ricotta tortellini in lemon and sage butter (from scratch recipe)

  5. joannemallon says:

    I've always heard that this attraction isn't the best, but I think it would still be my children's dream destination. If Thorntons ever set up a rival, better attraction they would be inundated with visitors.
    My recent post 10 books I read this summer

  6. joannemallon says:

    I've always heard that this attraction isn't the best, but I think it would still be my children's dream destination. If Thorntons ever set up a rival, better attraction they would be inundated with visitors.
    My recent post 10 books I read this summer

  7. methemanandthebaby says:

    With each year I go the more I get disappointed, the more it changes and not for the good. Guess if I was to go again I'll see that they've knocked down the 10 choices to 4 and that will just add to the disappointment.
    My recent post It’s a…

  8. saveeverystep says:

    I am part of a Cadbury family. My dad worked there for his entire working life and I was practically weened on bags of 'seconds' from the staff shop! I still have massive loyalty to Cadbury sweets, never buying anything else, and mourned the day the Americans took over. The whole of Bournville is a special place thanks to the Cadbury legacy. Lush.
    My recent post Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Hi Mom, I’m getting married”

  9. Emma white says:

    What a great review, maybe ill look into this myself

  10. Liz Burton says:

    We visited yesterday and I felt much the same as you.

    The kids lived it but I had very mixed feelings. x

  11. Mary says:

    I'd like to give Cadbury World a go, but I've been put off by the price and what people have said.

  12. Anne says:

    I've always lived within smelling distance of Cadbury World but I've never been! Most of my children have though, on school trips. I might make the effort one day, just to say I've been, but the price definitely puts me off. This is a really good review, but how disappointing not being able to jump in a vat of chocolate.
    My recent post Star's Neck – The Saga Continues

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  14. Pingback: Una fábrica de chocolate de lo más genial que hace recordar a la de Willy Wonka - mott.pe

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