What do you do on a rainy day? Parenting always seems so much easier when we’re out of the house. So, in most weathers we wrap the girls up warm and get out anyway. But with Storm Callum looming and our plans cancelled due to rain, we were on the hunt for a day out that would be suitable for any weather. Luckily, Cadbury World is just up the road in Birmingham and they invited us to spend the day there. And what a day it was.
Cadbury Exhibition Tour (indoors)
On arrival, we headed straight indoors to join the Cadbury Exhibition Tour. This is the Cadbury World I remember from years ago, although it has been much improved. Once tickets are scanned, every visitor receives two bars of chocolate. Ours were Dairy Milk and Crunchie. After a brief fight over who would carry the chocolate (I won, my husband couldn’t be trusted not to eat it all on the way round), we headed inside to begin the tour.
The tour is really educational, with visitors learning about the history of chocolate and Cadburys as a business. The story starts in the jungle, moving through how the Aztecs used cocoa beans and onto the origin of chocolate in Europe. The chocolate manufacturing process is explained, before you hear from the Cadbury family about how a family business grew to become the chocolate giant it is today.
There are some hands-on parts of the exhibition too. This is the bit that gets messy for little ones! They can learn to write with a squeezy tube of chocolate and get hands on with the tempering process to quickly cool down the melted mixture and make it shiny.
Cadabra Ride (indoors)
The highlight of the exhibition tour is the Cadabra ride. We queued for around 30 minutes for this, which I didn’t think was too bad. Visitors are transported around the magical land of Cadbury chocolate characters in a little yellow and blue car. Each one seats four people plus infants and babies, so small families can all travel together.
The car takes you around the colourful Cadabra land in all seasons, there’s even a winter scene with chocolate eggs on a ski lift. The ride goes really slowly and there’s loads to look at, so it’s ideal for children and adults of all ages.
Next stop is Advertising Alley. A chance to reminisce about Cadburys adverts of years gone by. Who can forget the drum-playing gorilla and the Roses advert with the old lady lifting the truck? These two characters made an appearance too, can you remember what chocolate they used to advertise?
Having indulged parents in a trip down memory lane, children reclaim the limelight in an interactive, fun room. Mine were trying to catch falling button-shadows, pressing lights to play a tune and jumping on images of chocolates in a mirror game to see them break open.
All visitors are treated to a little pot of melted chocolate with their choice of toppings. Luckily, you’re given a spoon to eat it with so it was less messy than it sounds. At some point during the tour, we also acquired an Oreo chocolate bar each. These were a bit of a revelation because I’d never tried them before and I was glad I did!
Visitors exit the exhibition into the world’s largest Cadbury shop. Here, you can buy an assortment of chocolate including bulk-purchases from the factory shop. There’s also a cafe with a variety of hot and cold food and drinks – it’s not just chocolate!
Adventure Playground (outdoors)
By the time we finished our tour, the weather outside was surprisingly pleasant, so the children played in the adventure playground. I was really impressed with the two separate play areas. One for children aged 2 to 5 and one for older children aged 5 to 14.
Both offered a relatively challenging climbing area for children of the appropriate age. For younger children, there was a little climbing wall and some rope bridges to navigate to reach the slide.
The larger adventure play area was a more complex structure with two spiral slides, rope bridges, climbing nets and a tower. There were lots of challenges to navigate but it felt safe despite being quite high up and very busy. Both girls spent a considerable time playing outside and would have happily stayed in the play areas a lot longer if we’d had time.
4D Cinema (indoors) and Theatre Show (indoors)
From the courtyard area of Cadbury World, you can enter the queue for the 4D cinema. Like the Cadabra ride, the wait for this was about half an hour.
From the moment you step into the ride, the Cadbury magic begins. The lift jumps and jolts as the Creme Egg Parrot takes you to the start. Next, you make your way into the cinema and sit in one of the plush chairs complete with arm and foot rests.
The Caramel Bunny tries to keep everyone calm as you find yourself on the world’s largest chocolate roller coaster. Effects have you moving with the ride and reaching out to touch objects and characters that seem to be coming towards you.
After the 4D cinema, we intended to head for the Rastamouse theatre show. Unfortunately, I thought the last showing was at 4pm but it was at 3pm so we missed it. Luckily though, the Caramel Bunny and Freddo Frog were waiting outside to greet the children. A lovely end to a fun day at Cadbury World.