Daddy P is a total chocoholic and his brand of choice is Cadbury. So I’ve been planning a trip for some time to his idea of heaven. We spent Fathers Day at Cadbury World last month. But the day was more than just learning about chocolate production and eating samples!
I’d decided to exchange some Tesco vouchers so we could spend Fathers Day at Cadbury World, my plan nearly ended up in disaster though. A luckily timed tweet from Cadbury World themselves told me to ring up and book a timed entry, to guarantee we could get in. Phew, imagine, over an hour’s mystery drive, to arrive at his idea of heaven, only to be turned away. Time slot booked and we were ready to go. We’d kept the destination a surprise all week, until we got in the car to leave home and Monkey pipes up Daddy – we’re going to the chocolate place! Thanks for that Monkey.
Anyway, Daddy P was rather happy to know where we were heading, somewhere he’s always wanted to visit. Both Daddy P and Monkey love milk chocolate, but I take after my Dad, and am a Bourneville dark chocolate fan.
We arrived, picked up our timed tickets (along with a press CD which Cadbury World had very kindly left for me; sadly my laptop doesn’t like the disc so I can’t share the contents with you). We were a little early to joined the queue, which is also timed, so we had a look around The World’s Biggest Cadbury Shop. Oh boy, any chocolate fan is going to be in paradise in there, the prices are also discounted. Monkey’s favourite thing – the train that runs around the ceiling. It kept him amused as we joined the queue.
We could have turned up without pre-booking our time slot, but there was a 2-hour wait for non-pre-booked slots, so very glad we did book. With young children that could be a nightmare.
I was slightly worried about how Monkey would react to the Cadbury World experience, dark rooms, rides and cinema – not a sure-fire recipe for success with my son.
If I’m being totally honest he didn’t enjoy a lot of it, too dark for him, and probably not enough time to just adjust to his new surroundings. But we followed the Aztec Jungle trail, learning about the origins of chocolate. The Journey to Europe, and to Bull Street and the Cadbury Story. He did enjoy the little ride through Cadabra which was a relief.
Top tip – when you enter the cinema, if you have a nervous child, sit on the back row to avoid shaking seats etc.
Daddy P and I found it all rather interesting, learning how the company started and watching the products develop over the years. I’m sure if we go back in a couple of years Monkey will enjoy the experience more.
One area he did enjoy was the Chocolate Making area, we could try some chocolate coated in all sorts of treats and watch chocolates being made in moulds. As this is something Monkey had done with me at Christmas and Easter; he happily watched the demonstration.
Of course, as it was Fathers Day at Cadbury World we did make Daddy pose for a picture.
Then it was time to explore the playground area behind the main Cadbury building and do a little bit of train spotting!
The playground is great, there are different areas for different age ranges and Monkey was in his element, just running around.
He won’t go on a lot of things, but he found areas he was happy in and had a lovely time. It was then time to visit the Bournville Experience, which showed a scale model of the whole Bournville site which fascinated Monkey.
We were all fascinated by the automated packing area and spent ages watching boxes full of Wispa bars coming along a conveyor belt, being stacked onto a pallet by a robot and then being whisked off by another machine. Not a human being in site. I did leave, wondering just how many people had been replaced by machinery over the years. Progress.
We’d decided that Fathers Day at Cadbury World wasn’t just about visiting the Experience Centre. We wanted to see more of the area of Bournville itself. When you pick up your visitor guide, there is a map and information about the Cadbury site and the village.
We started off with the Cadbury Trail, which took us on a walk around the outside of the factory, with information points along the way. It’s not a circular walk, so you do have to turn back on yourselves, but this didn’t bother my little boy.
The information points gave us all a good opportunity to learn more about the area and to understand the site as a whole. It doesn’t take long and we all learnt something.
We then set off to explore the rest of Bournville. The workers must have thought they’d moved to paradise when the Bournville village opened. There are trees and open spaces everywhere. It must have been so different from the squalor of inner city living.
Bournville Park was also a big hit with Monkey, and it’s where we ended a lovely Fathers Day at Cadbury World.