Cadbury World brings out the inner child in you. It is situated in the historic Bournville village, near Birmingham, England. It is a self-guided tour through colourful interactive displays about chocolate-making and Cadbury history. This is the ultimate experience for chocolate lovers.
We arrived around 11am, the attraction was busy but we could easily find a parking space for our car. You are welcomed by the sight of an enormous chocolate factory. We collected our tickets at the entrance ready for the tour. As you walk in the door you’re handed two bars of chocolate each which the children thought was great!
The tour begins with the story of chocolate, starting with the Aztecs, moving onto an interactive story of how Cadbury was born. It was interesting and informative to learn how John Cadbury originally started selling coffee, tea and drinking chocolate in his little shop in 1824, as an alternative to drinking alcohol which was frowned upon.
There is a short film on how chocolate is made and as you watch it, the benches you are sitting on start shaking as though you were the cocoa beans being shaken in the factory going through their journey of transformation into chocolate.
I really enjoyed learning more about the history and ethos of the Cadbury family and the development of the village of Bourneville.
The Cadbury brothers built a brand new factory but improved the lives of their workers by building sixteen houses. They named this new village Bourneville and over time added additional homes, a school, and a hospital. Cadbury was way ahead of its time as an employer, offering all kinds of rights and privileges for workers. The family were Quakers, and applied their beliefs to the way they worked and the way they encouraged workers to live in Bourneville.
A little note for families who have pushchairs, part way through the tour you do have to leave your pushchair because of the steps but the tour takes you back round to pick up the pushchair on the way through.
There’s a little cocoa pod ride called Cadabra. The gentle car ride takes you through the wonderful world of chocolate. I think this was the girls favourite part of the tour but unfortunately you are only allowed to ride this once. It also has a photo opportunity if you keep your eye out for it.
We visited the Green Screen where you can choose from a selection of backdrops for your green screen photo experience, with photos available to purchase at our photo collection points. We decided to take a soak in the Flake bath and also sit in Santa’s sleigh. Don’t wear the colour green or you will be submerged into the back ground.
My favourite section of the Cadbury World experience is where you meet chocolatiers showing you how it used to be done. There is a production line showing finished bars of chocolate being packaged. There are more staff with trays of liquid chocolate for guests to try and also more chocolate bars are given out. We had Dairy Milk, Crunchie, Wispa and Curly Wurly. Everyone enjoyed the opportunities to get hands on, trying your hand at piping, mixing up ingredients, and of course tasting the chocolate.
There is a demonstration of how they used to make filled chocolates – using molten chocolate, a marble slab and a giant mould. There are fantastic models of chocolate artwork on display.
After the tour, 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. 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.
There is also a mini museum ‘the Bournville Experience’.
Back inside the next part of the tour takes you through listening to the music and old adverts. I had fond memories of the old ladies lifting up the car and been given a box of Cadbury’s Roses to say thank you. The girls loved the Cadbury Gorilla playing the drums.
There is a computerised interactive area where the children loved the mirrored walls and moving floor following the moving chocolates and chasing them on the floor, by jumping on them to unwrap.
At the end of the tour you exit through the World’s Biggest Cadbury Shop. You are able to purchase a few novelty Cadbury branded gifts such as magnets, pens, cups, tea towels, stationary, etc. There is also the Cadbury Café to have a drink or snack.
The children enjoyed the tour and loved the outdoor play area.
We are chocolate lovers and by the end of the tour we could not eat another piece of chocolate! We thoroughly enjoyed and this was our second visit to Cadbury World.
It is advisable to book your tour tickets in advance due to the popularity of the attraction. Turning up on the day can be sold out. For up to date information you can sign up to social media or it is worth following Cadbury World on Twitter. There are other areas that can be enjoyed before or after the tour such as the outdoor playground, Essence Emporium and the Bourneville Experience museum.
We stayed at the Village Hotel Solihull which is about 25 minute drive away. We had a good rate for our stay as we booked during a Village hotel sale. It is only 7 miles away but you are on small country roads in some parts.
The hotel works in partnership with Cadbury World and we paid for our tickets through the hotel front desk.
We cannot wait to go back to experience the new 4D Chocolate Adventure zone.