Chocolate. It’s amazing. Everyone likes some form of chocolate and if you disagree, that means you just haven’t found the chocolate for you. When I was a kid, I wished I could visit Willy Wonka’s factory and hang out with the Oompa Loompas and leave with a year’s supply of chocolate. Sadly, the wonders of that factory remain nothing but fiction. However, I discovered a close second when putting together my Bucket List. In Birmingham England is the Cadbury Factory and not only are they open to the public, but they’ve also created an entire experience for all the chocoholics out there.
Book yourself a great day out: https://www.cadburyworld.co.uk/en
Prices (as of September 2021):
£19 per adult
£14 per child
Birmingham is one of the main cities in the UK and unless you find yourself in or around the area, getting to it can be a bit of a mission. However, I can say the journey was worth it when I got to the other end. There’s plenty of parking in the factory, just make sure you don’t accidentally park in the staff area.
When you arrive, the main entrance lets you get access to the Cadbury shop, Café, and ticket desk. You do not need to buy a ticket to get access to the café or the shop. You can also buy your tickets online in advance.
As you present your ticket, the person behind the counter will grab six bars of chocolate (2x Whispers, 2x Dairy Milk, and 2x Dairy Milk Caramel if you want to know) and hand them over, along with directions to go through into the history of chocolate. You then find yourself in a rainforest, with giant (fake obviously) snakes and manikins of people getting cocoa beans. As you progress through, you find yourself on a ship and watching live-action clips on how the beans made their way across the ocean to England and how it was made to taste sweet instead of bitter.
After about 20 minutes of history at your own pace, you’ll find yourself sitting down and watching the history of the Cadbury family, and how they grew the brand into what it is today, before moving into another cinema screen that shows you how chocolate is made. You’re then directed by the staff around the factory, seeing various materials from history. There’s also a particular focus on the Cadbury Angels. These angles were the women working in the factories back in the old days, and from what I read, they were treated very well for the times they found themselves in.
Eventually, you’ll come to a group of kitchen tops and be given and chocolate sauce bottle. You’ll be encouraged to draw something in chocolate but DO NOT eat it. This part was more for the kids of course, but don’t worry, they let adults have a go and there’s plenty of sinks to wash up afterward.
Keep on walking and you’ll enter Cadbury land. A 5-10 minute little automotive ride with animatronics, colors, and songs. Make sure you smile for the cameras! There’s another photo opportunity on a green screen. We chose to jam with the Phil Collins gorilla,
but you can do a few different ones. Next up, you can buy some of your photos. For about £20, you can get prints, digital downloads, magnet framed images, and keyrings, which is like what you’d pay at an amusement park. Then you get your hands on some chocolate. A small cup of glorious melted dairy milk with two toppings of your choice. You may think it’s not a lot but trust me, it’s very rich and more than most people can handle.
Finally, you come to advertisement avenue and a games area. The Phil Collins gorilla makes an appearance along with other great adverts over the years. I personally like the suicidal cream egg ones. Make it all the way through that and you’ll end up in the shop.
Honestly, the shop was a tiny bit disappointing, mainly because it’s smaller than expected. Especially when you compare it to other stores like the M&M store in London. When I think of a chocolate factory gift shop, I imagine chocolate fountains and wall after wall of chocolate I’d never seen before. Regardless, it had everything you’d expect a gift shop to have. Overpriced stationery, pretty much every Cadbury product there is, teddies, and even an official Cadbury Polo top/hoodie! I think the best thing on sale was a Chocolate Tea Pot – a useless thing when you think about it.
We spent roughly £30 on chocolate, but that was mainly for family orders. When you spend over £20 you get a gift (magnet teddy) which was a nice little extra. You can also buy things in bulk! (Curly Wurley’s’ by the box full). You can also pick yourself up a Cadbury branded bag for life for £2.
If you’re hungry by this point the Cadbury Café is right next door to the shop.
They provide afternoon tea services, but also a wide range of hot/cold food.
They also offered some special Cadbury ice creams. Other than that, it’s a café with Cadbury’s brand all over it and a few purple and white Cadbury cows you can get a photo with.
Some of you may think that’s it, but right outside you can get a photo with a Cadbury Mobile and make your way down to an adventure land for the kids. There’s plenty of activities for the kids to burn off all the sugar they’ve had at this point and at the back, there’s a 4D cinema where you can watch a 5–10-minute animated film. Being 4D, you’ll need the glasses and can expect to be jerked and tossed about the place. Always a good laugh.
And finally, there is a proper museum, mainly aimed at the older generations. All the mugs, toys, tins, and boxes from the early 90s are on display and you can even cuddle up on an old-time sofa and watch all the Cadbury adverts.
Overall, I would say this day out is best suited for kids and families. However, if you’ve always wanted to visit a chocolate factory as I have, then why let families and kids have all the fun! A worthy place on the Bucket List and most likely somewhere I will take my own children one day.