29 November 2012

Christmas at Cadbury World [by @NLi10 and his elves]

It's not often you get invited to Cadbury World.  It's only up the road from me (I can get a direct bus there which takes about 25 mins) which is why it's probably quite shocking that the last time I went was about 22 years ago - on the day it officially opened.  We had to stoop under the big ribbon to get in, we got one spicy choc drink, and a single cube of chocolate upon entering the factory!!  How times of changed - there is now a ride, free chocolate in pretty much all sections, several themed areas and at the moment a pantomime and a Christmas Grotto!  I've focused here on the 'boring bits' and left the more exciting attraction sections to the two teenagers that I borrowed & dragged along with me on the promise of Chocolaty goodness.  Naturally like most teenagers these will be added later as I get them (grumble grumble homework grumble).

You'd never guess the wonderment inside from this brutalist exterior.  Personally I quite like it.  I think Dahl was probably inspired by the crazy juxtaposition of the functional exteriors that the factories had for all the wonderment and gadgetry inside.  Chocolate that is practically build by robots is pretty cool to me.

Handmade stuff is good too.

You can even write the name of your blog in chocolate! At least that's what I think they intended.  At the bottom is one of the many molten pots of chocolate that you get on the wander around the entertainments.  I do wish we still got the Aztec gold one though.  Ah well.

You also get an assortment of chocolate bars depending on what is being manufactured that day.  If you are lucky and not with teenagers you may get to keep them too...  Or you could just buy extras.

The sign says World's Largest Cadbury Shop and it really isn't kidding.  This is half of the Dairy Milk section.  I'm local and know the score so bought MisShapes (half the price per g of Dairy Milk and essentially all the bits off the production line that go wrong.  We got solid chocolate Cadbury Heroes which is the lottery win of MisShapes bags. Mmmm)

And yes - there is the Christmas theme throughout at the moment.  First up there is a pantomime! (oh no there isn't - oh yes there is etc...)

I'd presumed that it would be factory staff doing their best to entertain, but I think it must have been a small professional troupe of actors.  Yes - you'll know all the gags and lines, but it's more for the kids. We got sat at the front which made it even funnier as Ms. NLi10 and the two borrowed teenage minions did their best to pretend to not be with me as I joined in the chants, boos and cheers.  If you don't think your kids would sit through a 2 hour panto then this 30 min one is well worth it and should keep their attention.

But they will be far more excited by the Grotto...

Avoiding spoilers here, partially to preserve the magic of Christmas and partially as 16 year old boys really don't want to sit on Santa's knee (probably due to a naughty/nice imbalance...), I shall gloss over most of the details.  Suffice to say it's surprisingly authentic considering it's essentially in a big tent, and the queue was department store sized at all times due to it's magical attraction.  The present given out at the end had children of all ages with massive smiles - probably the most luxurious thing I've seen given out at one of these since the old Lewis's Grottos with their promise of the latest Disney Ladybird books when I was 7 (or so).  We just snuck in and took a few pictures.

Is Cadbury World worth a visit? If you are reading this blog then probably for the shop alone! Now I know that you can just walk into it and buy things without going into the attraction I may be stocking up.  Shame they don't do all the international varieties that CyberCandy etc. do - I feel they are missing a trick.  I did pick up some new things to review next week though. The attraction itself is an odd one.  There are things for all ages, but the bits between those may bore children too old and too young.  If you are cunning and select those bits you want the most then there will be less sulks - I guess save the chocolate for those bits!  The Christmas magic is really in effect at the moment, but it was sold out until late the day we got there so book online unless you want a car full of tears and a rush to find a replacement Santa.

Teenage review links when available.


Melanie said...

WOW if I ever get to go to UK I have to go there!!!! It's kind of like the chocolate museum in cologne just ten times cooler^^


Dani said...

That looks like paradise to me!