From social history, to pantomime, to melted chocolate with popping candy there is something to amuse all the family at Cadbury World this Christmas, what family in their right mind doesn’t fancy a day at a chocolate factory for starters?
Miss L has been asking to go back for years now, so when the invite to #acadburyworldxmas appeared she was beyond excited. The day lived up to all her chocoltaely expectations, the cakes that welcomed us in the cafe at 9.30am made her beam.
Our first stop was the Santa show which was short but sweet and a lovely bonus to a day out this Winter, It was a chance to put in a request to the man himself, at the end Father Christmas asked us all lot shout out what we would like for Christmas, his special machine hoovered up our requests for everything from world peace, to heelies and a Ferrari. My two were thrilled with their teddies Father Christmas gave them.
The 4D cinema was a fun experience. I liked the story idea of bursting out of a virtual chocolate factory, into a creme egg hot air balloon and down a chocolate rollercoaster. The chairs move too, so the whole experience feels very real. Mr A wasn’t as impressed by the visuals, it takes a lot to impress someone who makes virtual worlds for a living. I also have to admit I’ve seen a lot of 4D things now and they can feel like too much of a branding exercise. It was fun all the same, and different to what was there last time we visited, and there is so much you can experience here in one day.
While the kids played on the playground outside, I took in some history, the factory site was chosen to be out of the city, but close enough to train lines to transport materials. I studied the industrial revolution in history, the creation of model villages and improvement of working conditions – Bournville was ahead of it’s time in changing life for factory workers.
The Cadbury family were Quakers, we learnt later that at the time Quakers weren’t allowed access to Universities, so instead the Cadburys threw themselves into trade, this didn’t stop them being hugely philanthropic and developing an incredibly forward thinking vision for the community who worked at the Cadbury factory via Bournville the ‘model village’. Education, green spaces, attractive homes, community spirit, and jobs in the factory. If it hadn’t been so cold and such a busy day, I would have taken more of a wander round the village.
This is great food for Christmas thought.
Nowadays Cadbury’s community work is on a much more global scale, Cadbury made Dairy Milk fair trade, which had the effect of tripling the sales for cocoa farmers in Ghana under Fairtrade terms.
Cadbury are now part of Mondelez International, one of the world’s top 10 food and beverage manufacturers. This year Oxfam marked Mondelez only 6/10 out of the big ten, scoring them on their policies to do with land, water, women, farmers, workers, climate and transparency. Mondelez made ‘some progress’ in 2015, but as with all the Big 10, Oxfam has called for lots more. You can see Mondelez’s plans on display at the end of the exhibition. I do love Cadburys, it would be incredible to see all it’s chocolate fairly traded.
It was fascinating to look at the history of Cadbury’s advertising, I still have vivid memories of my childish excitement over Gran buying me my first Wispa bar, I can’t believe that was as early as 1981.
There is a pantomine ‘Sleeping Beauty and the Chuckle Bean Fairy’, regular readers will know I am really not a fan of panto (bah humbug), but the kids enjoyed getting involved and it was only 20 minutes and expertly executed by a great cast – everyone is a winner.
Having ticked off Panto, Santa and social history there was one thing missing…
You get given absolutely loads of chocolate as you explore the 14 zones at Cadbury World! At least 4 bars each, plus melted chocolate. We enjoyed going into the Aztec jungle, finding out how cocoa beans were discovered, traded and the history of the Cadbury brand.
There is also a chance to blend your own liquid chocolate, with your choice of ingredients. Mr G is a purist. Mr A likes nuts and honeycomb and I like popping corn and smarties and Miss L likes jelly babies in hers.
You can also watch demonstrations of chocolate making.
Cadbury World is a really fascinating day out and opens your mind and your taste buds. There’s definitely something for everyone in the family and every experience is ‘bite sized’ so you can add on things like the Pantomime, 4D show and Santa Show if you want to. It was busy, but the timed slots and one way system in the factory and Cadbury World zones mean it is easy to get round. There are spaces left for Christmas Celebration Weekends, but book in advance to avoid disappointment. Spend some time in Bournville if you can too.