When it comes to Christmas, I still get as excited now as when I was much younger. For me, combining my love for chocolate with lots of festive fun sounds like a great way to spend the day. This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Cadbury World’s first Christmas Celebration Weekend.
We were welcomed into the grounds of the chocolate factory with the tantalising smell of chocolate in the air. Stepping inside, we were excitedly greeted by an Elf stood by a chocolate Christmas tree. Christmas had well and truly arrived at Cadbury World! She explained that our tickets didn’t only get us into the usual exhibits and experiences, but a few festive additions. We joined the queue to the main exhibit, where we were handed a load of chocolate – now if that’s not a good start to the day I don’t know what is! We squirreled them away into our bags and headed in…
When inside, it was easy to forget we were in Birmingham. We were transported to a lush Aztec land, and told of the origins of the cocoa bean. From there we travelled to a Victorian Bull Street, looking very different to what we know of it today. A young Victorian man told us what it was like to live there, telling tales of his everyday life, whilst dropping in the odd joke for the adults – he was very funny! He introduced us to John Cadbury, who told us of the beginnings of his factory and his reforms to make work life better for his staff; including better working hours, health schemes and even new homes – sounds like a good deal if you ask me!
It was then that my tummy started to rumble, the lack of breakfast and all the talk of chocolate had got me craving something sweet. ‘It’s never too early for a Curlywurly’ I heard from across the room (thanks for the encouragement, random lady!). You didn’t have to tell me twice – I dived straight into my bag and unwrapped whatever chocolatey goodness I came across first.
We were then given some of the science behind Cadbury’s chocolate making process. In fact we experienced it first hand – being steamed, heated and shaken just like a cocoa bean. Not exactly how I imagined to be spending my Saturday, but being immersed in the process really bought it to life!
Up next, the Cadabra ride! One of the more vivid memories from coming to Cadbury World as a child. It was exactly as I had remembered, only with considerably less leg room. Piling two 21-year-old’s into the little car wasn’t as easy as catching a ride when I was younger. But still, the little journey through the village of the cocoa beans was a wondrous adventure.
Now, onto my favourite part – the demonstration. You get to see the master chocolatiers themselves in action, tempering chocolate like the pros they are. Not only that, but you get a cup of molten chocolate to enjoy, with sweet toppings to make it your own. Mmmmm…
Then, we got to the advertising avenue. They show many Cadbury’s adverts, from the oldest print adverts to their new TV ads. They even have a life size gorilla, drumming along to Phil Collins from THAT iconic advert.
We then went outside to the 4D cinema experience, this is a great addition to Cadbury World, and is great not only for children, but for adults too! I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it’s definitely worth the little trip outside.
Also outside, were the festive additions to the day trip – first, the Santa Stage Show. We took our seats as all the children rushed to find their place at the front. The laughter coming from the kids was contagious and even us, as 21 year olds, couldn’t stop smiling. He called upon us adults to help bring the magic into the room. ‘Wiggle your fingers, wiggle your toes, wiggle your knees, and wiggle your nose’. I’m all for Christmas magic, so I was happy to oblige.
Then came our final treat of the day. The pantomime! This mini performance of Aladdin was just enough to get us in the festive spirit. The love story between Aladdin and Princess Jasmine blossoms in the 20 minute show, but the real star of the show was Wishy Washy. Encouraging great audience participation, lots of laughs, and even the typical ‘he’s behind you’ antics we’ve all come to love from a Panto.
All in all, we had a great Saturday thanks to Cadbury World. Although a pair of 21-year-old’s is probably not the target audience for something like this, it was still thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. If you love chocolate and love Christmas (and come on… who doesn’t?) you should definitely book yourselves some tickets. We left feeling very festive, with smiles on our faces, and tummies full of chocolate.