Monday, May 25, 2009
A Trip to the Cadbury Factory
I had one of my old friends from my Air Force days fly in from Frankfurt for the weekend and as the Bullring was closed for most of it I booked us and my kids on a little excursion over to the Cadbury Factory on the outskirts of the city.
I booked the tickets online and made my way over there but for some strange reason the listing in my GPS of 'Cadbury World' was a residential area of terraced houses. So as the time for our appointed time was approaching I had to call 118-118, which is the UK's version of 411 to have them text me the phone number and address of the place.
We were actually only about a mile away and made it there with 10 minutes to spare.
And in fact it didn't seem to me that you really needed to book ahead. When we arrived we checked in with a woman at the cash registers and she told us to go around back to the Cadbury Essence and then come back here after that. So we walked around back and went through the Cadbury Essence 'show' telling us some things about how Cadbury was started by some holligrams. Then we were 'treated' to a cup of liquid chocolate which was kind of like having a drink of a choclate bar that was left inside the car during your last family holiday to Florida.
The kids played on a playground setup outside the exit of the essence tour for a few minutes and we then walked back around the building to where we walked into what was supposed to be an Amazon jungle scene and then an 1800's old Birmingham square. In my opinion it was kind of lame and could definitely use some other interactive features.
Then there were 2 sit down 'shows' where we were explained more in detail the history of Cadbury and how they were ahead of their time in employee rights and the such. And then the second was about the process of chocolate going from the cocoa plant to the candy bar.
Then we walked through the actual factory where chocolate bars were being heated and cooled and then wrapped. For some reason they don't allow any photography or video in there.
Then it was on to this ride that had a huge line (queue) when we first walked by it going into the factory but wasn't so bad when we actually came to stand in it after walking the factory. It basically was a train track type of car ride. Imagine the old "It's a Small World After All' tour at Disney World crossed with little chocolate beans that looked more like turds.
Some how my friends and I managed to get a car all on our own while the kids were in another car... We looked pretty gay getting out of the car at the end with no kids... I would post the photo but my friend would kill me....
Ohhh, I forgot we walked out of there with more chocolate bars than I could count between the lot of us. I imagine 50 at least. They hand them out like... Well... Candy...