Cadbury World, Birmingham, review

Cadbury World is a tourist attraction in Bournville, Birmingham, created by the Cadbury Company, and which was opened in August 1990.

I visited it while in Birmingham back in July of this year, and in this, I will be reviewing how accessible it is for disabled people of all ages.

Some of the attractions that Cadbury World in Birmingham has includes:

  • Their 4D Chocolate Adventure experience
  • A manufacturing display which shows you exactly how their chocolate bars a made
  • Their Gill Cocks Collection
  • Their Making Chocolate Story
  • Their Cadabra ride
  • A Purple Planet exhibition
  • The Bull Street Tour
  • Aztek Jungle
  • The Cadbury Story
  • Chocolate Making
  • Advertising Avenue
  • Have A Go
  • Bournville Experience
  • Journey to Europe
  • The Cadbury Café
  • The Cadbury Shop
  • African Adventure Play Area
  • Green Screen

I got to go to quite a number of these on the day, and I will be reviewing how accessible and fun each of the ones I went around were. But I will be rewarding one extra point to my final opinion of it, as the lift to take me to the second part of the final exhibition we went on that day was broken.

The first thing we did after checking in at the reception was heading over to the 4D Chocolate Adventure, which does have two wheelchair places. We were given some glasses to help with the experience, but while my family and friends found it brilliant because the seats they were sitting on were moving around, I didn’t get to experience any of that, because the wheelchair spaces were only a space for your wheelchair to go, but didn’t have anything which would give the wheelchair user an equivalent of what everyone else is experience. And because of this, while everyone who was with me found the experience fun, I found it slightly immature and boring.

I understand why it’s a safe choice for wheelchair spaces not to have any motion sensors, because some wheelchair dependent people will have other mental / learning disabilities as well. However, there are other wheelchair dependent people who love having fun as well, and want to experience everything they’re non disabled counterparts are experiencing. So what I would love for Cadbury World to add in order to make their experiences for people with only physical disabilities with no mental or learning or other disabilities is to have one wheelchair space with no motion controls, but another with motion sensors under the space — which by all means, could include belts to make sure the wheelchair to stay in place — for those who would like that.

It was interesting as we went out seeing frames with the animated characters we’ve grown to love over the years, and I also liked the machine which with augmented reality, allowed you to create a brand of chocolate.

Next, we went to the Bournville Experience, and it was very interesting learning about how Cadbury got started.

The next place we went was round the Cadbury Shop, and it was a bit overwhelming seeing how much chocolate was in one place. As one of the main chocolate lovers in my family, I managed to escape with just a chocolate shoe and a chocolate teapot, which were eaten in good time.

The last place we went was on the Aztek Jungle and Cadbury Story, which had screens all around the place — some which tested the knowledge you already had about Chocolate making, and others which had scenes explaining to you more about Chocolate production.

There was also another show about the beginnings of Cadbury, on how they got started and about some of their relationships with partners that we got to go into as well. But like was the case with the 4D Chocolate Experience, there were sensors involved with this tour as well, which had chairs shaking as well. Luckily, my friend — knowing how I felt about the chocolate experience — shook my chair when her own seat was shaking, so I would be able to experience what everyone else was experiencing. But like what I said about the Chocolate experience, it would be good if motion sensors could be put under some wheelchair spaces for those who want to experience sudden movements.

As I’ve mentioned already, the lift that was meant to take me to the next part of the tour was broken on the day, so I didn’t get to see the end of it. But on my way out, I did get to see the famous gorilla from the popular advert featuring In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins, so everything was fine.

I was also given a free chocolate because the lift broke, so it wasn’t all bad.

The full list of accessibility features that Cadbury World offers are:

  • Low level service desks
  • Changing Places facilities (available on each floor)
  • BSL on video screens
  • Access Assistance in large print
  • Infrared system for visitors with compatible hearing aids
  • Large print script available for visually impaired visitors
  • Lift / Elevators
  • Stairs with coloured warning edges
  • Directional signage
  • Assistance dogs allowed throughout all attractions other than production areas
  • Visually impaired visitors allowed to feel / touch key props
  • Assistance dogs sitting services
  • Ramp adaptions

So overall, I’m definitely happy that I got to visit Cadbury World. It’s good that there’s Changing Places toilets on all levels, and I also like how many accessibility options they do have.

But even then, there are still some problems.

I’ve said in other parts of this review how it is good that there were two wheelchair spaces. And I’ve also explained that I understand why there has to be at least one wheelchair space without any sort of motion sensors. But I still feel like I was slightly robbed of an experience that everyone else was allowed to have when they felt their chairs moving, while I still have to go by everything they’ve explained about that.

It was interesting, however, finding out everything that has made Cadbury the company it is today.

So for that reason, I will rate Cadbury World four stars.

Hopefully the lift will be fixed the next time I go to it.

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