Cadbury World – An Honest Review In 2024

Cadbury World - An HONEST Review In 2024!

Cadbury World is an attraction which advertises a fun chocolate day out in a chocolatey world on my doorstep in Bournville.

It’s an attraction which I have visited many times growing up and have always loved experiencing. Over the years things have changed and the attraction has changed hands a few times, most recently to Merlin Entertainments.  

My last visit was in 2022 and was quite enjoyable so I decided to visit again this week as it is now included in my Merlin Annual Pass.I was curious to see what had changed and experience Cadbury Chocolate Quest, the new dark ride, for the first time.


On entering the attraction, we discovered that it was mostly unchanged. The entrance foyer was still quite open with tape barriers forming the queue for the main tour entrance.

Outside the building Freddo Frog or his friends are available for meet and greets during the day (On entering we met Freddo, later we saw Caramel Bunny and then Freddo again before we left).

There are two parts to this attraction, the “Main Tour” which takes place in the main building and a selection of attractions that are out the back area (4D Cinema, play area, Have A Go Zone and The Bourneville Experience).

The back attractions can be done before or after your main tour as long as you enter the main tour for your time slot on the booking.

We arrived at the time of our main tour so completed this experience first. Once your ticket is scanned for the main tour, you are first offered the chance to buy a bag for an additional charge – a small or large for £1/£2.

This has been a thing for the last few visits and is always a bit strange to me. The reason I find it strange is that it feels to me like a bit of false advertising. “Get yourself a bag as you will need it for all the chocolate you will get during the tour” almost – though, this year finds you getting less chocolate than ever before.

Gone are the days in the early 2000’s where you left with pockets full. Now your tour begins with a single bar (A downgrade from my 2022 visit where I had 3 bars at the start).

Single bar in hand and ticket scanned, you are ready to go. Entering the first half of the tour you’re quickly immersed amid the Aztec jungle learning about cocoa beans and their trade.

This part of the tour is brilliantly themed with an immersive jungle environment, interactive screens with quizzes and even a walk through using peppers ghost projections to tell the story of how cocoa beans and began their journey to becoming chocolate.

Reaching the end of the walk through, you arrive at Bull Street where John Cadbury and his family set up shop and began their legacy.

From here you experience two shows which explain the history of the Cadbury company and how the delicious chocolate is made and then enter a section which covers how individual chocolate types are made on a series of screens (usually covering Crème Eggs first).

This part of the tour is entirely unchanged from previous years and has been this way for as long as I remember and is a great way to start the experience.

I like how immersive and educational it is and it really builds up to the next part.


Unfortunately, leaving this section is where things appear to take a disappointing turn. In previous years, leaving that section you would head up a staircase to the next floor which used to be home to the packaging floor (which was closed many years ago & replaced by a walk through exhibition about how it was to work for Cadbury), Green Screen, demonstration zone, Have A Go Zone and the Cadabra ride.

This stairwell is no longer accessible, and you are led to walk straight ahead instead to where an old photo booth has been transformed into a demonstration zone which felt a bit randomly placed and quite cramped with a lot of people seemingly unsure of where to stand or if they were meant to stop.

The man doing the demonstration was great however we also felt like we arrived halfway through the demonstration, suggesting that it isn’t timed to the shows before it which somewhat defeats the point of the time slots & timed shows that came before.

After this demonstration ends with the created chocolate being recycled, you follow the path down past some more chocolate creations before getting a small pot of melted chocolate which you can add two ingredients in to create your own treat (I believe there are 5 options for this).

As you enjoy your pot you can watch the chocolatiers creating various chocolate creations which are available to purchase in the shop (Or not in our case, there wasn’t anything really happening in there when we were there).  



At this point you follow the path around past a small display cabinet and enter what was Advertising Avenue.

This was the point where I started to feel a little disheartened as I knew this was the end of the main tour in previous years.

The queue for Cadbury Chocolate Quest started at the tasting zone and led through the remains of Advertising Avenue which has lost most of its displays following the arrival of Cadbury Chocolate Quest leading to this area becoming more of a themed but somewhat unrelated queue line instead.

With time markers suggesting the wait time every few meters, this area has become a downgrade (though still nicely themed – this is the only theming seen since leaving Bull Street!).

Long gone are the DJ, dog & very popular gorilla who you may have seen in the old area – We hope they return in a bigger & better Advertising Avenue (on the closed floor maybe?).


Reaching the end of the remains of AA, we found ourselves at the front of a queue about to enter the ride station for the new ride, Cadbury Chocolate Quest.

A screen to the left featuring Freddo and the Button Monkeys explains the aim of the game – Help collect ingredients to create a delicious Dairy Milk bar.

At this point there was also a lot of posters plastered around saying that photos/videos were not allowed (It was very heavily mentioned and repeated by the ride attendant before they let us into the station area).

The station area looked very different to the AA remains used as a queue which suggested there wasn’t a lot of thought put into the area transition.

The ride experience itself is charming and fun however it is very short and heavily screen based (as that is where the target ingredients appear).

There are a few animatronic monkeys however it’s no Cadabra. We know that Cadabra was aging, and the parts may have not been as easily obtained, but other than that, I do not see why Cadabra was removed in favour of CCQ which doesn’t even take up the same space (CCQ takes up the space of Purple Planet, AA and a section of the original shop).

The other thing I noticed is that whilst there is a sort of “score system”, it doesn’t amount to anything.

Collecting different amounts of cocoa beans, milk and manufacturing points doesn’t lead to anything.

There is no leaderboard, and it doesn’t reward you in any way. After the ride you get a single Dairy Milk bar before seeing your photo on a screen as you exit unceremoniously into the gift shop (Which at the time was busy with school trips) so no chance of a second go.

As much as I did find this fun and wanted to enjoy it, it was ultimately underwhelming.  

The previous attraction end through Purple Planet wasn’t very grand either, but it felt a little more “finale-like” than leaving through what felt like a side door with a security guard placed by it.

The ending felt rushed and lacked any sense of magic to it, it almost felt like it wasn’t really an exit.

Moving onto the shop itself, it has shrunk in size since my last visit.

This used to be the “World’s biggest Cadbury shop” and it had a lot of charm. Purple swirls on the ceiling, animatronics in themed corners and a train that went across the top – No longer.

The smaller store feels more like something you’d find in a shopping centre than a visitor attraction with the occasional themed shelf on the wall and half the shop taken up by temporary barriers.

The smaller shop also holds less unique items than it used to with most products being the general Cadbury items which you can get from your local shop.

Granted, the bulk buys and deals here are not at your local shop, but there used to be a lot more variety on offer here and the items were more desirable.


The shop, a shadow of it’s former self

One thing I noticed throughout this part of the attraction was the large number of blank walls and empty space.

I am aware that this is part of a factory and that this has been like it before Merlin took over too, but a lot of the walls/boarding had posters like “Please excuse our appearance” which is a sign of things to come and hopefully positive things, but I was concerned by how many of them I was spotting around the attraction.

It almost felt like too much happening at the same time – more on that later.



Heading outside to the “outside” attractions, I must wonder why these are outside separate. In the past the indoor section led to these in a seamless transition, but this change was again made many years ago before Merlin came in.

Scanning our ticket for a second time we explored The Bourneville Experience which is very similar to how it looked in the previous visit however it has been moved across, has more wall theming and has been made more obvious as it was overlooked a few times in the past.

This exhibit holds a large collection of Cadbury memorabilia which again has me wondering why the shop has so many generic and boring items when Cadbury has produced some incredible merchandise in the past. The short exhibition leads to the newly opened “Have A Go Zone” where you can get hands on with chocolate.

The first station lets you draw with liquid chocolate and then the second station lets you try chocolate tempering (Something that was shown in the demonstration on the main tour – if you remembered it). I like how the area has been reimagined in the new space.

It has that Wonka factory feel with theming even down to the sinks (if you ignore the paper towel rolls/bin next to it) and this gives me confidence that the attractions future will develop to be immersive and enjoyable – Again, more on that shortly.

Granted, the staff in this area were a little distant. They took their time to notice we were stood there and then left us to our own devices once we had a station to work at.

They were not very attentive, and it unfortunately took away from the experience here.

If they had other people to attend to then we would have understood but unfortunately, they were more interested in chatting with each other.


Leaving the experience, through another side door off a blank corridor we went to check out the 4D Cinema for the first time (I have oddly never done this before as 4D cinemas never really appeals to me).

In the queue for this we had our ticket scanned again (A third time in one afternoon) meaning you could only experience the 4D cinema once during your visit.

A series of two preshows and then the main show makes up this 4D experience which I can’t lie, had me wondering “What have I just experienced”?

Don’t get me wrong, the 4D show is fun, but it is a bit of a strange storyline which takes you through various chocolatey scenes in the world of Cadbury.

Leaving the 4D cinema, we found where the greenscreen moved to. Placed at the end of the 4D cinema (taking up more old shop space) with staff really pushing you to get a photo taken.

Immediately after this, in the old shop, was the photo booth where you could purchase your green screen or ride photo (I believe, if you remembered the number) – this was a walk through with people either side trying to sell you photos of your day which was both busy and chaotic.

After this, we returned to the car and now can reflect on the afternoon.

We spent around an hour and a half max at the attraction (when we considered parking, queuing, shopping and the attractions) and after the main tour I remember thinking to myself “Was that it?”.

I have visited the attraction multiple times over the years and have seen things come and go, but that was probably the shortest it has ever been for me.

The attraction has been stripped back and has lost a lot of the magic it has held in the past. Yes, I do understand that this is in a factory, but it has been more of an experience than it is today.

It felt quite bare in places and not well thought out in others. It feels like a mess of construction walls, blank space and tape barriers with the occasional splash of Cadbury colour and magic.

We know that change takes time and from the parts that have been opened so far (e.g Have a Go Zone), we can see that there is thought behind the developments, however we feel like its too much at the same time.

There was no need to close Cadabra or the whole second floor until other areas (e.g the new demonstration zone) was completed – unless these are temporary placements with work happening on the above floor to house them.

But, if this was the case, surely the attraction would have said something about it instead of just moving things and shortening the attraction with no real explanation whilst also keeping the entrance costs at the same price.

For example, on the website it states Advertising Avenue is “partially closed from the 12th of September 2023 including the gorilla set” – does this mean they are working on a new AA area or does this mean that it has been closed to house the new ride?

It’s a little unclear (but I hope for the first answer because the gorilla is very iconic to the brand and attraction). To me, it all feels like too much too fast with no real progress or indicators at the time.

Visiting the attraction feels like a rushed experience and feels more corporate than chocolate factory at times and the chocolate involved is very minimal.

2 bars of chocolate and a spoonful in a cup feels more like a pop up promo in the city centre than a full visitors attraction and much like the experience as a whole, isn’t representative of the price paid at the moment to enter.

Speaking about prices, a standard timed ticket can be booked in advance from £22.50 per adult (going up to £27) and £30 for an anytime ticket with children costing £10 on a sale price currently (and usually costing £20).

It is free for Merlin Annual Pass holders however the slots are extremely limited from my finding with it being hard to book in for our visit.

At the moment, the ticket prices do not represent the attraction offerings in my honest opinion.



Whilst I may seem quite negative in my writing, I really do want to see this attraction change and develop into the magical factory it has the potential to be.

Merlin have started investing and the positive changes have been seen in both the CCQ ride and the refreshed Have A Go Zone which makes me believe this will have a positive outcome.

But they will have to act fast or make some significant changes to keep chocolate fans on board with this one.

Merlin needs to bring the magic back to the factory and I honestly hope they do. I’m not saying they need to shower guests in free chocolate, but more than 2 bars would be really nice…  More chocolate, more magic and more experiences are what I think they need to have to improve for a start.

I will be watching the attraction’s development and visiting periodically to see if the changes are being put in and see if the magic is brought back.

I hope that this underwhelming visit is going to be a temporary occurrence and hold hope that they will do the right thing, given time to do so.

I will of course keep you all updated on this and hopefully have positive news to report on in the coming months and years ahead.

Have you any memories of Cadbury World? Let us know!