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Issue 24 : June/July 06

The Newsletter on the Under-Fives
Issue 24 : June & July 2006

Welcome to June's newsletter.  This month one of our 
readers reviews Cadbury World, and recommends you go 
somewhere else instead!  

To read previous issues of this newsletter see

  - What's New at the Web Site?
  - Review: Cadbury World
  - News and Events

What's New at the Web Site?

Language Lessons
  It's much easier to learn a language when you start 
  early, so I've added a section on people offering 
  language lessons to the site.


  Do you provide a service for the under-fives?  Then 
  promote your business here.  Our readers (over 300 of 
  them) want to know about activities for their children. 
  Visit https://www.under-fives.org/newsad.html

Links to Maps Showing Place Locations
   To help you find a place, many listings now include a 
   link to a map showing its location.

Darely Abbey Park, Derby
  Playground, tearooms, butterfly garden, picnicing, 
  duck feeding.

Belper River Gardens
  Gardens, playground, rowing boats and duck feeding.

Review: Cadbury World

by Deborah Morgan-Graham, mother of two.

 I took my two children aged 6 and 4 expecting a really 
 fun day and to eat my favourite food - chocolate.

 From reading the Cadbury's website it appeared quite fun. 
 I expected to find a sort of 'legoland' or 'chucklebutties' 
 approach - soft play, lots of things to play on outside 
 plus rides and activities for the children to enjoy.

 So I pre-booked the tickets (which is how they prefer you 
 to pay) and followed the brown signs from the Motorway 
 junction they specified on their website.

 Big mistake!

 Take the M42 instead - much quicker and easier then 
 travelling through the centre of Birmingham....

 The main entrance has a man doing juggling tricks while 
 you wait in the queue to go into the main attraction. The 
 time you book (say 1 pm) is the time you join 50 others 
 to be herded through the Cadbury Experience.

 You are handed some chocolate (one small bar of dairy 
 milk and one small bar of Cadbury's caramel) as you 
 enter the place.  We walked through a jungle effect with 
 information about where cocoa is found and grown with 
 good visual displays, this is where things went downhill.

 We had to stand and watch (you can't move or go any
 further as the doors are locked!) a flat screen TV for 
 about 10 minutes of a documentary about how cocoa was 
 shipped in the 1700's to the UK...my children found this 
 boring so too did all the other little ones who like 
 my 2 were left to stand around bored until we were 
 'allowed' though the second set of doors...

 We then entered a small cobbled 'street scene' set 
 in the late 1800's. A screen with an actor dressed as 
 the original Mr Cadbury told a story about how he became a 
 businessman because his father a Quaker had forbidden him 
 joining the professions...again the children were bored 
 by this too but we had to wait 15 minutes until the doors 
 were opened so we cold go through to another area...this 
 time a room with benches to watch yet another flat 
 screen TV about how Cadburys made chocolate and shipped 
 the cocoa bean to the UK in a ship during the 1800's...

 By this time we'd had enough! So we asked to go through 
 the doors we (and especially the children) didn't want to 
 sit listening to this again.

 This time it's a factory tour. Sealed off from the 
 main plant, behind Perspex, you see machinery boxing up 
 bars of chocolate. Then you climb the stairs to see more 
 boxes of chocolate being sent to the lorry and again more 
 boxes of chocolate being boxed up and stacked waiting for 
 the lorry to pick them up...so again the children by 
 now we getting rather fed up. Now I knew why we were 
 given 2 bars of chocolate each at the entrance!

 Then we formed another queue to go on a 'ride'. A car for 
 each family which went very slowly around a Cadbury's 
 advertising site with the characters from the previous 
 advertisements such as the Caramel bunny lying under a 
 tree, the easter egg bird and a forest of sweets which 
 the children felt was a bit better then all we had seen 
 before but again it wasn't quite what you'd imagine.

 Then there is an interactive room where children can 
 have their photo taken and it's copied (digitally) as 
 a photograph of them as a chocolate statue! 

 This was the better aspect of the 'experience' as the 
 children enjoyed jumping on the answers to questions 
 and having their photo taken etc. This should have been 
 expanded as it was entertaining for the children rather 
 than TV history lessons!

 After this you queue again to go around the tasting 
 plant where a single person (more queuing) dips fudge 
 pieces in melted chocolate to hand to you, or you can do 
 it yourself which is tricky and holds the queue up even 
 more...on to the next item writing your name with a 
 icing bag full of melted chocolate...queuing again so 
 by now my two wanted out!

  So we left via the exit into the Cadbury shop.

 That was the end of the experience. The children played 
 in the play area which was a climbing frame and things 
 to bounce on run and jump on but it would have been 
 easier to just park, not pay for the 'experience', and 
 just sit to enjoy the climbing frame!

 If you wish to eat there is a cafe/restaurant on site 
 which is 'ok' and quite pricey for what you can get. It's 
 not well maintained and rather dirty.  A lady sat next to
 us with two small toddlers and a 9 month old baby asked 
 for a highchair. The staff let her struggle to carry it 
 over to the table and when she did the seat was full 
 of beans and food . It had been put away filthy and no 
 one bothered or apologised to her they just wiped it 
 over with a wet cloth and walked off.

 So it was back to the play area which is what the 
 children enjoyed the most. This had a face painter and a 
 magic show again both were very good especially the 
 magician who had the children's attention (and the adults!) 
 for half an hour and yet the time flew...

 In summary...
 I and other parents I spoke to felt it was a big 
 advertisement for chocolate and not at all child-focused 
 which was a pity as it could have been better if they had 
 thought it through properly.

 The best of Cadbury's world?

 The play area outside (free), the face painting (2), 
 magic show (free) and one area in 'experience' which had an 
 interactive area for children.

 Apart from that the whole 'experience' was typical 
 of children's entertainment in Britain. Not well thought 
 out, queues everywhere and poor facilities for the 
 children. It seems like one big advert and not 
 at all how it appears on their website. In our experience 
 and from the other parents we spoke to we wouldn't go 
 back again!

 In fact save your money. 

 If you want any advice? Buy two bars of chocolate for 
 each member of the family, go to Carsington water for 
 the afternoon and with the money you save travelling and 
 buying a ticket for Cadbury World... go somewhere nice 

Thank you Deborah for the review - if you would like 
to comment on somewhere you have visited: either good or 
bad - please contact us.

For other attractions to visit instead of Cadbury World see

News and Events

To announce your event, or children related news here, 
e-mail jill@studholme.net or fill in the form at 
(Circulation: 339 subscribers)

Ballet Show
  The Ashbourne School of Dance are performing their 
  own show at the Guildhall Theatre. Friday 23 June, 
  Saturday 24 June and Sunday 25 June.  Tickets 8 
  for adults.  For more information contact Mrs Tina 
  Dodsworth on 01159 735747.


 10% off your order with free shipping. Go to 

Heavy metals may be implicated in autism
  URINE samples from hundreds of French children have 
  yielded evidence for a link between autism and exposure 
  to heavy metals. If validated, the findings might mean 
  some cases of autism could be treated with drugs that 
  purge the body of heavy metals.

Caffeine boosts breathing in premature infants
  A dose of caffeine given to premature infants may 
  help with vital functions such as breathing.  

Premature babies face higher risk of hyperactivity
  Babies born prematurely face a significantly greater 
  risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity 
  disorder (ADHD), Danish researchers report. The results 
  should encourage women to take precautions against 
  premature birth, including refraining from smoking, says 
  study author Karen Linnet


  Think you may have postnatal depression or illness? 
  The support and help you need is at the PNI-UK 
  web site - http://www.pni-uk.com/
  PNI-UK: Registered Charity 1105767.

If you would like to read this news as it happens, 
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Copyright jillstudholme.com
, 2005
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