Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Alterface delivers ingredients for new Cadbury World ride

The new Cadbury Chocolate Quest ride at Cadbury World near Birmingham, U.K., takes budding chocolate makers on a fun, interactive journey to source the ingredients to make a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar.

“Part of ambitious plans for Cadbury World, the new ride is an opportunity for guests to enjoy a whole new chocolatey experience, with even more fun along the way,” said Tim Waters, Regional Director, Merlin Entertainments. “We’re excited for our guests to discover what’s in store at our attraction this year.” 

Working from Merlin Entertainments’ initial design, Alterface helped refine the project, assumed project management responsibilities, coordinated and subcontracted suppliers for media, lighting, audio and the ride system, ensured the ride adhered to gameplay and interactivity standards, and powered the ride and its effects through their Salto™ show control technology.

Benjamin Walravens, Alterface Show Producer, emphasized the importance of the joint approach: “We worked directly with Theodore Papadopoulos from Merlin Magic Making, who came to us with the concept design. Theo was in direct contact with Mondelez International, who owns the Cadbury brand, and made sure that what we proposed was approved by all stakeholders. Merlin Entertainments and Mondelez were great partners, making sure that the final design met their expectations, whilst giving us room for creativity.”

Scent, wind, heat and other special effects in the ride are in play through six interactive scenes. Nine trackless and specially designed ETF Multi Mover cars provide a throughput of 600 guests per hour. Guided and encouraged by the beloved Cadbury character Freddo and his team of Cadbury Buttons monkeys, riders use “Cadbury Collectors” to gather cocoa pods and milk and eventually combine them to create a delicious Cadbury treat. “As it happens, Freddo was a perfect match for the storytelling part of the ride, and his team of Buttons monkey friends were just what we needed to bring some fun and mischief to the scene,” said Walravens. “The animators from 1050 studio created the monkeys to be the cutest and funniest characters I’ve worked with so far.”

Beyond the entertainment and educational aspects, the ride also makes a statement about inclusivity. “Inclusivity is integral to the Cadbury identity and we worked very closely with Merlin Entertainments on this,” said Louis Vanhomwegen, Alterface project manager. “There are special armrests on some seats to allow easier access, one of the cars is a new design compatible with wheelchairs, and subtitles are on all of the screens so that those with hearing difficulties can fully participate in the adventure.” The wheelchair car is something truly unique, specially designed and integrated in the ride.”

Assigned by Merlin Entertainments to liaise with Alterface on the project, Malique Williams of WT Partnership emphasized the challenges of creating a compelling adventure in a relatively small space while the overall park remained in operation. “Alterface brought the ride to life with its lighting, music and screen design,” he said. “Guests have an interactive experience well suited to the story we are trying to portray: how to make your perfect Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar!”

Bringing any plan from the drawing board to opening day involves a team of artistic and technical specialists. “Creating a great interactive dark ride is very much like making delicious chocolate,” said Stephane Battaille, CEO of Alterface. “You begin with a recipe or a design, recruit top quality chocolatiers or vendors, add the best possible ingredients, whether cacao beans and milk or interactive technologies, special effects and trackless cars.” In this case, he said, we assembled a team of all stars and together have created a delicious new experience for attraction guests.

To date, Alterface has completed more than two dozen projects with Merlin Entertainments with more to open soon. “Working with Merlin Entertainments and our other clients, our efforts are always driven by the story and the passion of the entire team,” said Battaille. “Cadbury Chocolate Quest once again demonstrates how a compelling story and great teamwork results in amazing attractions.” 

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