At the beginning of the month we set off for a afternoon at the Dr Who Experience in Cardiff Bay. The boys are huge Dr Who fans and were very excited to be paying a visit. I had actually taken the children to the Dr Who Experience at Easter and the boys had thoroughly enjoyed themselves. This time we were taking dad of 3 with us and the boys were really excited about it.
Two days before our visit I discovered from reading the experiences Facebook page that they had undergone a bit of a change around. So we were keen to see what these changes were like. We had tickets for between 1pm to 1.30pm so made our way to Cardiff for just after 12.30pm to give us time to park nearby and make the ten minute walk to the Dr Who Experience building. We actually made good time and were able to enjoy a leisurely walk along the bay.
We arrived at the building just before 1pm and could see that already there was a queue. However this didn’t worry me as I know that as long as you have a ticket you simply queue and every ten-fifteen minutes a group is taken through into the actual interactive experience. So we made a quick trip to the toilets before making our way the the queue. Our tickets were checked and we were told to join the queue. As we waited we could see that the entrance area where we were had also undergone a bit of a change around with some new costumes, a tardis and a few other bits making an appearance. These kept the boys attention while we waited to go through to the experience. A couple of minutes after we joined the queue, a group was taken through (approx 30 people in a group) Then we moved to the front of the queue. As we did so we were given a crystal (life source) to wear to help protect us as we went through the interactive experience. The boys were really getting excited now, this was a new element from our first visit and the member of staff spoke to the group we were in briefly, welcoming us and explained that the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) would be accompanying us on our journey and that we would shortly be entering the Museum of Gallifrey. We were also told that we were not allowed to take any photographs during the experience itself so as not to spoil the interactive experience for other visitors. However we were free to photograph as much or as little as we liked once in the exhibition hall after the interactive part. We were also asked not to climb on any of the exhibits as all are one of a kinds so valuable.
So with this in mind, I’m afraid I won’t be able to tell you anything about the experience itself. I will tell you that when we visited back at Easter I wasn’t too taken with the interactive experience, although the boys did. However this time I thoroughly enjoyed the interactive section and felt like it flowed better than the previous one and the interaction was so much better. Even Erin at two and a half seemed to enjoy herself and the boys loved getting involved.
Once out of the interactive experience we found ourselves in the exhibition hall where we could now take photographs. Immediately I could see that the new layout worked so much better than the old one. It flowed and you were immediately immersed in it from the moment you left the interactive experience. The boys were keen to stand and pose for photographs at every opportunity.
Dad of 3 enjoyed having the time to look around all the exhibits while I walked around with the older boys helping them to read anything they struggled with and of course taking photographs! There is so much to look at in the exhibition hall and we were there for just over an hour in the end but I can see how it could take longer for some. The exhibition hall is split over two area’s so we slowly made our way firstly through the ground floor level then the upper level.
Once finished in the exhibition hall you follow a flight of stairs which takes you into a shop where you can buy all manor of Doctor Who merchandise. The boys were treated to Dr Who book each. From there we headed down another flight of steps back to the entrance. There is a small cafe serving snacks in this area but we didn’t use it as were having a meal with family near by.
I can honestly say that we all had a fantastic time at the Dr Who Experience and I would say it is a must for any Dr Who fan. I certainly felt I got more out of it than I did on our first visit and enjoyed myself. You can find out more about visiting the Dr Who Experience from their website here
Tickets cost £14 for Adults and for children aged 5-16 years old £9.75. There is a also a family ticket available for £41 which is for two adults and two children. Under 5’s are free but you do need a ticket for them too. If you book online or via the telephone it’s worth noting there is a booking fee chargeable ranging from £1.25 ( children) £1.75 (adults) and £5 for family tickets. It is advisable to book your tickets in advance of your visit as there are a limited amount of tickets available to buy daily at the experience. I think the tickets are quite reasonably priced for the experience and the fact you will be there for at least an hour and a half if not longer.
We were very kindly given tickets for us to go along to the Dr Who Experience for the purpose of this post and as part of the Millennium guide to Cardiff However the content of this post is 100% my own.