Last week, to cheer us up from the winter blues we took a little mini break away across the border into Wales, for a few nights in Cardiff. This was my first ever trip into the land of the dragon (even though as a teenager I was a huge Catatonia fan and longed to go) – we had such a great time. It was just what the Dr ordered. Cardiff is a beautiful city, with great shops, restaurants and lots of things to do – but it was bloody freezing. I would love to go back when it’s a little warmer so we can enjoy it properly. We made the most of our time though, mainly doing things indoors to escape the chill, but of course, the first thing we did in Cardiff was a long awaited trip to the famous Dr Who Experience, located on Cardiff Bay.
We arrived at the Dr Who experience about midday, with just enough time for a coffee and a wander around the gift shop before our experience began. Vee was like a small child, grinning excitedly and eagerly looking at her watch waiting for our start time. There are some dalek’s waiting in the foyer, we snapped cheesy grin selfies with them to kill time as we counted down the minutes to our adventure.
The Dr Who Experience is split into two halves, the first – The Interactive Experience. For this part, you are not allowed to take photos as not to spoil the surprise for others so I won’t talk too much about it, but let’s just say… it’s like you are in actual episode. A mix of studio effects takes you through realistic scenes and sets from the show, with The Doctor giving instructions via the big screen. Your guide, takes you on a fully interactive adventure which at times can be quite scary (I was surprised to see little children in there, it would have terrified me as a child) through time and space – it’s a total must-do for any Dr Who fan.
As we emerged the other end, a little shaken from our adventure, we went into the second part – The Exhibition Hall. This section houses the worlds largest collection of original Dr Who props, sets and costumes, including three full TARDIS sets, a complete collection of outfits as worn by the Dr since 1963 to present day and various costumes worn by evil monsters, villains and characters within the show throughout the years.
Wandering around the exhibition hall was just surreal, to see all of the sets and props that everyone knows and loves from the TV. There was something new to see around every corner and although, the focus was on the more recent series, they did have some items from more retro times too, giving a good balance across the series.
I found the section with the different outfits really interesting to walk around, it was amazing to see how tiny some of the actors and actresses are that have been on Dr Who, we saw Kylie Monogue’s dress, which I probably couldn’t even fit a leg into, Clara is pretty tiny too. Some of the outfits still had scuffs and marks on where they have been worn, and John Barrowman’s shirt had make-up round the collar. Loved these little details that show the real side behind the glamour on the TV.
Overall, we had a great day out at the The Dr Who Experience in Cardiff and I highly recommend it to anyone. It’s a must-do for any fan of the show, and if you are like me and not the hugest fan, it’s still fun to visit and immerse yourself in the experience too. Tickets for the experience are a bit cheaper if you book online, I bought a Standard Admission ticket at £14, but Vee paid a little more for a Merchandise Pack (£32.50) which came with a goody bag stuffed with the official guide, a t-shirt, boxed TARDIS key, wristband, certificate and a few other bits and bobs. Vee loved it and it just added to the experience to come away with a bag full of goodies too. The Dr Who experience is suitable for all ages and accessible for those in wheelchairs to – however the only thing I’d say is that it can be quite scary in parts so bear that in mind if you are planning to visit as a family.
Have you been to the Dr Who Experience? What did you think?