If you read my blog regularly (firstly, let’s be pals) but I’d like to apologise for not posting a blog every week recently. It’s no excuse, but I’ve been finding it hard to get into a blogging routine and to try and fit in writing during some busy weekends lately. Hopefully, you managed to catch my blog post a few weeks back ‘5 Great Cruelty-Free Brands of the High Street’, which gives you an easy to digest list of some cruelty-free brands that you can pick up at some of your favourite beauty stores.
So, this week it’s something a little bit different than my usual topics. On Friday 31st March, me and my boyfriend spent the day at Cardiff to go to the Doctor Who Experience up there. If you’re a Whovian or you know something who is a Doctor Who super-fan like my darling boyfriend, then read about my experience here…
Travelling to Cardiff
Before I get into this post, here’s a little background into why we decided to go. My boyfriend who is probably one of the biggest Doctor Who nerds fans on the planet, told me about the Doctor Who Experience a few months ago. Sensing his undeniable enthusiasm, I decided to look into how much it would cost etc. in the hopes of surprising him in the Summer for his birthday. That’s when I came across a few news article like this one, reporting that the Experience is due to close down in the Summer of 2017. Bad timing.
So being the absolute gem of a girlfriend that I am, I decided to book it as an early birthday present.
To get to Cardiff, you can obviously drive there, but I wasn’t feeling the idea of a 4-hour drive there and back in one day, so we opted to get the train instead. We booked our train tickets a few weeks early so that we could get the best off-peak price AND reserve our seats (because who wants to stand up for 4 hours?).
Our day started at 4.50am (I know) so that we could get ready in time to catch our train at 6.53am and still get a McDonald’s breakfast on the way. Hashtag priorities.
We had to change trains a total of 3 times, but the journey was really pleasant and wasn’t stressful at all. Apart from not knowing which fudging platform to get on.
We got the train all the way to Cardiff Bay, because then it would only be a 15-minute walk to the attraction.
If you walk from the station like we did, you’ll get to see the Roald Dahl Plass, which many Doctor Who and Torchwood fans will recognise, so definitely great photo opportunities are to be had there.
First impressions of the experience; it looks absolutely huge! Even before you walk into the Experience, there’s a little TARDIS in the bay. Again another cracking photo opportunity.
Walking into the Experience, you’re greeted with a sort-of, mini exhibition with items such as hand-casts from some of the Doctors and their companions. There’s also a Dalek made entirely out of LEGO, some more Daleks from the different decades and some other great props and costumes.
There’s also a cute little café at the beginning, in case you’re feeling peckish from your travels (like we were!)
We booked our tickets in advance, so all we had to do was turn up at our booked time slot and queue up.
There are a few ticket options you can pick. I had a standard adult admission ticket, whereas I bought my boyfriend the merchandise ticket, meaning he got some goodies to go with his admission. More on that later!
In the first part of the experience, you get to go on an interactive adventure, helping the Doctor save the Universe. I won’t go into this as I think it’s better to go and see it in person (and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise) but if you’re a Doctor Who fan or someone you know is one, then you’re going to want to do this!
After the interactive adventure, we were free to browse the exhibition rooms.
Filled with sets, props, costumes and interesting information, you could easily wander around for a few hours soaking in each area. It was great to see so many well-known exhibits on display. I’m not a hard-core fan, but even I was able to recognise some of the things on display and squeal in delight.
Another fantastic part of the experience is the green screen. This is a great opportunity to have your photo taken in a backdrop of your choosing. From the Tardis itself to some awesome adventure backgrounds, it’s definitely a one of a kind souvenir to take home. You can even choose some props to have with you. Think Sonic Screwdrivers, colourful scarfs and a Fez!
Upstairs, there’s even more exhibits to look at. Honestly, we had to keep going back to make sure we didn’t miss anything. Here are a few of my favourite exhibits:
I would mention though that you should make sure you have enough room on your camera/phone!
Once we had seen everything we wanted to see, we made our way to the gift shop. This again was filled to the brim with so many great souvenirs. T-shirts, mugs, DVD’s, toys, bags, art, comic books, postcards, keyrings, pens and so much more. The gift shop is also where we were able to pick up our merchandise pack from. In the pack, you get some merchandise that you can’t buy from the shop, including:
Limited edition t-shirt
Official companion bag
Official companion guide
Retro souvenir ticket
Overall, we spent a good 3-4 hours in the Doctor Who Experience. It’s absolutely a must see for the Doctor Who fan in your life. My boyfriend said it was the “best day out ever” and he was so in awe of what was there. So if it is closing down this year, I would definitely try and visit it as soon as you can!