The day after our London escapades we got up early and caught a train to Cardiff, Wales for the Doctor Who Experience. I lapsed on all my careful planning and so forgot to have pictures of maps of the city on my phone, we also forgot that we were in the UK where it rains all the time, so guess what the weather was like in Cardiff? There rain’s not a horrible downpour like it usually is in Texas but the umbrella we had was falling apart (we hadn’t inspected it before throwing it in our luggage) and the fact that we only knew the general direction of where we needed to go didn’t help matters.
We managed to find the bay and were running out of time so we grabbed snacks at a grocery store instead of our original plan to hit up a fish’n’chips place. Once we finally arrived at the Experience, we saw the Doctor Who Cafe and realized we could’ve just eaten there (sorry fellow Whovians, didn’t try anything and I don’t know what they served so I can’t offer any suggestions). A few minutes break to scarf down some fruit and we joined the rest of the group in line to begin the “Experience”.
The first portion is a tour through various sets with pre-recorded videos of the Eleventh Doctor, who was very upset that the only people who showed up to help him were a bunch of “shoppers”. We walked through a crack in space and time, saw props from various episodes, flew the TARDIS (I got to do this personally, and the Doctor yelled at Colton for messing with the controls), faced Daleks (and saw little Whovians cling to their parents in fear), hurried through a forest of Weeping Angels, and finally released the Doctor from a second Pandorica (he was cross for being put in it a second time, but more cross that they hadn’t changed the name or color). Sadly, we weren’t allowed to photograph any of it.
The second portion was the museum: costumes of every Doctor, TARDISs from three different eras, as well as a few control rooms. We got sidetracked at the beginning, which allowed the crowd to thin, and posed in front of a green screen so we could have pictures with and in the TARDIS. Being the true nerd that I am, I had brought my own laser driver used by the Master and didn’t need one of their props.
For those that also watch the show, one of the guys working the photo booth happened to have played a Silence—they film the show in Cardiff too if you didn’t know, we missed tours of the actual console room by about 4 days.
He played one of these guys
Upstairs brought villains, props from Christmas specials, Daleks and Cybermen from every era, make-up and set designs,
creepiest things ever
and companion costumes, eventually leading to the gift shop (which I must admit was lacking in my opinion, but that was probably a good thing).
When our time at the Experience was done we wandered around the bay a bit before trying to find the fish’n’chips place I had seen online. After multiple passes in the same place, we finally asked some Welshman if they knew where it was, they did, but it was no longer there. At least I wasn’t crazy and did take us to the right location.
We started our walk back to the station and stopped at a fish place on the way. Heads-up, you have to pay for ketchup. We didn’t eat until we got back to the station, which was probably a mistake because the grease from the food had moistened everything during our mile walk. That’s right, I think Long John Silver’s is better and I haven’t eaten there is years.