So, a couple of weeks ago, I was gifted some tickets to go and visit Shrek’s Adventure! London. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an immersive and very interactive experience, that also features some 4D action! Obviously, I took the opportunity to take the girls down to London’s South Bank to
break up the Easter holiday boredom try to find everyone’s favourite, friendly ogre, Shrek. Duh! Here is our review.
That morning, Kid 1, Kid 1+1 and I packed our snacks and made our way to Waterloo via the magic of Transport for London. We then walked the short distance (approx. 5 minutes at adult speed, but around 10 or more minutes at child speed *rolls eyes out of head and onto the floor*) from the station to County Hall.
Our tickets were booked for the 11.15am experience. The instruction was to arrive 5 minutes before our timeslot. You already know how I am with time… However, I managed to get us there at 11.10am. Mistake. To be fair, the instruction should have been much more explicit in that we should arrive in time to queue to collect our tickets and then pass through security and then join the next queue for approx 15 minutes (which, coincidentally was long enough to give any post office a run for it’s money) and then join a final queue for a further 20 minutes, finally arriving at the start of our experience 5 minutes before our timeslot! But that wasn’t the instruction. So, by the time we actually got going, it was around midday and the Kid 1+1 was less than impressed.
But, it WAS the middle of the Easter holidays, and it WAS a London tourist attraction, so I guess a bit of queuing WAS to be expected. So let’s move on. The real fun started once we got into the “Departure Lounge” ahead of the 4D bus ride! This was our first interaction with one of the (incredibly enthusiastic) actors. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I won’t say much more about what happens, but if you intend to simply follow your kids around with your arms folded, think again.
We walked through the experience as part of a group of around 25 or so children and adults. The actors were all super into their characters. I tried not to be as into it as they were, but by the time we got to Esmeralda, the fortune teller, I had warmed up.
Both of the girls really enjoyed the 4D bus ride. It was pretty awesome. I just wish it could have been longer as it probably only lasted for about 5 minutes. Kid 1+1’s second favourite part was The Wheel of Torture gameshow, which was more fun than it sounds. Kid 1 hung back a bit, she was one of the older kids there, but admitted that the witches made her jump and I definitely saw her smiling at some of the ruder jokes that were inserted for the benefit of the adults among the group…
My favourite character was Doris, the bartender in the Poison Apple Pub. I enjoyed her flirtation with one of the dads on the tour and his obvious awkwardness at the situation, along with his wife’s absolute delight! Kid 1+1 took great pride in informing me that she was actually a man. I gasped. My favourite part of the tour was the Mirror Maze of Insanity. I got us lost. I also tried to make an Enter the Dragon joke. It was lost on my kids.
All in all, the girls loved the experience. I think they were the right age for it – 6 and 9 years old. I personally feel that 10 or 11 would be the upper age limit, as there were a lot of younger kids there. Saying that, there was a girl who looked like she was in her early teens while we were there, and she was having the time of her life, so let me not speak for everyone. There were some elements of what I believe they call “mild threat” during the experience, so if your child is particularly jumpy, this might not be the thing for you. Also, buggies and pushchairs have to be left in a buggy park at the start of the tour, so be ready to either carry your little ones or make them walk.
There is an opportunity to purchase Donkey and Shrek ears, gingerbread men and other fanciful treats at the start of the tour. I gave my girls the stare when they attempted to ask for all of these things and thought I was on the home straight. But, I was purposely tripped right at the end by the very helpful staff who were all too willing to show me the professional photos that had been taken of us throughout the tour (against a green screen, no less), compiled into a very enticing “Travel Journal” which documented our journey through Far, Far Away, Madagascar, China (Kung Fu Panda) and Berk (How To Train Your Dragon). After a sweet sales pitch, I parted with £25 (doh!), but am glad that I did because the journal is a lovely keepsake of the day. However, if you would rather not face being coerced into spending that kind of money, then I would advise you to walk straight out.
If this sounds like something that you might be interested in, why not have a go at finding Shrek too? The address is Shrek’s Adventure, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB. Buy your tickets online to benefit from a discount.
(You can also get 2 for 1 with National Rail before the end of October 2018 here *wink* You’re welcome.)