If you’re after an honest review of Shrek’s Adventure, look no further! My four children (and I!) love Shrek, the friendliest ogre in town. The mock-grumpy green ogre and everything he gets up is hilarious and Donkey always makes us all laugh with his inadequacy and silliness, so we were excited to find out we would be reviewing the attraction yesterday.
The experience promises to take you on a “magical flying 4D bus to Far Far Away and star in your very own hilarious adventure with Shrek and his DreamWorks pals.” We had high expectations for our press trip organised by my friend Reneé at ‘Mummy Tries.’
Now our group was not your typical ‘2 adults + 2 children’ kind of audience. Entertaining seven children under 10 as well as two mums with high standards is no meagre task. Did Shrek’s Adventure disappoint? Absolutely not! The experience itself was brilliant. It was just like going to the theatre, but being fully involved in the whole experience rather than taking it all in as a passive audience.
The whole experience focuses on the search for Shrek, in an engaging and fast-paced adventure. After a quick photo, Princess Fiona will warm you up and get you to sing before handing you 3D glasses so you can start your journey.
The 4D cinema experience sets the tone for the immersive experience you are about to embark on. Shortly after you’ve made yourself comfortable on the model of a traditional London Routemaster, it will take off as virtual reality takes over your senses. You will feel like you are on a rollercoaster ride. Witches flying around you, dragons, a sudden fall of the flying bus, water sprays and the bus crashing will provide a thrilling and exciting start to your adventure in Far, Far Away.
The ‘Dreamworks Tour’ is a great experience for the whole family. Children are given tasks, parents will appreciate some humour targeting adults and together they will meander through Far, Far Away (Shrek’s Swamp, The Poison Apple Pub, etc.), meeting Cinderella, Doris the Barmaid, Esmeralda, Gingy, Puss in Boots, Donkey and many more. My favourite parts were ‘The Wheel of Torture’ game show (we could sit down and at that point I was in agony with my back) and the Mirror Maze, which made us all feel like we were losing our minds as we were bumping into people’s reflections!
Once we’d found Shrek and found our way back to London, we were shown to the ‘DreamWorks Arrivals Hall’ where we could meet characters from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. The children couldn’t stop laughing and chatting about the whole experience as we came out.
On reflection, the adventure was not dissimilar to a visit to the London Dungeon as you are taken from one scene to the next, with actors fully in character giving you tips, clues, and leading you to the next section of the story. Participants are fully included in the adventure and get given tasks to complete (whether they want it or not!) and bits and bobs that will help solve a problem as the group moves on to the next part of the story.
Now on with the nitty-gritty…
How do you get there?
Shrek’s Adventure is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames next to the Coca Cola London Eye (just opposite the Houses of Parliament) and the closest tube station is Waterloo.
Here is the exact address:
Westminster Bridge Road,
London SE1 7PB
How much is it?
You can get tickets online from £19 per adult and it is much more expensive at the door.
The most cost-efficient to get your tickets is to buy them online in advance online. Look out for 2-for-1 offers that are common. You can also save money by combining the adventure with another one of the Merlin London attractions.
What ages is it suitable for?
There is no official minimum age limit and there were children, adults and even babies on the tour, There were some scary moments my 3-year-old struggled with and I would say it is ideal for 5 to 13-year-olds and for sociable adults (one of the men in attendance had to be involved quite a bit at the start).
How long does it last?
The website states that the adventure takes about 75 minutes, but we were in there for just over a couple of hours (one hour queuing and one hour for the walkthrough experience).
Can I take photos in there?
Although you are allowed to take photos at the start (queue with mirrors, phone booths, funny messages and a body scanner) and at the end with lots of Dreamworks characters and apparatus, you will have to put your camera away and turn off your phone during the experience itself.
Do I need to bring extra cash?
- There were plenty of temptations to spend money during the tour, starting with cups of sweets and the “Oh I really need Shrek’s ears headband Mummy, pleeeeaaase!” (the baby ones were impossibly cute) at the very start of the tour.
- Professional photos are taken periodically during the tour, leading to a beautifully-made album for purchase at the end.
- Of course, the gift shop with cute gingerbread man teddies, mugs, pens and notebooks could not be more tantalising for children.
- With a bit of self-control, you may be able to resist these temptations, but be aware that they will be there.
- Reserve your time slot in advance. You won’t get in otherwise, especially during busy times.
- We had our tickets booked for 3 p.m. and I won’t lie: queuing and waiting time was long for young children, a queue very similar to what you’d have in Disneyland, with minor distractions around every corner (things to read, a body scanner here, a mirror there).
- Be prepared to queue: it took over 1 hour before we got on the tour.
- Don’t bring big bags: you’ll have to carry them for ages.
- Don’t wear impractical or slightly uncomfortable shoes because there will be lots of standing and pacing.
- No photos, no phones or recording of any kind is allowed during the actual tour.
- If you can, bring Shrek headbands with you and give them to your children as you get on the lift. It will distract them and as you’re queuing upstairs, they will not beg you for the £9.50 for sale there.
Would I go again?
Definitely! The children had a blast! If we were to go again, I would do a couple of things differently: I’d pack a backpack instead of my handbag. I wouldn’t bother with my big camera. I would also buy Shrek’s headbands prior to our trip and hide them so I can surprise the children as we get on the lift.
Have you ever been to Shrek’s Adventure? Did you like it?
Disclosure: we were invited to experience Shrek’s Adventure free of charge in exchange for an honest review.