I have wanted to go to the Shrek’s Adventure attraction on London’s Southbank for some time, but our girls were too young so I was more than a little delighted to be invited to go and review the experience now that they are old enough. Add to that the fact that we were invited to attend the How to Train Your Dragon; Hidden World launch and my kids were ready to burst with excitement.
How To Train your Dragon; Hidden World
We were very lucky to be invited to the launch of the Hidden World. The boys were on count down for this movie to come our so they were just thrilled to have this opportunity. The event started bright and early at 9am. We luckily don’t live very far from the Southbank so we didn’t have to drag any children out of bed in the pursuit of dragons. Since they were headed off with the promise of vikings and dragons there was very little cajoling and persuading to be done and all were ready to leave on time; giddy with excitement.
Once we were at the event the children were given VIV passes (very important vikings) and these are now firmly amongst their prized possessions. We were then taken into what I now know is the arrivals hall for the Shrek Adventure itself. This contains a variety of film scenes from movies such as Penguins of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda which the kids can get into and take pictures or just play. My kids love those penguins so there was much ‘smile and wave boys, smile and wave’. Then then got to meet some ‘real live’ vikings and a baby dragon as well as doing some craft activities and, for at least one of my littles, eating their body weight in croissant.
The vikings were great at getting the children excited and when the hidden world was revealed the kids all rushed in dying to get glimpse. When it calmed down it was lovely to see how thrilled they were to be in the Hidden World and they especially loved the lighting that made their tops and teeth glow.
This part of the Shrek Adventure is now open to all visitors and makes a really lovely addition to the trip for any budding dragon riders.
The Shrek Adventure Tour
As I said I have been wanting to visit the Shrek Adventure for a while, but didn’t really know what it was all about. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for any of you and therefore I will be slightly vague… However, this is an interactive and immersive tour through the kingdom of Far Far Away meeting loads of the well loved and familiar characters from the Shrek franchise. You are not allowed to take pictures once you head through into departures for your bus trip to Far Far Away which is great as you don’t end up watching everything through someone else’s phone and you all very much become part of the experience.
The long and short of it is that we absolutely loved this experience. I had no idea what to expect and from the minute we were greeted by the actor in ‘departures’ we were all captivated. Even my least willing to join in child was having a dance, shouting out and singing along by the end.
The bus ride itself was quite fantastic. I haven’t been to a 4D experience previously and I was blown away by the whole thing. I did start to get a bit concerned about my two kids who get hideously travel sick as although you are stationary it doesn’t feel like it. I really don’t want to say much more about it than that so that you too can be surprised, but that was my absolute favourite part of the attraction. I genuinely felt like I was flying!
Once the bus ride is over you are taken through the adventure by a host of great actors who have those funny lines that both make kids and adults laugh, but for different reasons. They really are very good. We got to meet three princesses too including Fiona. Having read some other reviews I was a little concerned that my girls (3) might be a bit scared in parts and sure enough as things got a little darker one of them did said she felt nervous, but a quick cuddle from me and a promise that Shrek would save us and she was fine. I am not sure all 3 year olds would be so very OK as there are witches and things, but my girls are pretty robust with two big brothers. My other little girl literally loved it from start to finish. She was up the front with her brothers in every section, joining in with the shouting out and screeching with glee and excitement so I think that age wise I would say you know your child. It isn’t frightening and nothing makes you jump or anything like that, but there is mild peril in the story line and as I say a witch or two!
At the end of the tour everyone gets the chance to meet Shrek. I don’t have a picture of this as all my children bar one were very happy just to see him from a distance and the one who did go and say hello did not want to have her picture taken – kids! It is kind of funny that it is the hero of our story who they were afraid of. He is huge and an ogre I suppose!!
Since we visited the Shrek Adventure some 3 days ago now it is all one of my girls can talk about. Her grandparents, currently on an extended holiday in Australia, were most confused to be hearing about flying buses and witches… As a family I would say this is one of the best mornings we have spent at an attraction in London. The tour takes around 75 mins so probably with time for photos in the arrivals hall and the obligatory shop visit you would be looking at 2 hrs or so which makes it a good option for combining with a walk along the Southbank where there is just so much to do. We were there early in the morning, as I said and so it was not at all busy, but there were longer queues as we were leaving. For me I would always visit London attractions in the morning as generally there are fewer people and less waiting around. I mean it stands to reason – people are on holiday and no one wants to rush on holiday mornings.
I asked the children what they all thought of the experience today and the twins made videos to share their thoughts. You will see that one of them was keener than the other and that is as she explains just because she was a bit concerned by the witches!
My eldest (almost 8) shared that he loved it and found the bit with the witches and getting captured was the absolute best!! Something for all ages I think.
My almost 6 year old said simply ‘it was great’ and then as a post script insisted that I finish with the below gem…