We spent last weekend in and around London, looking for something exciting to keep the boys entertained this summer holiday. Naturally this quest led us to Shrek’s Adventure, a new attraction conveniently located just by the London Eye focused on the green ogre himself and his DreamWorks buddies (apologies we are almost as green as Shrek in this picture!).
Pre-booking is best to ensure you get the time slot you want, we got there half an hour before our scheduled time (which was exceptionally organised for us, a bit too organised if I am honest as the doors do not open until 10am, the time of our booking). Although there were still quite a few families in the queue already forming and of them some had not booked and had to wait till an available tour a little later in the day, as the first few tours were already full. Although with plenty to do in the area this is not a problem really, Merlin Annual Pass holders could have a ride on the London Eye, visit the London Sea Life Aquarium and get spooked in the London Dungeon until their scheduled time slot becomes available. Shrek’s Adventure really could not be located in a better spot.
Not to give too much away, the tour begins with you entering the departure gate; you get a pep talk from a very flamboyant air steward with some important ground rules for your tour. I like that throughout the tour everyone makes a conscious effort to drum in how important it is that the children can see, so the adults are always ushered to the back to give children the best view. Photography is prohibited until the end of the tour when you have some DreamWorks characters including the main man himself Shrek to take pictures of. It’s actually quite nice being prevented from taking pictures on the tour because it makes sure everyone focuses on the compelling storyline instead!
From the very beginning you are encouraged to participate, one child is chosen to be in charge of a button (a great honour indeed) then you break into song to charge up the bus! The 4D DreamWorks Tour bus was a great ride and very sophisticated, the screen is so vast it’s an immersive experience with characters appearing all around the “bus”.
After the ride you move through various live shows each different but with a leading story prevailing through each segment. The shows try and involve the group as much as possible and as such get mums, dad and kids all involved by giving tasks out, like taking props from one set to another. Hubbie bless him had to dance in front of everyone and take a message to the next set (the Poison Apple Pub) for the attention of the ugly sister, which (s)he took with plenty of winks and one-liners much to hubbie’s amusement. My youngest was also asked to add one of the ingredients to the magical concoction in the Muffin Man’s giant bubbling cauldron and he relished having a part to play!
But don’t worry if you forget something like a mum on our tour who left one the important ingredients behind, Muffin Man were quick to improvise with a funny back up plan. The actors are the highlight of the experience; they are very much in character and their enthusiasm is impressive. Cinderella is hilarious; she has fallen on bad times and is not quite what you expect!
The tour only lasts about an hour and a half but the sets are very realistic and well designed, well worth the cost of entrance. You are completely drawn into the adventure and you can see on your children’s faces how much they believe in the magic and wonderment around them. Although they might find the witches a little scary!