Over the summer, we headed to London on a Sunday morning to visit Shrek’s Adventure. Located in County Hall, just five minutes’ walk away from Waterloo station and right next to Sea Life, this is a 4D virtual walk-through tour, dubbed as an immersive experience, around the world of Shrek and other DreamWorks’ characters.
I will happily visit museums, go for adventure walks and explore National Trust properties but when it comes to theme parks, I am the kind of parent who generally prefers to avoid them. I get quickly frazzled and bored by the idea of spending the whole day queueing for attractions. This time around, the kids were desperate to go and, knowing how much I have enjoyed Shrek’s movies over the years, they set out to convince me and succeeded.
After being welcomed by Princess Fiona into Shrek’s Adventure, we were fitted with 3D glasses and boarded a 4D bus complete with water splashes, air blasts, fog and smells. This was by far my favourite part; so impressed! As we “flew” to Far Far Away, we were accompanied with DreamWorks’ characters from Kung Fu Panda, How To Train A Dragon, Madagascar etc… before landing in a swamp to carry on our journey.
Once we alighted from the bus, we were taken through a series of fairytale-themed rooms each one containing a clue to help the kids crack the code and save Shrek. Each room is occupied by actors who through storytelling, special effects and DreamWorks character animations engage the spectators. You can hear, feel, touch and smell. It is all part of the experience. Always popular with the kids, there were plenty of jokes and cheeky toilet humour along the way.
Shrek’s Adventure is called an immersive experience because visitors become an active part of the tour interacting by responding to questions and collecting clues along the way. Along the way, we met Cinderella, Muffin Man, Puss In Boots, Donkey, Gingerbread Man aka “Gingy” and of course Shrek himself. Our fortune was read by Esmeralda, we cooked a spell and we even helped rescue Pinocchio from the wheel of torture. One of the kids’ favourite parts was getting lost in the Mirror Maze. Our group was quite helpless and we had to be rescued by Sleeping Beauty!
All the items collected by our group were handed to Muffin Man who prepared a potion to save Shrek and help us get back into London.
Our Shrek’s Adventure tour ended with a stroll through an interactive games room themed around Madagascar, Berk (How to Train Your Dragon) and the Valley of Peace (Kung Fu Panda). The kids had fun jumping in and out of a plane and a canon, as well as testing their reflexes at the Kung Fu Panda Training Academy. This was also the place to get some picture opportunities as no photos are allowed in Shrek’s Adventure.
The whole tour lasted 1 hour 15 minutes which, compared to a whole day activity, worked really well for us (me especially). We were a bit rushed from room to room but at the same time the rhythm kept the momentum going. Each group has a maximum of 40 people which I think is too many. Our group with around 25 was a bit smaller and probably a much better experience overall.
Overall we really did enjoy our Shrek’s Adventure and if you are looking for something fun to do in London then you should certainly consider it. The 4D bus ride is really amazing and fun. The kids got really involved with the actors, answering clues and being fully immersed in the moment. Photos and gift shop items are quite expensive so we dashed out to avoid any drama.
Tickets: Adults £27.50 Children £22 (make sure you book online and save 30% Adults £19 Child £15.30). Family ticket available and children under 3 go free. If you are planning to visit other attractions available on Merlin Pass then you can buy a combination ticket.
Who’s it best for: it is recommended for children aged 6-12.
Restrictions: The 4D bus ride is accessible to some wheelchair users. There is no height restriction on it as smaller children can sit on adult laps.
Prams are not allowed inside Shrek’s Adventure so if you have younger children you will have to carry them along.
No photography allowed
Disclaimer: we were guests at Shrek’s Adventure. My comments and review remain my own and are completely honest.