What is it: Shrek’s Adventure! is a 4D themed walking tour that’s a bit like a Dreamwork version of Disney land, but on a much smaller scale.
It’s has rides, interactive games and theatrical shows based on all the hit Dreamworks films like Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and of course, Shrek.
Who's it best for: The target age is 6-12 years although younger children are still welcome. My daughter who recently turned 5 thoroughly enjoyed it.
££ It’s not as expensive as a ticket to say, Legoland or Chessington, but then it only lasts a maximum of two hours.
Don’t pay full price on the day! It’s best to book Shrek's Adventure tickets in advance online as they are cheaper.
Under 3s go free.
Tip: There are also offers on Attraction Passes available online where you can combine your visit to the Shrek’s Adventure with other top local attractions such as the London Eye, Sea Life Centre (situated just next door), Madame Tussaud's & London Dungeon.
If you choose to buy tickets on the door, be aware that queuing times can reach 30 mins or more (Eek!)
What’s on offer: This walking tour will immerse you in the magical land of Far Far Away (the home of Shrek and Fiona.)
You will be transported to the Fairytale world where you will help our unlikely green hero defeat the devious little Rumpelstiltskin, meet some familiar faces along the way and make it back to the real world in time for lunch/tea!
8 things to know about Shrek’s Adventure! before you go
1. It’s all about audience participation - from the moment you enter the attraction you are thrown into the experience as you wait to enter the 'departure lounge' to Far Far Away.
The staff are great at getting everyone into the mood and their enthusiasm was infectious. Get stuck in, especially with the sing song of I'm a Believer before you get on the bus (it won't start without it!)
With little features like the stream of different funny messages over the tannoy, the X-ray Machine, Lost & Found and even a surprise appearance from everyone's favourite biscuity friend on the lift journey up to the first floor, and plenty of surprises on your journey, there is never a dull moment!
2. Expect toilet humour and lots of it - even the toilets in the departure lounge had my daughter in fits of giggles before we had even started the tour, with the loud farting noises emanating around the cubicles while donkey and Shrek complain of the smell! She declared this as one of the best parts of our visit! (Ah, toilet humour, always a winner!)
3. It’s not an all day attraction – the whole Shrek’s Adventure! lasts around 2 hours, which is not long considering the price. Even the 4D bus ride - which is fantastic - and most definitely the highlight of the entire attraction, really could have been longer.
Saying that, it’s a brilliant ride. I actually caught myself with my mouth wide open during it and tugging on my 5-year-old's sleeve and pointing things out like an excited child. The little touches like the cool breeze or spray of the ocean really made it and there were moments when my stomach was in knots as if on a roller coaster.
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4. The live stage performances are just as good as the rides - I doff my hat to the actors, I was at first a little worried that the performances may all be a bit too hammy for my liking. But they all really threw themselves into their roles, although some of the American and French accents needed honing!
My daughter was mesmerised. 'Esmeraldo' (the male version of the fortune teller Esmerelda) and Doris, especially made us smile.
5. Be careful you don’t walk into mirrors - The Mirror Maze of Insanity is good fun, we had a great time trying to navigate around it, and it transported me back to my childhood funfair days!
My daughter was a little apprehensive at first but soon got into it. It could be a bit daunting for some, I witnessed a couple of over excited children and disorientated adults walk into mirrors. With larger tour groups I can imagine it getting a bit claustrophobic for the smaller members. Do keep together!
6. Measure your child beforehand - there is a minimum height requirement for the 4D bus drive of 0.9 metres, and children between 0.9m and 1.3m must be accompanied by an adult.
7. It can be scary, so better for older children - under 6s are welcome on the tour but it is good to note that some of the tours content may be frightening for younger ones (as well as sensitive older children.)
It can also get quite dark, and eerie in parts, and the Magic Mirror/Rumpelstiltskin projections may not go down well with them.
8. No gift shop when you exit- when you finish your tour you are greeted in the Arrivals lounge where you can take advantage of some photo opportunities with other Dream Works characters from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon before you leave.
What to watch out for:
If you are pregnant you cannot take part in the 4D bus ride, due to the sudden movements, but can continue with the rest of the tour.
If you are in your 3rd trimester you may find it a bit tough going as you will be walking and standing for between 1 hour 15 mins to 1.5 hours.
There are also quite strong, sometimes unpleasant smells as you go through the experience, which may play havoc with any morning sickness!
You cannot take buggies/pushchair through the experience due to health and safety and the sometimes small spaces on the tour.
There is however, a buggy park available on the first floor before you embark to Far Far Away.
You cannot take photos on the actual tour, although you have the opportunity to do so in the Departure & Arrivals Lounge.
Also before you embark on the main tour, you are asked to pose for several photos (in front of a green screen & then with lovable Donkey) These will be presented to you at the end, where you can purchase them in a fun Travel Journal of your trip.
At peak times tour groups can reach a maximum of 40 people, which may be a little overwhelming for some younger ones (as well the adults), as space can get tight.
Also the busier it is at peak times, prepare for possible photobombing by other tourists in the 'Arrivals Hall'.
I also found the lighting here wasn't great for my humble camera phone while trying to hurriedly take pics of my daughter and her favourite Dream Works characters.
When is best time to go: The Shrek Adventure is open 10am-6pm all week apart from Thursdays when it is open 11am-6pm.
Weekends and School Holidays are the busiest times to visit (but also when you want to take the kids!), but if you book your tickets online and get there for an earlier slot it should be a little less busy.
Other attractions in the area: Shrek’s Adventure! is not an all day attraction, but as it’s situated right next to the London Dungeon, and the list of other local attractions and restaurants in the immediate area is looong.
From the culture rich Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre and BFI, to the must-visit experiences of the London Eye, IMAX, Sealife Centre Aquarium (takes deep breath) the list goes on, plus there's a free playground right by the London Eye.
You’ll also be spoilt for choice for food with favourites such as Giraffe, Wahaca, Yo! Sushi, Strada, Ping Pong near by, as well as restaurants in County Hall itself.
There is also a local street food market on weekends so there will be a cuisine to suit all tastes.
It’s worth doing a little research of what’s available, online, and possibly book a table for lunch/dinner. As the more popular spots especially at weekends can have people queuing up to get a seat.
Get reacquainted with Shrek before you go - if your kids are not too familiar with the Shrek films or their/your memory needs refreshing, definitely watch them before you go.
My daughter had not seen the 4th installment so we watched that, which was great as otherwise she would not of known who Rumpelstiltskin was! It also built up the anticipation for our trip.
Look out for all the brilliant little details from the moment you enter the Attraction, and get the kids involved - it will help pass the time if queuing too! in spotting favourite characters in holiday advertisement posters, to familiar fairytale objects being left in the Lost & Found.
Of course there is a gift shop - if you have a bit of money to spare (and the pics look good, which I'm sure they will as they are so well done!) invest in the Travel Journal. It will set you back £20 +£5 for extra key ring sized photos, but they are great mementos.
It’s also a great quality little souvenir and filled with fun activities for Kids to try too. My daughter still loves looking at it!
You may also want to put aside a bit of money to spend in the gift shop, as I'm sure the temptation may be too much for some!
Travelling to central London - if you plan to come by car, there are car parks near by, but if you can, come by rail/tube as Waterloo Station is so handily close (plus the attraction is also in the congestion charge zone and the traffic gets pretty nightmarish in central London, two things best avoided for a more stress free day!)