15 March 2019

Our experience at Shrek's Adventure - the good and the bad

Ever seen the film Shrek? Did you know you can visit Far Far Away land right in the centre of London? I love exploring new places in London and recently we were invited to visit and review Shrek's Adventure - an immersive walk-through experience based in the world of Shrek - and check out their new How to Train Your Dragon installation. We went there with a five year old, a baby, and two adults so this review includes a variety of perspectives. 

Now, I'm not going to spoil the experience for you by telling exactly what happens. That would not be fun, would it! But, broadly speaking the whole experience is about an hour and a half. The experience starts with a small intro and a "magical flying 4D bus". The audience gets drawn into the story and it becomes an immersive experience with story lines and actors leading the audience from room to room. Each room gives you part of the story, leading to a grand finale.


Shreks adventure entrance


What I loved about Shrek's Adventure

What I really enjoyed was how the actors interacted with the audience, and got some of the kids involved with little tasks. Mind you, as the group consists of about 20-30 people and there are only a few tasks, not all kids will be involved. I also enjoyed how all the rooms were decorated with so many little details, and how there was humour in the shows, both adult and kids humour. 

For me the highlights of the tour must have been the magical bus 4D ride and the mirror maze. The bus ride was fun, it was great to spot all the DreamWorks characters, and despite where you end up (I sat behind a very very tall man...) you get a great view of the action. The bus doesn't move (it was mainly visual), so I was able to sit on it with my baby on my lap. 

The mirror maze was also amazing, having only ever seen these kinds of things in films. It was great fun, although can feel claustrophobic if you are that way inclined.


meeting shrek at shreks adventure


What did kids think about Shrek's Adventure

We brought a baby and a five year old. I found my five year old was perfect age for it. Any younger and she would probably have found some parts of the experience a bit scary - there were witches and all. I think the experience is great for primary school aged kids, and tweens and teens would probably find it fun as well, but the whole make-believe storyline is geared towards younger kids. My five year old had a great time interacting with the story and the actors, even if she was a bit shy sometimes, and was lucky enough to be selected for one of the tasks.

My five year old said of Shrek's Adventure that it was "Very good, really really good", she enjoyed the story and the twists and turns and would like to go back again some day.

As for the baby, she loved it. The magical bus ride was almost a sensory experience for her, and she enjoyed watching the lights. She was also interested in seeing all the different rooms and changing decor and was mesmerised by the world.



meeting shrek at shreks adventure


Are there any accessibility or other concerns

You can't take a buggy, so that needs to be left in a buggy room. It was a bit tiring to walk around with a baby in arms, although there were places to sit every once in a while. You can bring a wheelchair, but some corridors may be quite narrow and difficult to move around in. The mirror maze can feel claustrophobic, and generally speaking the corridors are rooms can feel a bit small, so if you have serious issues with enclosed spaces this is probably not the attraction for you.

Also, as usual, the exit is through the gift shop so brace yourself and/or your wallet. I found it quite annoying as after a good fun time I had to be the bad cop again and drag my kid away from all the toys...


What's all this Dreamworks characters and How to Train Your Dragon bit all about?

Essentially, at the end of the tour you walk through a bunch of photo props and a couple of games. There are Kung-fu Panda props, Madagascar props and a small room propped as The Hidden World from How to Train Your Dragon. It's a fun little addition to the experience, but honestly, not that much of a big deal. We rushed through it, quickly having a look and taking a few photos. As I went on a launch day there were actors, but I think generally, the props are all there is. There may be some actors on special events and at school holidays, but during the normal week probably not. My five year old liked the games and thought The Hidden World looked amazing, but ran off pretty soon, me following her.



meeting dragons and vikings at shreks adventure


white toothless at shreks adventure

toothless at shreks adventure



Is it worth going to?

It's an expensive and a short experience, but certainly quite different from what you would usually see. If you have the money and kids around the best age group for it (5-12 years old) I think it is a fun and a different day out. It's sort of like going to the theatre, but being in it yourself too.

However, as it can be a bit of a short experience to bring a family to London just for, I'd recommend making it a whole day out at South Bank. Instead of buying just the tickets for Shrek's Adventure (online £30 per adult), consider making it a day in South Bank, and book one of the combined tickets. You could pay £63 per adult for Shrek's Adventure and four other close-by attractions - like London Eye, London Aquarium (see my review here), London Dungeons (best for teens and tweens) and BIG BUS Tours, and spend the whole day at South Bank before having a tour of London.

For a cheaper day out, there are lots of free things to see at South Bank, such as street performers, skate boarders, and art installations, and it is a very nice walk with plenty of sightseeing opportunities. It takes about 30 minutes to walk to London Bridge from South Bank, and a nice day out with plenty of places to sit down for a meal.


floating hippo from madagascar movie

shreks adventure photo props



Top tips for Shrek's Adventure:

  • You will be walking and it is quite warm, so best leave your jackets at the cloak room (you may have to pay for it).
  • Buggies need to be left in the cloakroom, so people with babies will have to carry them. It can be a bit much, thankfully there are opportunities to sit down every once in a while. 
  • It is broadly accessible to wheelchairs, but some corridors and rooms are tight, so best check beforehand if a wheelchair can fit. I know I would have found some bits a challenge with a buggy. 
  • There are NO PHOTOS during the whole tour, which is actually quite nice. You will meet Shrek at the last stage and the actors are quite happy to take a quick photo of you with your own camera if you just ask. There is a bit of a rush and a queue though. 
  • You can choose to buy a souvenir photo book, which costs £25 (I think) and includes several photos during the tour, and the book is a fun activity book for kids too. If you want to official Shrek photos you have to pay additional £10. 
  • It's an expensive experience and a rather short one. Consider making it a whole day by purchasing a combined ticket to other nearby attractions, or visiting South Bank. 


Have you been to Shrek's Adventure and what did you think?

A review of Shrek's Adventure, an immersive experience in Central London - what ages is it good, and can you bring a baby? Also includes review of the How to Train Your Dragon area.





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