REVIEW - SHREK’S ADVENTURE
Ogre and out-out at Shrek’s Adventure
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
Pack a little cushion to catch your kids’ jaws as they drop to the ground, while they launch into the clouds from the South Bank on a magical flying bus (with Donkey as tour guide) past dragons, witches and Rumpelstiltskin and then land with a crash in Far, Far Away, the home of Shrek and the start of your adventure.
It kicks off with a winning formula of fart jokes and immersive experience, stomping through Shrek's stinking, mossy, 4D swamp with the first of many excellent actors - this one is Cinderella, who sets the scene for our fairytale, begging us to find the big green guy and reach the happy ending.
If participation isn’t your bag, turn your kids into a human shield, wear black and avoid eye contact, because the ten, fairytale-themed experiences require the audience to solve clues, sing, pass on props and get locked in Shrek's toilet.
The attention to detail is exceptional, with fantastic sets, puppetry, actors, ingenious Dreamworks animation and VR technology enabling you to see, hear, touch and smell the adventure.
You’ll have animated or puppet encounters with Donkey, Puss in Boots, Pinocchio, Princess Fiona and (if your mission is successful) Shrek himself. You’ll also meet all the big, fairytale celebs, from Sleeping Beauty to The Muffin Man, along the way.
Highlights included the 4D flying bus, finding clues in Esmerelda’s crystal ball, getting lost in the Spooky Forest and the Mirror Maze, cooking spells with The Muffin Man, meeting Puss in Boots at the Poison Apple pub and rescuing Pinocchio from the Wheel of Torture in a deliciously dark and funny, interactive game show.
The target age is 6-12 years, although younger children are welcome. We took our three-year-old daughter and baby son. She loved it and was so immersed that Rumpelstiltskin narrowly avoided a right hook from her at the end, as she valiantly battled to rescue Shrek, who helped us escape a dungeon by smashing the wall with his giant, green fist. Although, there were moments when she gripped my hand a little tighter - as Rump’s coterie of witches chased us through the forest and flew around us on the bus. The attraction was a sensory experience on steroids for our baby, who was in his element.
There are no buggies during the tour, so pack a baby carrier or work on your guns. And no photos are allowed during the show, which adds to the immersive experience. But your sprogs can flash their gnashers for the Gram after the tour, in the Dreamworks Play Station, where they’ll be able to pose and play in various scenes with Dreamworks characters including Princess Poppy - a massive highlight for our Trolls-obsessed daughter - Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon creatures.
We definitely recommend buying tickets in advance, as prices are much higher on the door and on-the-door queue times plus children can create more than one ogre. Definitely take them for a wee before it starts, not just because Far, Far Away has no loos for guests and the tour is about 75 minutes long, but because your kids will appreciate hearing Shrek and Donkey farting in the cubicle, and so will you.
If you like the Shrek films or seeing your kids breathlessly excited and bewitched by immersive magic, you’ll love Shrek’s Adventure, even if you exit the gift shop cradling a tower of stuffed, green toys.