This week we celebrated the Chinese New Year in style with Kung Fu Panda at Shrek’s Adventure in London. Exciting stuff and a perfect school holiday treat that the whole family can enjoy together.
Image courtesy of Shrek’s Adventure, London
We love hanging out along the South Bank in London. There’s always something happening and whatever the weather, you can find good food, entertainment and of course Shrek’s Adventure which is right by the London eye. It was a pretty rainy day so we headed straight for Shrek’s Adventure once we got off the bus at South Bank.
*Top tip: take the bus to South Bank if you can as there are so many London sights to take in on the way.
As expected, Shrek’s Adventure was super busy even at 3pm on a week day. We got our tickets in advance (I recommend doing this) so we didn’t need to queue up twice and headed straight in. I noticed quite a few families had the Merlin Annual Passes. These are something that we are going to look into for this year, as they can offer good savings if you have a few trips planned over the year to the different attractions that it covers.
This was our first ever visit to Shrek’s Adventure so everything felt exciting and fresh to us. There was a long (ish) queue once inside to catch the lift up to the main area where the adventure starts. And whilst there was a wait, the queue was moving and there were lots of props and imagery to engage with along the way. The lift itself was brilliant and Little Button got really excited to see the gingerbread man pop up to give a little warm welcome.
Image courtesy of Shrek’s Adventure, London
Once out, the further on we went, the more magical the settings became and eventually it clicked (for me) that we were going to be part of the adventure itself!
A very cleverly set up entrance to the gateway of Shrek’s adventure features a narrator who also divides the queue into bunches of about 30 ish people. As we moved through to meet Princess Fiona towards the beginning, there was a bit of a relief as the larger crowd fell away and left us in a small group. Little Button was stunned and completely gripped by Princess Fiona. She eagerly joined in with the sing-song and actions that Princes Fiona had us all doing, and couldn’t wait to get on the tour bus to Far Far Away!
All aboard the tour bus to Far Far Away. No, really… you actually do get on a tour bus driven by Donkey! Though this isn’t an ordinary tour bus, it’s a flying one (courtesy of some very clever 4D effects). The story plot really starts unfolding during the tour, and before you know it, you are actually in the adventure itself and on a mission to find Shrek. For us, this was one of the real highlights and completely unexpected.
The scenery plunges you into the magical world of Far Far Away and helping you on your journey are a whole bunch of familiar faces from the movie who fully interact with the audience and make this such an unusual and magical experience. As an audience group, you walk through to different areas, as prompted by the featured cast members, which are all themed memorable places and spots within the movies. The Poison Apple Pub was amazing and very VERY real!
Who would have thought… it was like a stage show which you somehow became very much a part of!
As we ventured further and further into the unfolding story it did get a touch scary. Shrek’s Adventure does clearly state that this experience is best of older children of at least 6 years and over (and very brave younger children). I think this is spot on. After being so drawn into the interactive show, I could tell that Little Button (aged 5) was very much on edge as the journey got a bit darker. A scene with Pinocchio (which I thought was completely brilliant) became a bit too much for her and we ended up having to do the great escape, helped by an actor who stayed in character the whole time.
I wanted to add this bit in, because I thought that the actors handled this so well. She was made to feel safe and welcome in the backstage area. She got chatting to a couple of princesses who had all the smiles for her. And instead of focusing on her being frightened, they put her at ease and whisked her along to meet Shrek (which does happen for everyone at the end of the experience). I was very impressed!
The taking of photos and use of any video footage is very limited as expected. However, there were some lovely opportunities to get photos and a hug with Shrek in the DreamWorks arrivals hall at the end of the tour.
Wow! If you’re yet to try @shreksadventure do it now! I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. A full out, interactive show where the audience becomes part of the adventure. A huge thumbs up from us. #happylittlebuttons #myfamilyadventures #letthembelittle #curiouslittleexplorers #rememberingthesedays #myhappycapture #littlefierceones #Ukparentbloggers #visitlondon #london #shreksadventure
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Poor Little Button was a bit teary for this photo, but meeting Shrek really cheered her up.
As a little bonus and just when you think the adventure is over, there’s an extra area immediately after the arrivals hall where you can explore scenes from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. We were really excited to see it all decked out in beautiful Chinese lanterns ready to celebrate the Chinese New Year which looked stunning!
We also got to meet Po from Kung Fu Panda which was a lovely addition to have.
Despite leaving the adventure a bit early, we did have a fab time and would definitely recommend it for a family day out with children of an appropriate age. In fact, I’ve been checking out Shrek’s Adventure, London Lates (especially for over 18’s) for Mr Button and myself so I can get to do a full run…. Because that’s how much I loved it.
Have you been to Shrek’s Adventure, London? We would love to hear what you thought.
Disclosure: We received complementary tickets to Shrek’s Adventure, London. All views are my own.