Before I begin with this review, let me first point out that I am not a toddler or a single-digit child, nor do I have one, so this is solely from the point of view of an adult. I do not specialize in children’s interests, but seeing as they can watch Frozen (or any movie for that matter) more than three times, I’m pretty sure they would be amazed by Shrek’s Adventure.
Shrek’s Adventure is another big London tourist attraction, often sold in a package deal with the London Dungeon, Sea Life Aquarium, and London Eye. Those were all previous “Don’ts” as well. There really seems to be a pattern here!
If you buy Shrek’s Adventure with another activity, you’re really not paying more than an additional £10 for the add-on. Each activity purchased separately can run you about £35.00. Once you find the most cost-effective way to waste your money, you can pop into the Southbank attraction with your ticket and schedule an appointment. We stopped in at 12:00 and scheduled our adventure for just after lunch, at 2:00, which worked perfectly.
At 2:00, there the three of us were, surrounded by screaming, sticky kids, and beaming parents, who found it necessary to continuously fuel the already off-the-wall children with unneeded questions like “Who’s excited to see Shrek?!”
We got right in. Shrek’s Adventure did a better job controlling the appointment times than the London Dungeon did (where we ended up waiting an additional half hour even though our appointment was scheduled.) Once lined up in our group, we embarked on an hour long journey through a land Far, Far, Away.
My sister and I loved the Shrek movies (who didn’t), so this adventure could have been right up our alley if it were a little more Universal Studios and a little less kid’s birthday party. We kept an open mind and proceeded through the entry of the attraction, which started on a high note.
The first part was awesome. You popped on 3D glasses and hopped on a virtual reality bus driven by Donkey. You shrieked and twisted along with the jerking ride and dizzying screen. The references to the movies we love were hilarious and the story begins when Donkey accidentally hits a witch. From there, it just gets stupid. You leave the awesome realistic CGI experience and instead go room-to-room with dressed up characters to collect ingredients for a potion that will help us get home and escape the consequences for killing a witch. There’s no more CGI at that point, nothing that will blow your mind, just dressed up college students teasing the children that came to play. It was just as lame and boring as the London Dungeon. At least Shrek’s Adventure is child-friendly so someone could benefit from the silly actors. At the end of the cheesy adventure, there are oversized statues of other familiar DreamWorks characters for little photo-ops, since you’re not allowed to have your phones on during the adventure. We breezed right past the shrieking children and escaped the frenzy that is Shrek’s Adventure.
In addition to the poor quality of the entire attraction, my experience was also soured by realizing how obnoxious parents are. Each parent desperately wanted their child to be the one to get chosen as part of a skit. They had to see their child hold the special note that was to be passed to the princess in the next room. No phones were allowed. We did not touch our phones, we knew the rules. Who got in trouble for using their phones? The parents. Parents blatantly disregarded rules to text or try to take pictures of their perfect children. Your children see you. They will think that it’s okay, and then you’ll wonder why they get detention for insubordinate attitudes in 8th grade. The parents at Shrek’s Adventure didn’t need to push their kids up to the front and steal pictures for their happy children, they needed to for themselves. Selfish people.
In summary, parents are annoying and Shrek’s Adventure is lame. It could have been great, in the same way Disneyworld is enjoyed by adults and children alike, but it’s not. Steer clear unless you have children and you think it’s something you have to do for them while you’re visiting London. And spoiler alert: it’s not.
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7PB