Tag Archives: merlin

Sea Life London Aquarium Review

Yesterday we got the train into London up to Westminster to go to the Sea Life London Aquarium on the South Bank with my parents. It’s in a great location surrounded by other attractions such as The London Eye, Shrek’s Adventure and The London Dungeon plus loads of lovely restaurants. The South Bank is always such a fun place to visit with amazing street entertainers and musicians.

We arrived at around 11am and had we were booked in on one of their new ‘Behind The Scenes Tours’ at 11.30am so we made our way to -2 in the left and started our Sea Life adventure. Oscar and Archie also had a Mission Pack each on a lanyard (don’t forget to get your Sea Life pop badge) and contains all you need to be Junior Ranger. It includes Ranger accessories, a pencil, magnifying glass, Shark height chart, Activity book and Ranger Cards. Within the explorer book are different missions to complete on your way around the aquarium, these are also marked around the aquarium so you don’t miss them. The Mission Packs are a great way of getting children to really engage with the fishes and read all the information and learn as much as possible. Also with the rest of the bits in the pack, learning can continue at home. Each Mission Pack is £4.

The aquarium is so well laid out with plenty of space to manoeuvre a pushchair or a wheelchair. Each tank has information for the respective animals inside. Oscar was fascinated by the sea urchins and how they move and the newborn tank had the cutest smallest starfish I have ever seen. One of my favourite exhibits has always been the Ray pool, I just love how elegant they are gliding around the pool. The tank is huge and you can get a great view of them beneath the water too.

We then met our Behind The Scenes guide Dom at the big sign located by the Ray Pool and then were taken through a staff door into the workings behind the aquarium. In one huge room there are so many different species. Some that can’t be exhibited as they are so sensitive to light and sound, some that are in breeding programmes and some that have been rescued. Listening to Dom it was unbelievable to hear that in the last 30 years we have lost half of the World’s Coral and seeing what organisations like Sea Life are doing to help the situation is marvellous. The Behind The Scenes tour is a really informative way of seeing just how much hard work goes on at aquariums like this and how much they are doing to save our planet! My favourite thing I learned on the tour was how dangerous two of the smallest animals were; The Mantis shrimp has such a punch on it it’s like being shot. They move up to 23 metres per second and accelerate faster than a bullet! The other was a Scorpion Fish, these are found in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. They blend in with their natural surroundings and if you stepped on one the venomous spines would likely kill you. To go on the Behind The Scenes tour it is £8 each or £7.20 if you book online beforehand.

Afterwards we visited the rock pool where you can touch a few of the animals. As the boys had their Mission Packs on they were also given game cards to take home. Opposite the rock pools is the huge central tank that can be seen from all three floors with the sharks in it, amongst other fishes and turtles. The turtle in the tank is absolutely huge! You can then walk through the tank tunnel to get really up close to the animals.

We then went through the Rainforest Adventure, which has everything from piranhas to poisonous dart frogs. If you dare you can even put your hand in a ‘Piranhas’ mouth! We found out on our behind the scenes tour that in the rain forest there is a type of Piranha that is vegetarian and has human like teeth so they can eat nuts and fruit that fall into the water from the trees.

Next up was the penguins. They are just so adorable, some huddling together others were diving in and out of the water. There is a viewing globe where you can go in and be amongst the penguins.

On the top floor there is a shark cage that you can get a great view of the sharks in. Sea Life also now offer an amazing experience from £130 where you can swim with the sharks. You get to have a 15 minute snorkel with magnificent sharks including Sand Tiger Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks and Black Tip Reef Sharks. Oscar is desperate to this so we will bring him back so he can have ago. All participants have to be 1.3 metres tall or above. If your feeling really brave you can even propose under the sea!

We then went through the Jelly Fish section. They are so amazing to watch. I found it fascinating that Jelly Fish have no brain or heart. The biggest ever recorded Jelly Fish was a whopping 37 metres! I don’t fancy being stung by one of those!

We had such a lovely day at the Sea Life London Aquarium. There is so much to see and do and more importantly so much to learn about. Oscar and Archie absolutely loved it and its a fantastic day out for the whole family.

Admission ticket prices are £26 but if you purchase online before they are from £21. There are fantastic deals that you can purchase so you can visit Sea Life and other Merlin attractions at a discounted price. For instance you can book Sea Life plus one other attraction, you can choose from The London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds London, Shrek’s Adventure! London and The Coca-Cola London Eye and you then have 90 days to visit again and use your voucher. You can also purchase an annual Merlin Pass from £139 per person which gives you unlimited visits and access to 32 major attractions such as Thorpe Park, Lego Land and many more. You can make a huge saving!

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We were gifted entry into the Sea Life London Aquarium but all opinions are honest and my own and we loved it and had a fantastic day!

Shrek’s Adventure London Review

Yesterday we went into London as we were invited to the Shrek’s Adventure London DreamWorks tour and to get up close to a ‘real’ Nadder baby dragon from ‘How To Train A Dragon’. We have been on the tour once before a couple years ago when Archie was only small and Greg was at work that day, so we were looking forward to a fun family day out.

Luckily the weather was beautiful yesterday and it was lovely and sunny walking across the millenium Bridge to walk down the South Bank past the London Eye to the Shrek Adventure entrance. We collected our tickets then had a short queue to the lift. Once upstairs you walk down a hallway with Shrek themed stained glass windows. There is a small shop where you can purchase snacks and Shrek themed light up ears (you can also drop any pushchairs off here too) before starting your tour.

We had our photo taken with Donkey  (one of you will be given a wrist band with a serial number on it so that you can see all your photos at the end). We then we to the departure lounge where we were greeted with a very enthusiastic and fun tour guide who went through a quick safety briefing and led us to the magical red bus station. We met Princess Fiona and then boarded the magical bus with our 4D glasses. We drove/flew with Toothless the Dragon, Kung Fu Panda and the plane from Madagascar. But as we reached Far Far Away with Donkey’s dodgy driving we were surrounded by Rumplestiltskin’ witches and as we landed killed his favourite Witch! oops!

We then met Cinderella who told us we needed to find Shrek, quick. We then walked through the forest to the fortune-teller, Esmeralda who told us we needed to get three ingredients to make a magical portal spell to get us home.

We walked through the forest to the poison apple pub where we were greeted by a Cinderella’s Ugly Sister where we got the hair of a hero from puss in boots. We then walked to go and play a game of ‘the wheel of torture’ where we had to answer three questions to save Pinocchio. We then rewired the torturer’s brain to become our friend and he gave us our second ingredient, the conscience of a boy.

We then went through a mirrored maze to reach Sleeping Beauty on Drury Lane. Gingy then opened the door for us to the Muffin Man’s bakery so that we could mix up our potion. We needed one last ingredient, the scent of an ogre. Everyone knows that Ogres smell like onions, so after Donkey dropped on off we added it to the potion. Oscar was asked to put it in the cauldron. We said the magic word ‘Waffle’ and then entered the magical portal to return home. But disaster happens, Rumplestiltskin had tampered with the portal and we had been captured my the Witches and found ourselves locked in prison. But don’t worry Shrek isn’t far behind and comes and saves us! We are finally back home in Far Far Away.

After the tour is finished you can sometimes have a photo with the bag ogre himself but this wasn’t available when we had finished. Here is a photo from when we visited in 2016.

You then get to meet all your favourite DreamWork’s characters and have photos with them.

New to Shrek’s Adventure for the Easter Holidays (Friday 30th March – Sunday 15th April 2018) you can head to the Isle of Berk and meet one of the baby Nadder Dragons that have just hatched out of its egg. You can have a photo with the little dragon and purchase it at the end. Are you brave enough to venture close enough?

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We had a fantastic time at the Shrek’s Adventure Experience. The boys loved it as it is a fun interactive tour that really gets the children involved. I would definitely recommend going as its a really fun family day out. If you purchase your tickets online before you visit you can save up to 30%. You can also purchase a Merlin Annual Pass which from £139 per person which gives you unlimited access to 32 magical attractions! As you are right by the London Aquarium and the Coca Cola London Eye you can buy tickets to be able to visit both/all three attractions at a reduced price which must be used within 90 days. You can also combine your ticket with Madame Tussauds and the London Dungeon helping you to save a lot of money!

I was only saying to Greg today that now Archie is old enough to enjoy all of these wonderful days outs we should invest in Merlin Annual Passes, especially as we take the boys to Legoland and all the time. Especially with the 32 places you can visit with it.

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*This post is in collaboration with Shrek’s Adventure. We were given free entry to the experience. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own. We had a fantastic day!