Shrek’s Adventure London is a unique, laugh out loud, walk and ride misadventure. It is a brand new attraction on London’s Southbank where you can step into the kingdom of Far Far Away and enjoy a brand new madcap Shrek adventure which includes amazing DreamWorks animation. As the events team for Merlin venues in London, the task of organising an amazing launch event to show off this wonderful attraction was given to us! As a fan of the Shrek films and everything DreamWorks, what could be more fun than organising a Shrek themed event?!
My original brief was to organise a brunch event during the day on a Sunday to launch the brand new attraction in all its might. The guests were to be press with their children with a few famous faces thrown in for good measure. I was asked to work up a medieval banquet theme and ensure guests are well fed and watered in the Riverside Rooms after enjoying their VIP experience in Shrek’s Adventure. Off I went collating various Shrek content and searching through Pinterest for medieval banquet inspiration. Armed with a pretty fun proposal for a medieval banquet, I approached the marketing and PR team. We received great feedback however the theme actually needed to be more focused on waffles, gingerbread and all things Shrek. Back to the drawing board I went! I decided to turn the Riverside Rooms into Shrek’s magical swamp and treat guests to an interactive waffle brunch.
Food The ever-creative Food by Dish came up with a bespoke Shrek inspired menu. Guests were kept entertained with an interactive waffle station with homemade waffles and a variety of tasty toppings. If that wasn’t enough there was also a homemade gingerbread shapes station on offer with a variety of colourful decorations for guests to design their own gingerbread.
Guests were treated to a glass of swamp juice on arrival, served in jam jars with green straws. Sumptuous brunch offerings were on offer throughout the event which included mini fruit skewers, Welsh smoked bacon and Cumberland sausage in a savoury muffin and mini smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels. A variety of different flavoured and coloured mini bug jellies were served on faux grass canapé trays.
Theming I worked with the ever efficient Partridge Events, our fabulous theming event partner, to turn the Riverside Rooms in to a magical swamp. Having worked on the premiers of the original films, Partridge were pretty sure of what they wanted to do to make this an event to remember. After weeks of proposals and re-briefs we finally decided on specific theming elements. Partridge created the swamp within the rooms the day before the event using greenery for window coverings, green carpet and a life sized tree with hanging baskets for sweets! It looked MAGICAL and left the Riverside Rooms ready to greet the Shrek VIP’s.
As with any launch/promotional event there were several challenges we had to overcome along the way. First and foremost I hadn’t actually seen the attraction before I started planning the inspiration for the brunch. There was also a change of brief during the process, so I had to ensure that all event partners including Food by Dish and Partridge Events were kept notified.
The event Guests arrived at Shrek’s Adventure on the morning of Sunday 28th June and embarked on their misadventure throughout the attraction. Once their experience came to an end they were guided in to the Riverside Rooms where they were welcomed with swamp juice and jelly bugs – yum! Guests enjoyed the magical swamp scene whilst creating their own waffles or gingerbread shapes, enjoying a bespoke brunch menu and taking sweets from the swamp tree. Guests left with an experience they will never forget and probably the best goody bag I have ever seen at any event… Those big kids at heart amongst you will agree with me! We were able to show guests how flexible the Riverside Rooms are and they are great for any type of event whatever the brief may be!
Feedback from the PR team
“The Merlin Events Team delivered a Shrektacular experience for our media and celebrity Waffle Brunch celebrating the launch of Shrek’s Adventure! London. A fairytale themed setting with magical Shrek-inspired twists including giant gingerbread men, a tree growing sweets, delicious food and drink with swamp water, sweet and savoury waffles (donkey’s favourite!) and clever mood lighting and room decorations. A brilliantly delivered event which attracted top marks in our media feedback forms.”
Written by Rebecca Thomas