I’m going to be honest. While I was thoroughly looking forward to reviewing DreamWorks Lights, the lantern experience at St George’s Hall, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to taking my three-year-old. The reason being that when it comes to my son, five minutes is about the limit of his concentration and if it’s not ‘Paw Patrol’, ‘TwirlyWoos’ or ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ he’s not interested.
And while the films featured in the stunning event are hugely popular – including ‘Shrek’, ‘Madagascar’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’ – George has seen none of them. Not a one. I was fully prepared, therefore, for the “where are the trains?” questions to start as soon as we got inside. As it was he proved me wrong.
From the second we arrived at the hall he was mesmerised. And understandably so. The illuminations, which begin in the entrance hall and take you on a journey through each of the films as you follow the trail, are beautiful. The hall, though perhaps not the first venue you’d think of for something like this, only adds to the overall experience with its striking decor providing a perfect backdrop for the magical scenes.
From Princess Fiona and Shrek to Po and Oogway, each set up tells the tale of a scene from one of the classic movies.There’s a narrative with each setting, for those not familiar with the story, although from the little guests we witnessed there was no explanation necessary.
And if, like me, you’re a little reticent to attend events like this for fear of waiting in queues with naughty children who are intent on pushing to the front or running off, then fear not. We were able to walk straight in with no wait and, while there was enough people there to give an atmosphere, it was by no means a struggle to get a toddler and a pram around.
There are however a couple of downsides. In all it took around 20 minutes to get around the exhibition (although you could probably spend a little longer). At £10 per adult and £8 per child (and babies over 12 months old are counted in this) it may not seem like the best value for money.
And if you’re planning to bring a pram there are some areas that are off limits to you. The films featured are on show at various locations throughout the hall but they’re all up stairs and not all of them have lift access.
As a final verdict, if your little people are fans of ‘Shrek’, ‘Madagascar’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’ they will love this. If not, they’ll like it for sure but you’ll need to decide if it’s worth the money.