One of our latest outings was to the fairly newly opened Shrek’s Adventure on the South Bank, which we combined with a trip of the London Eye, along with a sneaky stop off in Pizza Express for lunch. Big test of the Ferals, Fibro, ASD combo here, as most London trips are. It was in aid of Bug and Pip’s 6th Birthday, getting it right mattered.
The ASD Verdict: As anyone acquainted with the bastard that is ASD knows, you need to micro-plan trips like this like your life depends on it. So micro-plan we did. And it paid off. The Shrek Adventure had a few worries on the ASD front, but we were easily chaperoned to the front of the queue and joined the next party going without having to wait for our time slot. Noises weren’t too loud, and Boo even participated in one of the scenes. Good stuff. The real hit for him was at the end where he got to pose with some of his favourite Dreamworks characters – all three of them loved this. It did feel a little confined at times, which could be a problem for some children on the spectrum, but it was easy to spy members of staff who could help direct if needed.
The Fibro Verdict: Despite being ok on the ASD front, however it was a tough one from the Fibro point of view. Lots of slow gradual walking, and lots of standing and listening, set my pain levels off chasing rocket ships. Not good news when there’s still the rest of the day to do. Shrek’s Adventure – a few more sitting down options along route would have made things a whole lot easier for this pain-riddled mamma.
Sucking it up we began the walk to Pizza Express. Boo, Bug and Pip know what they’re getting here so it ticks the boxes for all of them. It’s not a long walk to the nearest Pizza Express from Shrek’s Adventure, but I felt every.bloody.step. This put the pressure on Eggshell Navigator Right Hand Man to step up and negotiate ASD-I-Will-Blindly-Walk-In-To-A-Road Boo, and Feral-Twin-I-Will-Also-Walk-In-To-Them-Too Pip and Bug and a wife who frankly wanted to lie down and cry. But we got there. Service was as good as always, and sanity and pain levels were restored. Two mini birthday cakes, candles and Babychinno’s later and we were all set for part two.
The ASD Verdict: So off to the London Eye. And here I take my hat off to them. They made what could have been an ASD nightmare, SO much easier. As we left Shrek’s Adventure, my better half nipped in to the info centre opposite the London Eye and explained we might have a few problems, judging from the length of the queue. Out comes diagnosis letter. No problem, we were fast tracked straight on to the next capsule.
Despite the long queue to get on, the capsule was comfortably sparsely populated meaning Boo and the Ferals could move about and look (mostly at the Shard despite our protestations of “Look you can see Big Ben!”) to their heart’s content. Given we were surrounded by mostly Japanese teenagers and loved up couples no one noticed Boo’s slightly odd moments, or even the twinnie shoves to have their feet standing on the footprints. The only ASD ‘issue’ I could see would be if your child didn’t like it, it’s going to be a looooong half hour with nowhere to go and death stares from people having spent a small fortune to go on a big wheel.
The Fibro Verdict: I would have struggled with queuing if I’d had to, so fast-tracking for Boo was much welcomed for me from a pain point of view. The fab thing about the London Eye is you can literally sit down without missing out. And for 30 glorious minutes I knew exactly where my kids were, and that they were contained.
All in all a good day out on the ASD, Twin & Fibro Front, even if not very kind on the wallet 😉