Everything You Need to Know About Dinosaur
Located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom lies one of the best dark rides in Walt Disney World: Dinosaur. Containing dinosaurs from Disney’s 2000 CGI animated film, Dinosaur, this adventure begins with a vocal demonstration, provided by Bill Nye, in a small dinosaur exhibit. From here, you are taken to a small showroom where a video explanation is played to tell the riders what will happen. This adventurous ride is a favorite among Animal Kingdom and the creation itself came from (in my opinion), the best ride ever. (Spoiler alert: Below aspects of the ride are explained in detail!)
Having the track and ride vehicle based on Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure. Containing the same jerking motions and sudden drops, dinosaur offers a very different tack on this very intense track. Dinosaur opened as Countdown to Extinction on April 22nd, 1998 the same day as Disney’s Animal Kingdom debuted. The original ride concept took guests back in time on an adventure when dinosaurs inhabited the Earth. The name was changed May 1st, 2000 in anticipation of Disney’s newest CGI animated film: Dinosaur. Other alternations made were featuring clips of the film, so riders could identify the Iguanodon as Aladar. Containing a McDonald’s within Dinoland U.S.A at the time, McDonald’s become the official sponsor of the ride from 1998-2008.
“Seatbelts, Wear Them”
This pre-show gives insight to what the rider will be experiencing during their ride through the Cretaceous period. Doctor Seeker, portrayed by actor Wallace Langham, begins by explaining the mission of today’s transport: bringing back a dinosaur. Issue being, the timing brings riders to right before the giant meteorite destroyed dinosaurs. At this point, Doctor Marsh, portrayed by Phylicia Rashad, walks in and informs riders this is not the case as coordinates are locked and unable to be altered. She leaves while Doctor Seeker is explaining safety features and then, once Doctor Marsh is gone, unlocks the coordinates and alters them to please his mission! The doors open, and guests are loaded onto ride vehicles below stairs.
“They’re Not Gonna Make It!”
The ride begins with the vehicle being transported. The entire mission of the ride is to find the Iguanodon and bring him back to Dino Institute. Travelling through the land, dinosaurs are spotted, and the vehicle is continuously redirected to find the right one. Upon the adventure, riders encounter a Carnotaurus and then begin to be chased by this carnivorous animal. (As if the name did not give it away). This thrilling adventure, though can be too intense for children, is bound to keep you alert as you travel through total darkness, dinosaur chases, and the possibility of being stuck during the giant meteorite that killed off all dinosaurs! Take your chances and ride this blast for the past dark-ride!
“You Made It! I Knew You Would”
This ride is equipped with FastPass so take advantage of this opportunity as the queue fills up during the day. If you are willing to wait until later in the day and use those FastPasses for other attractions, the queue tends to be quieter closer to park close. If you have time, really take your time in the dinosaur exhibit queue area. You truly get the feel of being in a museum and there are tons to learn and take pictures of. (Also keep an eye out for hidden Mickeys in the queue!) On your way out of the ride, do not forget to check out those amazing ride photos! You would not want to miss your face as you’re being chased by a large dinosaur!
- When it opened in 1998, the height requirement for the ride was 46”. When the ride reopened as Dinosaur, the height was altered to 40” as the ride contained less intense movements than it had in its previous state.
- The smoke machines used in this ride are some of the largest to ever be used in any theme park.
- The original name for the ride, as mentioned, was Countdown to Extinction. In the loading area of this ride, there is a wall that contains, “SECTOR CTX-WDI-AK98”. This can be translated to Countdown to Extinction, Walt Disney Imagineering, Animal Kingdom 1998.
- Disney attractions are famous for their very innovative animatronics. The Audio-Animatronics found throughout this ride are some of the largest ever made for a theme park.
- Again, in the loading area, if you look up there are three pipes. These red, yellow, and white pipes were once labeled with the chemicals “ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise”. This was no accident, as these were purposefully selected to represent their at the time sponsor: McDonald’s.
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Special thanks to Ashley Dion for writing this article! Former cast member turned annual pass holder, I am a native Michigander who moved her entire life to Orlando, FL to be surrounded by all things Disney. I met my fellow Disney-lover husband while working for the Mouse and now we frequent the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts as pass holders as often as possible!