The Ultimate Guide to Dinosaurs at Disney
Maybe it’s because I’m reading a book with dinosaurs as the main subject. Maybe it’s because (yet another) Jurassic Park/World film is in theatres. Maybe it’s because my plants at home are populated by a band of plastic dinos…but to quote that awesome book I’m reading, I’ve definitely got “dinosaurs on the brain”! It’s rare to find a kid who doesn’t think dinosaurs are fascinating, and if you asked most of my adult friends, they’d tell you they never stopped loving them. With temperatures rising and dinosaur fever sweeping the nation this summer, the Jurassic Park section of another Central Florida theme park is drawing major guest attention, and Walt Disney World just doesn’t have the same dino-appeal as the competition, right? No way! There are plenty of really cool ways to travel back to prehistory at Walt Disney World, so get ready to plan the ultimate dino day for the little (or big!) dinosaur lovers in your life! We have the ultimate guide to dinosaurs at Disney!
The trip to the Triassic has to start in Dinoland USA! Located in the Animal Kingdom, this child-friendly, slightly confused section of the park was made with kids in mind. While the themeing is clearly ‘dinosaurs’, the wonky carnival slant is certainly a bit odd and doesn’t do a heck of a lot by way of storytelling, especially for Disney standards, but we’re going to steer clear of that section (ok except maybe ride the Triceratops) and start in the playground!
The Boneyard playground is the spot for budding paleontologists. Kids are invited to step into a dig site, grab a tool, and pitch in to unearth the next big dino skeleton! After they’ve discovered the next big thing in fossil history, they can celebrate their accomplishments with a climb through the awesome play space. The whole climber is littered with dino bones and massive skeletons true to size…I used to get lost in there for hours when I was small enough to fit through all the nooks and crannies!
After digging up dinosaur bones, I bet you’re itching to see the creatures in live and living color, so take a walk over to Dinosaur and get ready to go way, way back in time to when dinosaurs were the dominant species! The attraction is fast, loud, and dino-packed…if you close your eyes you just might miss your favorite dinosaur!
There are two great options for folks wanting to dine among the dinos. The first is in Dinoland USA and is perfect for a quick lunch bite. Restaurantosaurus is in the heart of Dinoland USA at the Animal Kingdom and it’s loaded with paleontological artifacts and corny dinosaur jokes that strangely perfectly tie the entirety of Dinoland together. The menu is as kid-friendly as it gets as burgers, chicken nuggets, and fries are the offerings. If you’re old enough to hold your doctorate in paleontology, there are a selection of beers available here too!
If you’re looking to really surprise and delight your little dinosaur fan, T-Rex Café (Disney Springs) is the reservation to book! The restaurant is split into various dinosaur-themed rooms and every 20 minutes, a meteor shower rains down on the giant beasts and you get to witness a fury of dino action! The dinosaurs move periodically, but it’s during the meteor showers that they really come alive, and you usually get to see 2-3 showers during the duration of the meal!
Bring Home Prehistory
The only way to remember your Paleozoic adventures are by grabbing a souvenir before you head back to the present! The Dino-Store at T-Rex Café is the place for all of your dinosaur toy and apparel needs. There are figure sets, articulated figures, and shirts and hats galore…but my favorite is the build-a-dino section! Kids are invited to pick a flat, unstuffed dinosaur pelt and bring their new best cuddle buddy to life! Once they stuff their dinosaur and he/she gets expertly stitched by a cast member, you can dress your dinosaur in a slew of outfits ranging from safari to disco…their imaginations will run as wild as a stegosaurus on a rampage!
If you’re eager to bring the fun of building your own toys home, the LEGO Sore at Disney Springs is currently stocked with the newest sets from Jurassic World, so don’t miss your chance to stop by the store before they go extinct! I can’t wait to get my hands on some of the new sets, and I want to know which piece of dinosaur merchandise you’re going to pick up on your visit! Would you choose T-Rex, or Restaurantasaurus? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to pack your time machine!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer thrilled to be part of your Disney vacation planning! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon