Sunday, June 8, 2014

Walt Disney World Review: Dinosaur

Stars: 1 out of 5
Pros: Um, um...give me a minute...um
Cons: Too jerky, jumpy, and dark with few visuals to follow what is happening around you.
The Bottom Line:
If I could go back
In time, I'd skip this ride.  Please
Learn from my mistake

The Longest Three Minutes of My Life

By the time I got around to riding on Dinosaur on my trip to Disney World a few years back, it was just one friend and myself.  This friend is a steady companion at Disneyland here in California.  The importance of all this will be explained later.  For now, just know that neither one of us enjoyed this ride in the slightest.

Dinosaur is located in the Dinoland USA section of Animal Kingdom.  The lines can obvious get pretty long, and the ride does use the Fast Pass system.  When I was there in late September, I bypassed most of the line and pretty much walked to the final wait area.  This area involves a video that sets up the ride.  There, we are informed that we are about to enter specially equipped time machines.  While the original intent is to go to the time when the dinosaurs are thriving, one scientist has changed our coordinates.  We're supposed to track down an already tagged iguanodon and bring him back to the present with us before the meteor shower kills the dinosaurs and traps us back in time.

From there we enter jeeps designed for around 16 people.  Each person gets their own seatbelt.  And we're off to the past.  We enter a world of the dinosaurs.  We get to see the plant eaters and the meat eaters.  Then the meat eaters start to chase us.  And the meteor shower starts.  All the time, the scientist is updating us on our mission via the computers linking us back to the present.  Can we find our target before time runs out?

This ride is designed to be a thrill ride, make no mistake about it.  While the cars are on a track, the hydraulics in the car bounce you around to simulate running for your lives over the rough pre-historic terrain.  Some of the dinosaurs pop out at you at the last possible second to scare you.  There are light, smoke, and wind effects.  And yet, at least half of the ride is in the dark with the lights only coming on long enough to show you the latest scare.

Now comes the part where my friend and I come back into the picture.  I love thrill rides (and non-thrill rides, too).  She enjoys most Disney thrill rides.  Neither one of us enjoyed this ride in the least.  When the three minutes were up, we walked off and vowed to never go back on it again.  Because it was in the dark, I felt like everything was closing in on me.  Speeding through the dark can be fun (we love Space Mountain).  But this wasn't fun in the slightest.

Frankly, our reaction surprised me since we both enjoy the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.  If you aren't familiar with that ride, it is the exact same type of vehicle and very similar type of ride.  However, that ride is lit almost the entire way through and things aren't jumping right at you most of the time.  This ride was just too jerky, rough, and dark to be any fun at all.

To ride, you need to be at least 40 inches tall.  While I don't recommend the ride at all, I especially don't recommend it for young kids.  They will be easily frightened by everything that jumps out at you.

I think if they just left the lights on, Dinosaur would have been a fun ride.  As it is, there's nothing thrilling about it.

2 comments:

  1. My kids liked it since it was from that Disney movie Dinosaur.
    So it in the end is was not that bad for me. Indianan Jones was darker and the bumps really never took me out of the ride ... I was too busy being into it with the dino's chasing us ....

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    Replies
    1. It's been years since I watched Dinosaur, but I didn't think the ride and the movie were connected. Interesting. I know plenty of people do like it, but I wasn't one of them, unfortunately.

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