A few weeks ago, we took the boys to Canada’s Wonderland for the very first time. Let’s just say that I have a 5-year old budding adrenaline junkie, and a 3-year old who specializes in thrill ride avoidance. (Be still my heart! I have a comrade-in-fear.)
Alas, one of the only attractions that we didn’t have a chance to experience on our recent adventure was the new Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit. Unleashed in May 2012, visitors to Canada’s Wonderland are transported back in time to periods between 245 million and 65 million years ago in one of the world’s largest animatronic dinosaur parks.
Thanks to the generosity of Canada’s Wonderland, we were invited back to the park for our own prehistoric adventure, and we even brought along a few friends; @ShaunaMacKenzie from Kindergarten Confidential and her two boys, Big A and Lil J.
The day started off a little gloomy, and unfortunately, we encountered a rain delay of about 30 minutes. Thankfully, the passing showers made way for a beautiful, sunny day. As soon as the skies cleared, we made our way over to the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit. First, an obligatory pose by the entrance. (Side note: My “Change Your Life with Bacon” t-shirt made me Ms. Popularity for the day. Thanks Maple Leaf Foods!)
More than 40 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, set in a 7-acre Jurassic themed environment, make up this interactive exhibit. Guests will encounter handcrafted, life-like creations made to replicate nearly every feature of dinosaurs, right down to their skin-like exteriors.
Of course, if there was any doubt regarding the authenticity of the exhibits, one would just have to witness Big A and Lil J’s reaction to a roaring dinosaur:
The multi-sensory dinosaur park brings inspiration, science and technology together in a unique setting. The five main scenes allow guests to see where dinosaurs lived, how they protected themselves, and many other aspects of their prehistoric existence. Several dinosaurs feature interactive consoles that allow guests to guide dinosaur movement; mimicking what scientists believe to be the way they moved their arms, tails, mouths and eyes.
The incredible life-like appearance of the dinosaurs is clearly evident, even up close. I must admit that I jumped a few times as I wandered through the exhibit; it’s not every day that I encounter a prehistoric animal – built to scale!
In addition to the replica dinosaurs, the exhibit also provides information about the natural habitat and vegetation of the era, and even features a kid’s paleontological dig site, where guests are encouraged to help uncover the skeleton of a large predator that is buried in the sand.
The self-guided tour ends with a vicious Tyrannosaurus Rex, towering at over 60 feet (18.3M) in length.
The admission to Dinosaurs Alive! is $5.00 (in addition to your park pass). For visitors with younger children, I would say skip the exhibit; it can be tad scary and the information can be overwhelming. However, for the budding paleontologist in your family, it presents a wealth of information that rivals museum exhibits, in addition to the thrill of interacting with the life-like dinosaurs.
Of course, after the exhibit, the boys moved on to different kinds of thrills… provided by the best theme park in Canada :)
Click here for more information on Dinosaurs Alive!.