Dinosaur

by josh on September 2, 2010

Opened: April 22, 1998, under the name “Countdown to Extinction”

Location: DinoLand USA.  Dinosaur is located in the back of DinoLand USA to the left of Restaurantosaurus.

Extra Magic Hours: Morning

FastPass+: Yes – moderate priority. Most people will prefer Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and either Kali River Rapids or Mickey Mouse.

Type: Dark ride

Similar To: Test Track, Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland

Requirements: Must be 40” or taller to ride

Scary Factor: High. Dinosaur is one dark, loud, bumpy ride.  Although there are no drops more than a few feet and the vehicles don’t move particularly fast, this may still prove to be a more intense experience than Expedition Everest and the scariest ride at Animal Kingdom.

Is It Too Scary? DINOSAUR is not for those that had problems on any other Disney World attraction.  Don’t visit this attraction early in the day if your child is prone to fear or easily rattled.  It may “shut them down” for the rest of the day and they’ll be apprehensive about riding other attractions, no matter how innocuous they appear.  The atmosphere the ride creates is one of danger, panic, and pure terror as riders try to avoid meteors, dinosaurs, and ultimately their own extinction.  The ride is relentless and there is no time to stop and remind your youngster that they’re safe.  Dinosaur is also much rougher than Test Track or other comparable rides and you may want to think twice if you run the risk of injuring your back or neck.  Most adults and older children will enjoy the ride or at least not be frightened during it.

When To Go: Before 10:30am or after 4pm.

Expect to Wait: Expect to wait 20 minutes or less most days.  Before 10:30am, wait times are often ten minutes or less to get into the preshow video and then about five minutes after.  Waits may peak at 50 minutes during the afternoon if the overall crowd level is a 9 or above.

Length: 3.5 minutes

What to Expect: Dinosaur is located in the “Dino Institute,” which is an elaborately themed queue area with authentic dinosaur fossils.  After you move through the queue, you will be taken to watch a short video where the storyline is explained.  Once the preshow concludes, you will move to the next area where you board a 12-person (three rows with four people in each row) “Time Rover” vehicle.  Once strapped in, you will embark on your wild ride through time and space.

Speedy Preshow Exit: Prior to loading and embarking on your adventure, you’ll watch a short video explaining the backstory.  If you’re in a hurry, move all the way across the room.  With the 12-person capacity per vehicle, there’s only about a three minute difference in wait time between the first person out the door and the last, so it isn’t really a big deal if you’d like to stand in front of the room and watch the video.

Where to Sit: Seating isn’t particularly important here, though the two seats on the sides of the front row afford the best view.  Because it’s so dark, it’s difficult to see anything that’s coming, if you’re sitting up front.  It may be best to put the nervous in the middle seats because they will be furthest from the dinosaurs that appear off to the sides of the vehicle.

This Ride Feels Familiar: The track and ride vehicles for Dinosaur are exact replicas of the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland.

Rating: 6/10

Commentary: Dinosaur is a thrilling ride that may be too intense for younger riders and too bumpy and jerky for older riders.  The ride is also so dark that it’s difficult to see what it is you’re supposed to be so scared of at times.  It remains recommended because it is one of the Park’s major attractions, but be aware of the possible detractions and consider skipping it if it isn’t a good fit for your group.

WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME: Technically, the attraction is named “DINOSAUR” in all capital letters, not “Dinosaur.”

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 4, 2011 at 11:06 pm

This is a perfect description of this ride! Im 18 years old and this ride caught me by surprise.. I think its amazing but pretty frightening.

Adam July 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I feel the need to add my 2 cents to this. I agree wholeheartedly with Josh. This ride is jerky and relentless. I am a 28 year old guy and halfway through the ride I was wishing I was in fantasy land riding the teacups. Seriously, think twice before you put a kid on this ride.

Terri in So Cal September 11, 2011 at 10:57 am

First time my daughter was tall enough to ride (about 6 or 7) I thought she would be terrorized. Turned out she just loved it. She told me “Mom, the dinosaurs aren’t real!” That comes from a child who has been raised at Disneyland and WDW. Anyway, we love this ride, first rode it when it was Countdown to Extinction. However, my heart belongs to the Indy ride at DL. We ride it all the time, mostly using Single Rider. :) LOVE Single rider lines!

Cousin Oliver April 3, 2012 at 10:11 am

Don’t bother with this ride. It was too scary for my 4 and 6 year olds. It was so noisy, bumpy, and chaotic that I could barely hold on to them and brace my self with my other arm. If you do ride it, bring earplugs.

Kevin Crossman October 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm

It’s really too bad the scope for this ride isn’t nearly as nice as Indy at Disneyland. But, still lots of fun.

Scrump December 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I have been eagerly riding honest-to-goodness thrill rides since I was four. I am now forty, and this might be the scariest ride I have ever ridden. The darkness, the bright flashes of light, the noise; it’s all so disorienting and panic-inducing! There may not be any drops or twists, but there is a real sense of impending danger. I am SO glad I didn’t try to coerce my anxious seven-year-old into going. Even my seventeen y.o. was a little freaked. That being said, it’s a GREAT ride. I was just surprised by the intensity.

Shannon May 31, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I am really surprised by the review and comments. I ADORE this ride. I do remember being startled the 2nd time I rode (that being 11 years after riding it the first time, lol). But I would say action packed but not terrifying. And I love the very end bit. It makes me smile the rest of the day. I can’t say enough good about this ride. LOVE it. Star Tours, the older version at least, was much jerkier than this one. Ride it. You’ll love it.

Sheena July 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I love this ride, and my son rode it over and over when he was only 3 (and just made the height limit). It is bumpy but brilliant fun. Would also have to disagree about it being more intense than Everest, I would never ride that again! Took me an hour to recover from the experience – rest of my family love it though.

Kitty August 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I’m 22 years old and I genuinely have recurring nightmares about that carnotaurus *shudder*
Every time I get on that ride it seems like a good idea, and every time I get off I vow never again.

Jango October 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I am a 19 y.o. (17 when I rode) guy and my first experience on this with my little cousin had me just sigh half way through and look at my hands the rest of the way. I do have an irrational fear of dinosaurs but dear lord they take it overboard. Mainly because the ride does very little beforehand to warn you that it will traumatize you. Do not take small children on this ride but if you want to get your blood flowing it will surely get you excited.

Kelsey November 1, 2013 at 11:16 am

I rode this thing once. And I never will again. I’m all about some thrill rides, but the sense of “danger” here is just too much for me. Not to mention how jerky the thing is! I’m “blessed” (for lack of a more tactful way of putting it), and I could decide whether to hold onto the seat or to myself! I rode with my eyes shut (terrifying was the right word in my case) and I was sore the rest of the day. Never. Ever. Again.

Christina December 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Amusing, how scary some people find this ride! My son was 6 when we went on it and it was his favorite thing ever…we went on it three times in a row I think, and the second ride began with my son, sitting in the front row of the ride before it began, yelling “THIS IS AWESOME!! I LOVE DISNEYWORLD!!” lol

Chantel March 1, 2014 at 9:05 pm

I loved this ride when it first opened and was hoping to take my Dino obsessed 4 yr old on it but I will probably test him out on a couple of other rides and ride it alone before taking him on. That said I love scary rides then more frightening the better!!!

Kathryn March 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm

I am the biggest chicken regarding thrill rides but I will ride this. I hate drops, so roller coasters are out for me except very tame ones. However, I will ride DINOSAUR. I’m not saying it isn’t incredibly intense and the photo pass pics of me hiding in the seat are hilarious, but I can ride this. Definitely not for small children. Intense is the best description. It just depends on what frightens you.

Rebecca June 10, 2014 at 1:04 pm

I didn’t think this ride was scary at all. It was amazing and felt real, but it would be the very last ride I would do because it hurt my neck and back. I literally had to straighten my legs, and press my feet at the bottom to keep from getting thrown about. My daughter and I hit heads several times. All I thought about the whole ride was how to not keep hitting heads and I don’t understand why they would even make it so jerky. It isn’t necessary. They could have decreased it by half and it still would have been crazy.

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