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. FASTPASSes here are not connected to the rest of the system, meaning you can collect DINOSAUR FASTPASSes and then collect FASTPASSes for another attraction immediately after.
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 and the vehicles don’t move particularly fast, I would still characterize this as a more intense experience than Expedition Everest and the scariest ride at the Animal Kingdom.
Is It Too Scary? If your child (or you) had difficulty getting through any other ride at Disney then Dinosaur is probably not for them. I also wouldn’t recommend beginning the day with it 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. The atmosphere the ride creates is one of danger, panic, and pure terror as you try to avoid meteors, dinosaurs, and ultimately your 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: The lines will be shortest in the first two hours the Park is open and the final hour before it closes. Use FASTPASS if the line exceeds 20 minutes or try later.
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 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.
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 to the right of this area to the doors. 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 would 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. Otherwise, the seats on the far left and right sides will have the best view. You may want to put the shortest people on the sides (assuming they’re comfortable with the attraction) so that those in the middle can see better.
This Ride Feels Familiar: The track and ride vehicles for Dinosaur are exact replicas of the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland.
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. I would still recommend riding it because it’s one of the major attractions at the Animal Kingdom, 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.”