Everything You Need to Know About DINOSAUR

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You’re going on vacation to Walt Disney World! The only problem? You’re not sure which attractions are right for you and your kiddos and you have questions. Which attractions are too intense for little ones? What rides do I really need a FastPass+ reservation for? What’s the disability access like for certain attractions? We’re answering all those questions and more in our Everything You Need to Know attraction series with today’s focus on DINOSAUR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

What is DINOSAUR?

DINOSAUR is a dark, thrilling hybrid of a dark ride and simulator where guests are tasked to travel back in time on a Time Rover to bring back a dinosaur right before an asteroid hits the earth.

Where is DINOSAUR?

DINOSAUR is located at DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, just off the beaten path between Restaurantosaurus and Chester & Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures and behind the Cretaceous Trail.

What is the History of DINOSAUR?

DINOSAUR opened with the park April 22, 1998, with a track and high-tech ride vehicles a la Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye, which opened March 4, 1995. At that time DINOSAUR was known as Countdown to Extinction. In 2000, the name of the attraction was changed to DINOSAUR to compliment the Disney film of the same name.

What Do You Need to Know About the Queue for DINOSAUR?

The interior queue begins upon entering the Dino Institute where guests pass by displays and a giant dinosaur skeletons before entering a pre-show theater. During the pre-show film hosted by Dr. Marsh, guests learn about their trip in time to the early Cretaceous Period. Dr. Seeker then cuts in and informs guests he’s changed their time destination to the late Cretaceous Period so they can bring back an Iguanodon. The problem? Guests will be arriving back in time right before the giant asteroid which killed the dinosaurs hits the earth! But not to worry; Dr. Seeker is confident all will be just fine.

From the theater, guests make their way down a hallway and then down a staircase to the loading area to board their Time Rover.

What are the Ride Vehicles Like for DINOSAUR?

The ride vehicles for DINOSAUR are Time Rovers which are large, clunky, time-traveling jeeps. Each Time Rover accommodates 12 guests with 4 guests per row. Each seat is lightly padded and has an individual fabric left belt. There’s also a bar for guests to hold onto due to the vehicle’s rough and jerky movements. Lastly, in order to board, guests must take a small step up into the ride vehicle.

What Do You Need to Know About the Ride Experience for DINOSAUR?

DINOSAUR
©Disney

DINOSAUR is a three-and-a-half minute race against time in a dark jungle setting to find the Iguanodon before the meteor shower. Of course, in true Disney fashion, things go wrong when the Time Rover runs into the terrifying Carnotaurus who naturally complicates the mission.

DINOSAUR’s ride experience consists of stops and starts, sudden turns, drops, and a chase sequence. It’s a rough, jarring ride. It’s also stressful due to the ticking clock of approaching meteor shower, the Carnotaurus scenes, and the Carnotaurus chase. There are moments of darkness, flashing lights, and near misses as well. If you’re looking to be thrilled and even scared, DINOSAUR delivers; but if you’re looking for a calm dark ride, this isn’t it!

What Do You Need to Know About Accessibility for DINOSAUR?

Guests must transfer to the ride vehicle to experience Expedition Everest. It’s also important to note that service animals are not permitted on this attraction.

What Do You Need to Know About the Health and Safety Advisories for DINOSAUR?

Dinosaur still has the best photo opportunity anywhere at Disney World!

For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride.

DINOSAUR can be extremely rough and jerky. Those fearful of the dark, scary scenes, and loud noises may want to skip this one. I would also warn parents with little ones that this attraction has a bit of a darker tone than other Disney thrill rides where things go wrong.

What are the Height Restrictions for DINOSAUR?

Guests must be at least 40 in. to experience DINOSAUR. This attraction also offers rider swap.

What Do You Need to Know About FastPass+ for DINOSAUR?

Disney situated Dinosaur in such a remote corner of the park that you have to poke around to find it. This, in conjunction with the overwhelming popularity of Pandora’s rides along with Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest, makes Dinosaur the easiest headliner attraction at Walt Disney World to get on. Lines should be relatively light through mid-morning, and more FastPasses should be available for day-of use.

Does Weather Affect DINOSAUR?

A June storm pops over World Drive as a rainy afternoon gets started.
A June storm pops over World Drive as a rainy afternoon gets started.

DINOSAUR and its primary queue are located indoors and out of the elements so weather will not affect this attraction.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Ride DINOSAUR?

As always, the best time to ride an attraction is first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. However, due to the popularity of the park’s other headliner attractions, those particular hours of the day may be better spent elsewhere.

This chart shows you roughly how long you’ll wait for DINOSAUR when you visit on a day with a given Disney’s Animal Kingdom Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average “peak” wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it’s the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see DINOSAUR Wait Times.

Did I answer all of your questions about DINOSAUR? Is this attraction at the top of your family’s vacation to-do list? Let us know in the comments.

Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

8 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About DINOSAUR

  • September 22, 2019 at 6:43 pm
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    I love Disney DINOSAUR ride from Disney Animal Kingdom park because it’s 100% better than Indiana Jones Adventures: Temple of the Forbidden Eye and the dinosaurs are part of the animal kingdom, everybody knows that including me.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2019 at 8:20 pm
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    I do not generally ride “thrill” rides as real life is terrifying enough. I do try to stretch myself a bit every time I go to WDW, though, for the sense of accomplishment.

    One year, for example, it was Soarin’. I was quite nervous, but made it through, and have gone back each year since.

    Then came the DINOSAUR year. I picked it because my partner had ridden it years before with her boys, and she remembered it as not too bad.

    Not too bad? I count DINOSAUR as one of the worst experiences of my life. The jump scares did not bother me because I was too busy hanging on for dear life during that shattering physical experience in pitch darkness to even notice any of the lunging dinos.

    There should be an “I Survived DINOSAUR” T-shirt. Never again!

    Reply
  • September 23, 2019 at 11:40 am
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    Dinosaur was the first ‘real’ Disney World ride I took my sons on, then aged 10 and 9. (I say real because we did ride Primeval Whirl first while waiting for my wife to return with the old paper fastpasses from Expedition Everest). The oldest boy was terrified and can be seen hiding his eyes when the photo was taken, and me with a terrified look as I was pretty sure at the time that dinosaur was climbing into the jeep with us! It is definitely a ride everyone should experience at least once per trip.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2019 at 6:16 pm
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    Since the article is called “everything” you need to know about Dinosaur, let’s not underplay the Indiana Jones connection. The History section above says that Dinosaur has “a track and high-tech ride vehicles a la Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye,” but that’s not the whole story. Dinsoaur and Indy are truly the *exact same ride*. They obviously have very different sights and sounds along the way, but based on the blueprints, they are the exact same vehicles traveling along the exact same track layout.

    Reply
    • September 23, 2019 at 8:12 pm
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      That’s precisely why I would like to see the Dinorama land scrapped and replaced with an Indy land. Would fit in nicely when Indy 5 comes out. I doubt it will happen that soon (if at all) since there are already a lot of building projects happening in other parks in preparation for the 50th anniversary in 2021.

      Reply
  • September 24, 2019 at 12:58 am
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    I went on Dinosaur a couple of days ago. I didn’t find it scary, just very jerky and it hurt my back, I had no problems with my back. But this ride really jarred it. Never again.

    Reply
  • September 24, 2019 at 2:29 pm
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    Ah, Dinosaur . . . it’s like Apocalypse Now and Star Tours had a child.

    I actually like this ride a great deal, but it is not everyone (most?).

    Reply
  • October 17, 2019 at 3:03 pm
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    I was leery of riding this for several years, then finally did – and it’s one of my favorites because it’s so tame! Yes, it’s jerky, but there aren’t any roller coaster drops (or speeds), and it’s dinosaurs, not some gory slasher movie killer. Little kids might find it scary, in part because it’s loud and dark, but it’s also very funny (especially the monitors at the end with Grant Seeker and the iguanadon roaming the halls).

    Reply

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