Disney Essentials: Dinosaur

One of the ways a Disney theme park sets itself apart from the competition is the way it tells stories in a 360-degree immersive experience. In the mid-90s Walt Disney Imagineers took the dark-ride experience to a new level with an Enhanced Motion Vehicle that combined the movements of a motion-simulator that moves around a warehouse sized track. The result was the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland. Later, Imagineers essentially rebuilt the same ride for the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but themed it to an encounter with Dinosaurs. That ride, “Countdown to Extinction” lasted until May 1, 2000 when the ride closed to be re-themed into the ride we know today “Dinosaur.”

The change to “Dinosaur” was a tie in with the Disney movie of the same name. The movie has been mostly forgotten in the annals of Disney movies, but the ride is one of the most popular ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The track layout for Dinosaur is an almost exact clone of “Indiana Jones Adventure” at Disneyland. But that doesn’t mean the rides are the same experience. Dinosaur is a much darker ride. Some of the room configurations are different, and the motion simulators are programmed differently.

When you’re riding your Time Rover on Dinosaur you encounter a bunch of different species, but the big baddy is an entirely fictional creation of Disney Imagineers. The Carnotaurus is bigger than the actual carnotaur species. So Imagineers dubbed it the “Carnotaurus robostus Floridana” which roughly translated means, “Stout meat bull from Florida.”

Is “Dinosaur” a must-ride attraction when you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

Disney Essentials

Location: DinoLand U.S.A.
Height requirement: 40in
Fastpass+: recommended
Level of thrill: 4 out of 5 for darkness and ride motion.  Not recommended for young children who are easily scared.
Accessibility: Must transfer from Wheelchair
Photopass: on-ride photo available
Duration: about 3 minutes