Supervise children at all times.
DINOSAUR is a classic thrill ride back to the Cretaceous period where Dinosaurs roamed the earth. The queue and the pre-show set the stage for your trip back in time, and your “Enhanced Motion Vehicle” brings you through various show scenes where you encounter dinosaurs like the styracosaurus, raptors, saurapods and the fierce predator, carnotarous. The goal of the adventure is to bring back a species of dinosaur known as the iguanadon, all the while being chased and dodging meteors.
According to the backstory, The Dino Institute ran a traditional museum in Dinoland U.S.A. Eventually they developed the CTX Time Rover (Enhanced Motion/EMV) vehicle that allowed them and the students at the institute to travel back in time. Now, guests can participate in this time travel but there’s a catch. Dr. Grant Seeker is putting us directly in harms way because he has been banned from going back in time due to an unauthorized visit. On this unauthorized visit Dr. Seeker tagged an Iguanodon with a homing device. He overtakes the tour with the objective of the guests traveling to the late Cretaceous period and returning with the Iguanodon. Dr. Seeker believes the Iguanodon is the key to finding out more information about dinosaurs and wants to study the creature further.
After leaving the load area, the vehicles move past a scientists desk before we enter the time travel area tunnel. The tunnel features red lights that surround the vehicle and appear similar to coils found inside a toaster. A crash of glass is hear at the end of the tunnel indicating that the guests have traveled back to the Cretaceous Period.
The first dinosaur scene is slow paced as the vehicle drives past herbivores like the Styracosaurus and the Parasaurolophus. Guests can also see an Alioramus eating another dinosaur. The narration is done by the onboard computer as well as Dr. Grant Seeker who provides an amusing commentary track. Dr. Seeker increases the tempo of the ride by “locking [the] autopilot on [the] homing signal” of the Iguanadon that he previously tagged.
The vehicle starts to speed up, pitch, and yaw as it tours through various scenes and the guests first meet the carnivore, Carnotaurus. While guests search for the Iguanodon, they’re also racing against the clock as they need to travel back to the present time before we’re struck by the asteroid. The vehicle accelerates again to “another big guy”, this time is a Saltasaurus. Dr. Seeker exlaims, “still not our Dino, but at least this one’s a vegetarian”. This is in reference to the first encounter with the Carnotaurus. As the story develops it becomes increasingly unlikely that guests will succeed in escapaing the carnotaurus, getting back before the asteroid impact and returning with the iguanadon.
The attraction ends with the Iguanodon to the left of the vehicle, a carnotaurus in front of the vehicle, and a blast of air surging all around the vehicle before the vehicle drops down a short hill. During this sense of panic, Dr. Grant Seeker begins shouting “They’re not gonna make it! They’re not gonna make it!” A few moments later it is revealed that the guests were successful in their mission, and Dr. Grant Seeker needs to find the Iguanadon that’s now roaming around The Dino Institute before security finds him.
The CTX Time Rover vehicles were originally designed for Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye in Disneyland. CTX stands for the original name of the attraction Countdown to Extinction. The vehicles feature several axis of movement that simulate banked turns, rough terrain and more. The actual track is relatively smooth.
This Experience Includes…
Dark places and scary dinosaurs
This prehistoric tour is a high speed, turbulent ride adventure that includes sharp turns and sudden drops.
The ride appeals mostly to teenagers and young adults. It may frighten children, and it is not recommended for those individuals that have neck or back problems.
TIMES GUIDE - OPENING/CLOSING
This attraction opens with the park.
Dinosaur is one of the mid range demand Fastpass+ reservations in the park. Same day availability typically exists, and guests can save time using Fastpass+ at this location.
The building is set up like a dinosaur history museum titled “The Dino Institute”. The outdoor queue is typically only used when waits exceed 40 minutes. The indoor queue features exhibits of extinct animal fossils (recreations) as well as murals. Some of the fossils that are featured include Carnotaurus and Giant Sea Turtles.
The queue also features a narration by noted TV personality Bill Nye The Science Guy
The vehicles seat 12 guests in three rows of four. The vehicles are referred to as CTX Rovers paying homage to the original name of the attraction Countdown to Extinction. The restraints are seatbelts, and there is a pouch in front of each seat for your personal belongings.
After the queue that leads guests through “The Dino Institute” museum, the Fastpass and Standby queues meet before proceeding into the Pre-Show. The Pre-Show introduces us to two characters, Dr. Marsh (Phylicia Rashad) and Dr. Grant Seeker (Wallace Langham).
Dr. Marsh takes on the role as the head of “The Dino Institute” and her job in the pre-show is to explain that we will be traveling back to the age of the dinosaurs.
After the introduction by Dr. Marsh, a dinosaur hand puppet appears on screen as Dr. Grant Seeker breaks the serious mood and discusses what the actual objective of the ride will be. Dr. Marsh insists that it is too dangerous for guests to travel to the end of the cretaceous period due to it’s proximity to the “Giant Asteroid impact that destroyed most life forms on Earth.” However, Dr. Grant Seeker changes the coordinates of our Time Rover vehicle against the wishes of Dr. Marsh because he wants us to bring back an iguanadon that he had tagged on a previous visit.
The Pre-show is designed to set up the plot for the entire ride, and during the attraction Dr. Seeker plays the role of narrator in our Time Rover vehicle.
Dr. Grant Seeker plays a lighthearted role where as soon as Dr. Marsh leaves the room, he indicates that we will be traveling to the late cretaceous period
Currently there is no sponsor, but McDonald’s sponsored the attraction from 1998-2008.
The attraction opened with the park in 1998 under the name “Countdown to Extinction”. The name changed to DINOSAUR on May 1st, 2000.
The closest ride from an attraction vehicle standpoint is Test Track, but the rides aren’t very similar. DINOSAUR is a rougher ride than Kilimanjaro Safaris, and really doesn’t have a direct comparison in Walt Disney World.
In California’s Disneyland, the ride system is identical to Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.
The below video is used with permission from the YouTube channel SoCal Attractions 360. These videos are in 4K or 1080p resolution for peak quality.