There’s a section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom that is teeming with adventure, history and mystery, an old couple who struck it rich, a yard full of bones and the chance to bring a dinosaur back from the past, and it’s one of the most exciting parts of the park. At Dinoland U.S.A., you and your family can explore the past and play in the present. There’s so much to see and do in this section of Animal Kingdom! Here are 8 of our favorites!
When you were younger, did you ever have aspirations of being a paleontologist? Have you ever wondered what it would be like if dinosaurs still lived here on earth with us? Have you ever wished to see a real dinosaur? Are you a science fiction junkie with an affinity for all things time travel? If so, Dinoland U.S.A. has the perfect attraction for you in the form of a rough and tumble ride aboard a rugged vehicle at the DINOSAUR experience. Inside the Dino Institute, you’ll see dino skeletons and exhibits all around you as you make your way through the queue before stopping to learn a little bit more about your mission. What starts out as a calm and educational pursuit turns into a race against the clock after a rogue scientist decides he’s discovered how to bring a dinosaur from the past to the present thanks to the marvel of time travel. What ensues, however, is a speedy trek to find an iguanodon, several near-misses with some carnivorous dinosaurs and the beginnings of a terrible meteor shower that you just know will have a profound effect on history. Do you think you have what it takes? Are you feeling brave? If so, be sure to secure a FastPass+ for this exciting attraction before they too are extinct!
7. Primeval Whirl
Once you experience DINOSAUR, you may decide that just one trip back in time isn’t enough. For you, there’s the Primeval Whirl attraction. It’s a fun family coaster aboard a spinning time machine that will have you and your fellow paleontologists dropping, dipping, spinning and u-turning all over the place! If you aren’t afraid of the dangers of time travel, this is the ride for you!
6. The Boneyard
The Boneyard is an interactive playground area for kids of all ages. It was created to resemble a paleontologist’s dig site. There are rocks to climb, rope bridges to cross, and bones of a woolly mammoth to discover and unearth! Be sure to check out the maze with covered slides and take a make-believe ride in a Jeep inside the boneyard—just remember that no food or drinks are allowed in the area. The Boneyard is a great place to take a break and let the little ones expend some of their energy!
5. TriceraTop Spin
This attraction is a lot like the Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Flying Carpets of Aladdin attractions at Magic Kingdom. Soar through the air up high or down low aboard a four-person dinosaur-inspired gondola that you control. Be sure to fly high—at least for a moment or two—so you can catch some amazing views of Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama down below!
4. Donald’s Dino Bash
The year 2018 was not only the 20th anniversary of the opening of Animal Kingdom. It was also the year that Donald Duck discovered that his ancestors were actually dinosaurs! You and I might have been shocked, but Donald was thrilled! In honor of his new-found ancestry, Donald hosts a huge celebration called Donald’s Dino-Bash each day, weather permitting. The party takes place inside Dinoland U.S.A. and features some of Donald’s best pals like Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto, LaunchPad McQuack from Disney’s DuckTales and even Chip ‘n’ Dale, dressed in cute dinosaur costumes. Be sure to check showtime listings when you visit Animal Kingdom so you don’t miss out on the celebration!
This interesting quick-service restaurant was inspired by all of the dinosaur goings-on inside Dinoland U.S.A. Enjoy American fare of different kinds, including angus burgers and fries, sandwiches, hot dogs, chili dogs, salads and more. For even more fun, order from the kids’ menu and enjoy your meal in a pail with a shovel attached to it!
2. Fossil Fun Games
Everyone loves midway games at the fair! And at Dinoland U.S.A., you’ll find the same kinds of fun family games like you remember from the midway! Step right up and don’t be shy! Hit the mark, win a prize—it’s that simple! And it’s even more fun because some of the prizes are dino-themed! Fossil Fun Games are fun for every member of the family, so bring them all with you!
1. Chester and Hester
Just who are Chester and Hester? We see their names posted in different spots around Dinoland U.S.A., but who are they, and what is their significance to Dinoland? As with most of the rides and attractions at Walt Disney World, there’s a story, and the same is true of Chester and Hester. Years ago, in 1947, when there was nothing more in this area of “Diggs County” than an old fishing lodge, someone stumbled upon some fossils, and those fossils were then studied and authenticated by a group of paleontologists. The scientists quickly realized the value of such a find, and they decided to purchase the old lodge and the surrounding land. An elderly couple, simply known as Chester and Hester, had owned the nearby gas station for years. They soon noticed that professors, students and other inquisitive people were flocking to this otherwise quiet area. And being red-blooded Americans, they decided to make a go of it and cash in on the new-found popularity of Diggs County. They created an amusement park and souvenir shop right there along old Highway 498 to strike it rich themselves. With all the new traffic in town, they stood to make a fortune. And to this day, they still operate right there off of old Highway 498, in the middle of Dinoland U.S.A.