Somewhere off I-4 in Plant City, Fl, innocent drivers are taunted. Taunted by a giant red T-Rex not so much welcoming them, but almost daring visitors to venture off of the interstate at Exit 17 and enter … DINOSAUR WORLD!
Check out my full review of Dinosaur World after the jump!
So … Dinosaur World (official site) is exactly what you expect it to be when you see that giant red T-Rex standing off the edge of the interstate with DINOSAUR WORLD in giant red letters behind him – a roadside attraction of days gone by. The park doesn’t have any rides, or even really…anything. Other than lots and lots of dinosaurs!
As you enter the parking lot, and make your way up the entrance to the park (above), you really know not to set yourself up for much. The park is relatively small and the admission price is $13 bucks. Still, as hard as I’m about to be on the park, it’s cool in its cheesiness, and, even if you run through everything as quickly as possible in an effort to escape (as I did), you’re still liable to spend 30-45 minutes at the place.
You enter into what’s, essentially, the gift shop. Laid out similarly to the gift shop at a museum, you’ll see all sorts of cheap dino-goodies for the kids to enjoy and, after paying your entrance, welcome to Jurassic Park!
See, despite the fact that the map of the park looks like it was drawn by a five-year old…wait, it probably was drawn by a five year old! It’s entirely inaccurate, doesn’t show half of the paths that you have to take to see the full Dino Trail, features footsteps to guide you in the right direction (that are wrong), and just, generally, sucks. It’s printed on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper. And in black and white. I actually got lost and walked right into the middle of a kid’s birthday party. I thought to stop and ask for a piece of cake, but they looked at me weird. After all, who wants a big 6 foot tall fat guy in a comic shop t-shirt at their kid’s birthday party?
Well, even though I missed two “Wrong Way” signs (cleverly hidden behind bushes for maximum ineffectiveness), I did find my way to the “start” of the dino trail (I think) and began walking it.
A good number of the dinosaurs look pretty darn good, actually. But, honestly, that’s all you’ll see. Trees and dinosaurs. And more trees, and dinosaurs. I was hoping to see a depiction of dinos attacking humans, or aliens riding dinos (like in Dino Rider!), but alas, they didn’t even pump music throughout the park (the Jurassic Park soundtrack … come on!).
My favorite part of the park was “Carnivore Trail,” which comes with warnings of graphic depictions of violence. And it’s pretty bloody – you see guts hanging out of stomachs, dinos raping each other (kidding) … it’s brutal stuff. Some family ignored the signs and…I loved this … the father was telling his kids, upon seeing the image you’re about to see, that the dinos were just playing!
His daughter says, and I sh*t you not … “They’re not playing! He’s eating that baby dinosaur’s head!” Heh. Good times.
Hidden throughout the park (kind of on the map, but not really) are some expectedly amazing attractions, such as:
How to make a dinosaur:
And, my personal favorite, the porno theater:
Still, despite the fact that I got lost in this hellhole and was about to cry because I couldn’t find my way out (f*cking map), I can’t say that you shouldn’t hit Dinosaur World at least once before you die. Sure, it sucks, and I was running past the exhibits, not even stopping to focus the picture because I wanted the hell out, but roadside attractions are a dying breed, and someone still has enough passion to run these god awful things, I figure we should support them somehow.
Still…coulda used with some pirate vs. dino action. Sheesh.
Dinosaur World is located in Plant City, FL. Check out their official site at www.dinoworld.net.
Check out my full set of pics here!