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10 Things You’ll Love About Dinoland U.S.A. At Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

The dinosaurs will soon be celebrating at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. That’s because this year will mark the 20th anniversary of the addition of the beloved animal-themed Disney park to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. If you’ve visited Animal Kingdom before, no doubt you’ve walked under the huge “Dinoland, U.S.A.” sign as you’ve walked through the park. But have you ever stopped in to Dinoland and taken in all it has to offer?

 

 

There are more than just Disney dinos in this exciting land. At Dinoland, U.S.A., you’ll go back in time. You’ll take a spin at more than one attraction. Play in the sand. Play on the playground. Slide down the slides. Meet your favorite Disney characters, win prizes at a carnival and see bones, bones and more bones! You haven’t experience Dinoland, U.S.A. yet? Here are 10 reasons you’ll be glad you stopped by next time you’re at Animal Kingdom.

10. DINOSAUR

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to work with a paleontologist? Have you imagined what life was like when dinosaurs roamed the earth? And have you ever dreamed of seeing an actual dinosaur? If you answered yes, and if you also think you have a knack at time travel, you’ll want to reserve a FastPass+ time for DINOSAUR, a thrilling dark ride back in time aboard a rugged time rover. Your mission: to race back to prehistoric times and bring back to the present an Iguanodon, in an effort to save it from extinction. You’ll have to be fast, be brave and be willing to risk it all before a meteor shower renders you and your team extinct as well.

9. Primeval Whirl

DINOSAUR isn’t the only attraction at Dinoland, U.S.A. for the time travel enthusiast. Primeval Whirl is a fun family coaster aboard a time-machine that spins, curves, u-turns and drops. Imagine the Mad Hatter Teacups at Magic Kingdom on a twisting, turning and dropping track—all while heading back in time!

8. Finding Nemo – the Musical

This show is not your basic theme park musical! You’ve never seen a musical like this one, thanks to some spectacular puppetry. Swim along with Dory and Marlin as they search for Nemo. Will they find him? Just where could Nemo be?

 

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7. The Boneyard

This fun play area was designed to look just like a paleontologist’s dinosaur dig site. Kids can climb rocks, cross rope bridges and even work to unearth the bones of a woolly mammoth. There’s a maze with covered slides, a Jeep for pretending and playing and lots of shaded areas with fans and music. It’s fun for kids and parents alike.

6. TriceraTop Spin

This attraction functions similarly to the Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Flying Carpets of Aladdin attractions at Magic Kingdom. Fly high or fly low in a four-person dino-inspired gondola that you control. From on high, you’ll see amazing vistas of all of Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama.

5. Goofy and Pluto

Just outside Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures, Guests can meet Goofy and Pluto, who are playing the role of paleontologists. They sign autographs and pose for pictures with Guests in front of a giant postcard that reads, “Greetings from Dinoland, U.S.A.”

4. Donald Duck

At Cretaceous Trail inside Dinoland, U.S.A., you can meet Donald Duck. He’s been hard at work on a dino dig, but he always has time for photos with fans! Be sure to have your autograph book and pen ready!

3. Restaurantosaurus

Step inside this dino-inspired quick-service restaurant and enjoy American favorites like angus burgers and fries, sandwiches, hot dogs, chili dogs, tossed salads and more. Every children’s meal comes in a pail with a shovel for that post-meal dino-dig!

2. Fossil Fun Games

Step right up! Step right up! Who wants to win? Hit the mark and win a prize! If you love carnivals and county fairs, you’ll love Fossil Fun Games. It’s perfect for every member of the family and conveniently located right in the center of Dinoland, U.S.A. Come one, come all!

1. Chester and Hester

Just who are Chester and Hester? Those names are seen in Dinoland, U.S.A. But who are they? Well, as with most attractions and themed lands at Disney World, there’s a story. Sometimes a backstory, and Dinoland, U.S.A. is no different. The story goes that years ago, in 1947, when there was nothing more in this area of “Diggs County” than an old fishing lodge, fossils were found and authenticated by a group of paleontologists. They realized the value of the find and soon purchased the old lodge and the surrounding land. An elderly couple, simply known as Chester and Hester, owned a gas station nearby. They soon noticed that professors, students and other inquisitive people were flocking to this area. So they did what any red-blooded Americans would do—they created an amusement park and souvenir shop right there along old Highway 498 to strike it rich themselves. Why, with all the visitors coming to town, they could make a fortune, right?

If you love dinos, time travel and roadside carnivals, Dinoland, U.S.A. ought to be on your Disney World bucket list. Who knows, maybe you’ll unearth the next prehistoric find!

About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.