One of the things we wanted to see outside of the immediate Orlando area was Dinosaur World, which is essentially Florida’s Jurassic Park, except a few expenses were spared and all of the dinosaurs were frozen in place. When we arrived, I realized my description required a correction: all of the dinosaurs were frozen in place with incredibly stupid expressions on their faces. We were the only people in the parking lot, aside from a police cruiser which had also just arrived. The officers were laughing and taking each other’s photos in front of the Triceratops out front, and we offered to take their photo together. In turn, they offered to take ours, and what follows is what I hope is the only photo a police officer ever takes of me. The officers had to go back out on patrol, so Jason and I had the run of the park, which would have been more exciting if it wasn’t absolutely sweltering out. It’s hard to get up to shenanigans when your vital organs are shutting down out of self defense. I think the biggest trouble we stirred up was not following the correct route through the park (We tried, but with all of the branches and twists and turns, we ended up going the wrong direction at some point and just ignored the “STOP! WRONG WAY!” signs. Traffic flow is really more of an issue when there’s actually traffic.) and Jason picked a dinosaur’s nose.
Thankfully, the park was thoughtful about providing refreshments to their parched visitors.
At least they had a pressed penny machine. I’m looking at you, Skunk Ape Research Headquarters!
The dinosaurs in the park are mostly a little worse for wear, with flaking paint and bits falling off, and were created either by an amateur sculptor with a lot of time on his hands or a professional with a hell of a sense of humor. Look at these faces! These gangly and or tree trunk-like limbs!
Face cut-outs don’t really work that well interspecies. My favorite thing about that picture is the dinosaur that looks like a giant terrifying dong that’s attempting to eat the AT&T logo. Get ’em, dongasaurus! This mastodon has a cinnamon roll ear and the fur of a finely-raked zen garden.
They had some vaguely-educational displays to lure in lucrative field-trip traffic, and one of them involved sticking your hands into a hole to see if you could determine which dinosaur you felt on the inside. It seems to me that anything could have been hiding in that hole, from venomous spiders to snakes to the dreaded spider-snake, so I let Jason take the reins on that one.
After we’d seen what there was to be seen outside, we made our way inside to the museum portion, which was a number of really sad lighted displays–a fragment of bone next to a tiny plastic dinosaur in a giant display case, a diorama or two, nothing that particularly stood out as we shuffled past. What did stand out, however, were the animatronic dinosaurs, which I want for my house immediately.
For the price we paid, we were both entertained. A beverage vending machine would go a long way toward making the environment more inviting, however, especially since it’s in the ass end of nowhere, so if you decide to go–bring water!