Magic Behind the Music: Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Dinoland U.S.A. – DINOSAUR
You’ve been sent back in time to bring back a dinosaur, there’s an impending deadly meteor shower and you’re being chased by a Carnotaurus. What could possibly go wrong? DINOSAUR has originally opened as Countdown to Extinction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom when the park opened on April 22, 1998 and the sounds of the ride have been a part of the D-COT Jukebox since its earlier days on May 20, 2009. Shortly after the ride debuted, the name was changed to DINOSAUR to promote the Disney film of the same name that was released into theaters on May 19, 2000. When Walt Disney Imagineering began designing this attraction they set out to immerse guests in a world that was totally alien to them, full of darkness, unfamiliar terrain, and lifelike prehistoric creatures. Needless to say, they succeeded.
Other than the name of the attraction, the experience and dinosaur encounters have never been changed. Disney welcomes guests into the Dino Institute where an over-ambitious (and miscalculating) scientist, Dr. Seeker, sends guests into the late Cretaceous period via time rover – a vehicle that simulates the rough terrain over the course of the ride track. He assures guests that they’ll make it out before the big extinction-causing meteors hit as they are plunged into darkness and surrounded by the flashes of incoming meteors and Audio-Animatronics© dinosaurs of various sizes and shapes. Some dinosaurs are terrifying and others are terrifyingly huge! The Carnotaurus makes itself known at several points in the journey and in such ways that its appearance strikes fear even in some of the most seasoned visitors to the attraction. One of those appearances is for the on-ride photo which seldom captures smiles and more frequently shows faces which are stunned or filled with terror. As guests near the end, Dr. Seeker yells out that they won’t make it, but fortunately we’re talking about Walt Disney World, where happy endings are the norm. Still the ride has become an adventure for many who like to return to it and for 145 D-COT members who have made it a listening favorite.
The track has a play-count of over 7,500 and the D-COT supporters have added it to 17 custom playlists. While the attraction itself does seem to be underrated and go unnoticed as it dwells in the shadow of the Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, and now Flight of Passage, the audio track has received a strong average rating of 4.5/5 from 53 votes. With such technology, thrills, and trilling sounds, DINOSAUR remains an attraction before its time…literally.