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Dinosaur
Location Hollywood Land
Theme Disney's Dinosaur (2000)
Owner The Walt Disney Company
Operated by Walt Disney Imagineering
Status Operating
Disney-California-Adventure-Dinosaur-ride
Dinosaur is a dark ride EMV attraction at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim, California. The ride features a turbulent journey through the Cretaceous period, featuring prehistoric scenes populated with dinosaur audio-animatronics. To promote the 2000 Disney movie of the same name, Walt Disney Imagineering had decided to build a ride based on the film and was completed and opened in May 9th, 2000. After the ride's success, Countdown to Extinction was rethemed to Dinosaur, although wasn't as successful when it comes to technology, as the two animatronics (pterodactly and compsognathus pack) in the Florida version broke down often and were considered safety hazard and were removed from the Florida version, being eventually replaced by CGI effects.

Ride Experience

Dinosaur (2000-Today) at Disney's California Adventure

Dinosaur (2000-Today) at Disney's California Adventure

Queue

If the ride is busy, then guests will first wind though an outdoor line before entering the first section of the indoor queue. Once inside the first section, guests will see several small exhibits including a display of small fossils, modern animals that can be traced back to the dinosaur ages, and evidence for the several theories of mass extinction. The second section of the indoor queue is an eight-sided room, with the upper parts of the walls displaying some artist renderings of what the age of the dinosaurs might have looked like and some fossils. The lower sections of the walls are a simulation of sedimentary rock that contain fossils. some sections of the lower walls have windows that display some more fossils. Hanging from the ceiling is a large globe with Pangaea, and a rod connected to the globe with measurements of hundreds of thousands of miles to show how far the theoretical asteroid that impacted with earth to cause mass extinction had to travel. The defining feature of the second room is its centerpiece: a Carnotaurus fossil. In the second room, at regular time intervals, the lights dim, and Bill Nye the Science Guy talks shares some facts and theories about the age of dinosaurs, using the globe, the paintings, and the fossil to help out with his small lectures. After weaving through the second room, guests then enter one of two pre-show theaters.

Pre-Show

Guests enter a small standup theatre and a short movie comes on a projection screen. The first part of the movie is a small presentation by the fictional director of the Dino Institute, Doctor Marsh (played by Phylicia Rashad). She claims that the "bare bones" approach of displaying research of prehistory is "about to become extinct." She says that the Dino Institute has created a "time rover" that has the ability to take guests to the age of the dinosaurs. She says that the rover is intended to take guests to a "breathtaking world where you will witness the most fantastic creatures to ever walk the earth." Marsh then transfers to a "live" feed of the control center for a comprehensive safety briefing. You are greeted in the second section of the movie by the controller Doctor Seeker. Seeker decides to skip most of the safety notes and get to talking about what his intentions are. He intends to use the time rover and the guests that were supposed to take a tour to go on a mission to save an Iguanodon from extinction and bring it back to the Dino Institute. He says that he tagged him with a locator during a previous "unauthorized" field trip. He then goes on to say that the Iguanodon is at the very end of the Cretaceous period. However, Doctor Marsh comes into the control center to "correct a little misstatement." She says that the tours are intended for the Early Cretaceous, and that the rovers are locked on those coordinates. Doctor Seeker then continues his "safety briefing" by talking about flash photos and seatbelts. Doctor Marsh leaves the room during that small section of the video, and Seeker unlocks the time coordinates behind her back. Automatic doors on the opposite side of the theatre open up to the entrance of the loading area.

On-Ride

Guests enter an underground research facility where the time rover will pick them up. Once the riders get on, they pull up forward for a seatbelt check. They then proceed to a testing zone, where they are transported to prehistoric times. When they land, they come across a Styracosaurus, an Alioramus, a Parasaurolophus (referred to as a Hadrosaur), and a Velociraptor (referred to as a Raptor). Seeker, their driver, then locks onto the signal of the tracker on the Iguanodon, the rover picks up speed, and the ride becomes much more bumpy. The scanner built into the rover picks up a big dinosaur, and Seeker thinks that it might be the Iguanodon. He pulls the rover to a full stop, but find out that the dinosaur is a Carnotaurus. The rover takes off away from the Carnotaurus, and finds another big dinosaur with the scanner. The dinosaur is a Saltasaurus (referred to as a Sauropod). The rover starts to pull away again. The timer that counts down to the asteroid that causes the mass extinction claims that the asteroid is going to strike in 90 seconds, and the rover starts to pick up the pace. The scanner finds a Coloborhynchus (referred to as a Pterodactyl) that is flying directly towards them. The rover drives down a small hill, and dodges the pterosaur. Now in almost complete darkness, the rover speeds through the forest and picks up a Compsognathus on the scanner that is running through the forest with them. The rover falls down another small hill and loses traction. The Carnotaurus the riders saw before appears in front of them, and starts to chase after them. Seeker turns on the four wheel drive system and successfully gets the rover away just before the Carnotaurus gets the rover. Suddenly, small meteors start striking the ground, and the rover performs evasive maneuvers to dodge the meteors in the darkness. After dodging the meteors successfully, the rover then stumbles upon the Carnotaurus, which tries to lunge at them. This is where the ride takes the rider's photo. The rover takes off again into a small section of the forest where some of the trees are falling down. The scanner finds the Iguanodon, but Seeker decides to abandon the dinosaur and bring the rover back, as the asteroid is about to strike. A tree was about to fall on the rover, but the Iguanodon catches the tree and the rover proceeds. The asteroid strikes the ground and creates a flash of light, and the Carnotaurus is seen giving one last lunge. However, at the last second, the rover transports back to the institute, and somehow, the Iguanodon came with them. The rover then proceeds to the loading station. The riders then get off and proceed to some stairs, which leads to the gift shop.

As guests leave, they can see Dr. Marsh and the Dino Institute employees attempting to chase down the Iguanodon and Dr. Seeker on overhead tv monitors. They can also hear radio chatter indicating what's going on.

Differences from the Disney's Animal Kingdom version

Dinosaur-california
  • The ride is the inverted version of the Florida version, for example, you can see the Styracosaurus on the left rather than on the right (as shown here).
  • The vehicle's animations, vehicle's shaking, animatronic dinosaurs and pterosaur being more fluid and lifelike, etc are very much like the original Countdown to Extincion ride in the Florida version before it was Dinosaur like the California version, to make the ride intense yet not too scary, unlike the former Countdown to Extinction ride, yet slightly scarier than the current Florida's Dinosaur ride.
  • The animatronic pterodactyl and compsognathus are a little more advanced than the ones that used to be in the Florida version of the ride, which were replaced by cgi versions, yet the animatronics in the California version are still there and functioning, as they don't break down often and are not safety hazards.
  • The animatronic Iguanodon (Aladar) closely better matches his film counterpart than the Florida version, whereas the Florida version has a lipless beak and resembles more like the real animal and resembles very much like the original or abandoned Disney's Dinosaur concepts of 1996 before it was scrapped, the California version has lips over his beak that moves very lifelike, his body shape is more like Aladar's than the Florida's Iguanodon animatronic, and the California version has the more similar color that Aladar bore in the film version.
  • The meteor prop and animation in the grand finale is still there and functioning, unlike the now-removed meteor prop that used to be in Disney's Animal Kingdom version, to make the finale more intense.
  • The California version of the ride doesn't contain the screen/monitor (on the vehicle or in the tunnel) of an Iguanodon (Aladar) in the laboratory being chased by human scientists when the ride is ending as what Florida has, instead, the ride uses the Pepper's ghost, the same technique used by The Haunted Mansion for its ghosts, to give an illusion that makes it look like the Iguanodon is on the time rover, much like the original concept for the Florida version.
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