DinoLand U.S.A is a Dinosaur themed land located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The area opened on April 22nd, 1998 as an opening day section of the park.
The land was said to let guests explore the vast world of long extinct creatures both big and small in addition so seeing real animals in the Africa and Asia sections and fantasy creatures in the infamously canceled Beastly Kingdom. DinoLand U.S.A. was also convenient for guests to find due to it being so close to the park’s entrance.
The area opened with one ride, Countdown to Extinction, which was later renamed Dinosaur, as a tie-in with the 2000 Disney animated film Dinosaur.
Based on the same technology that brought you Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Disneyland, it is arguably one of the park’s best attractions, where you travel back in time to the age of Dinosaurs.
Beyond that it was mostly carnival games, the Bone Yard Playground and the Cretaceous Trail where you can see statues of Dinosaurs. The next ride would be the recently closed Primeval Whirl which opened in 2002, where you would board a vehicle and time travel back to the age of the dinosaurs. Which is a bit redundant.
Not much changed over the past couple decades beyond the closure and demolition of Primeval Whirl. While new and exciting attractions were opening in other parts of the park such as Expedition Everest in the Asia section and the extremely popular Avatar themed land “Pandora,” little has changed in DinoLand U.S.A.
With little attracting guests to the area some have called the land “out of date” and some suggest bulldozing the land to make room for a South American or Oceanic themed land.
If you want a Dinosaur themed land that gives you your money’s worth I would suggest visiting Universal Studios Orlando’s Island of Adventure and see their Jurassic Park section.
It offers multiple rides/attractions and animatronic dinosaurs that it would make any dinosaur nut feel like a kid in a candy story, especially to all those dinosaur nuts who happen to be kids. It blows DinoLand U.S.A. out of the water.
So, what could possibly be done to save this section of the park from possibly going extinct like the Dinosaurs it’s themed after?
The answer would most likely be an overhaul to the presentation and the amount of attractions the area has. They could definitely add a little kid ride themed after the Pixar film The Good Dinosaur. Perhaps they could even try something themed after Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age franchise as it had a few Dinosaurs.
But one IP that Disney could definitely integrate would be one that they once worked with–Dinotopia.
Dinotopia is a book series created by author Hames Gurney, where a society of humans and dinosaurs live in harmony.
Disney once produced a four episode mini-series in 2002 and a 13 episode TV series from 2002 – 2003 in collaboration with Hallmark. Not much has been done with the IP since the two programs.
If Disney wants to keep DinoLand U.S.A. maybe they would consider renewing their license with the IP and rename the land after the IP. Keeping the popular Dinosaur Ride in addition to new attractions and entertainment with intelligent dinosaurs.
What do you think Disney needs to do to keep this land alive?
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.