Jurassic Quest is roaring into Orlando for an experience that is a million years in the making. Make that 165 million years!
It was the Jurassic Period and it happened to have been jam-packed with dinosaurs. Jurassic Quest, the world’s largest dino event, brings everybody’s favorite prehistoric creatures to life with a whole herd of scientifically accurate, life-size animatronic dinosaurs that can be ridden, trained, hugged and loved by the little paleon-tot-ologists in your family.
Your budding scientists may already know the names and lifestyles of their favorite dinosaurs but have they ever gotten up close and personal with an 80-foot-long Apatosaurus or a 60-foot-long Spinosaurus or the king himself, Tyrannosaurus Rex?
Now’s their chance! Orlando magazine spoke with Dinosaur Trainer (and Jurassic Quest PR manager) Dino Dustin Baker for the low-down on what families can expect from the experience.
“Our dinosaur trainers tell you all about the dinosaurs in a fun way, deliver it in a way that kids can receive it but also adults can laugh at the jokes. It’s fun for everybody,” Dino Dustin says.
He says that the traveling show is celebrating its 10th year of sparking the imaginations of children and gently educating while entertaining them.
“We work with paleontologists to make sure that these dinosaurs are as scientifically accurate as possible. These are not your movie dinosaurs,” he says. “A lot of times, films take artistic license to make dinosaurs ‘cooler.’ But we believe dinosaurs are cool just as they are.”
“We do this because we want to create memories for families. Your kids will always remember the time you took them to see the dinosaurs and our staff really enjoys being a part of that experience,” Dino Dustin says.
He notes that a roomful of dinosaurs has quite the impact on children. “It is a fun experience but they’re also learning and it’s making learning a fun thing to do,” he says.
So what can your lil dino wranglers do? We mentioned riding — some of the animatronic animals move in place and some walk forward for an unforgettable memory.
What else? How about dino-themed bounce houses, a bank of science tables with fossils waiting to be uncovered and examined, hanging out with adolescent dinosaurs as they stroll through the crowd and creating artwork at the craft tables.
There is more, including one of the most-loved experiences at Jurassic Quest, meeting baby dinosaurs and their human trainers. Each of the three has its own personality and temperament but they all love to meet children.
Tyson the T-Rex is tiny but can be ferocious. He can be tamed with a scritchy-scratch of the neck or a pat on the head. Cammie the Camarasaurus is playful and will try to steal hats, toys and hearts. Trixie the Triceratops understands that dinos can be overwhelming if you haven’t met one before, so she is the baby to see if your baby needs a little reassurance during their dino quest.
The quest is self-guided and guests can take as long as they like to explore. “They can tour the exhibit, go and spend time at the bounce houses or ride the dinosaurs, and go to our fossil experience. Learn how to train one of our Utahraptors, visit our baby dinosaurs and then if they want to, they can do it all again,” Dino Dustin says.
Five lucky Central Florida families will receive four tickets each in a drawing on Orlando magazine’s FaceBook page. To enter the drawing, like the Orlando magazine and Jurassic Quest post on our page and tag a friend in the comments. Want to bump up your chances of snagging a four-pack? Tell us about your favorite dinosaur and we’ll give you another entry. Winners will be selected on Sept. 22. No purchase is necessary to win.
Tickets are available for purchase now online at jurassicquest.com and because we at Orlando think this experience is a must-see, our readers get a 20 percent discount with the use of code ORL20.
Orange County Convention Center, West Building, 9800 International Drive, Orlando 32819.
Friday noon-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tickets range from $19 for dino fans 65 and older to $36 for Kids Unlimited Admission, which gives kids 2-10 unlimited access to the experience. Souvenirs, a green-screen photo and face paint are not included and may be purchased onsite. Children under two are admitted free.