Dinosaurs in the Wild
The entire experience lasts around 70 minutes, and a family of four can get tickets from £23.75 each. It’s worth every penny. It’s a wonderfully themed, well thought out attraction with a level of detail lacking in some permanent attractions.
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Last weekend, we were invited down to Dinosaurs in the Wild, which is a ‘pop-up’ attraction in London. Don’t let the notion of this being something temporary put you off, I’ll explain why!
Dinosaurs in the Wild is located in London, it’s just a 10 minute stroll from North Greenwich tube station. There are signs pointing you in the right direction, and dinosaur footprints to help you find your way. Eventually you find yourself outside a GIANT marquee, with ‘Dinosaurs in the Wild’ flags lining the perimeter. Once inside you’re ushered to a waiting area with a little coffee / soft drink bar and toilet facilities. The experience is a linear theatrical experience, once you’re in – you’re in. If you got little ones, it’s best to get them to pop to the toilet before you go in.
When it’s your allotted time slot, you’re collected from the waiting area, and taken to a queue line. Before the experience starts you can have a green screen picture taken (it’s available at the end for £10 printed, or £24 on a USB stick). Then you’re in!
The experience takes you into a slightly altered reality, where time travel is indeed possible. You find yourself in a departure lounge ready to time travel to TimeBase67. TimeBase67 is a research facility where scientists are studying dinosaurs in the past. You’re given ‘UV glasses’ (3D glasses) for the journey.
I don’t want to go into much detail about what happens, because it’s definitely best done ‘blind’. In essence, you travel back in time, and take a tour of the dinosaur research facility. This takes you through a selection ‘labs’ where you learn more about the dinosaurs. You’re led around by your tour guide, who stays with you through the entire trip. Ours was a chap called Matt. Along the way, you encounter further scientists, and doctors who talk a bit about their role in the facility.
As the story plays out, you begin to get the idea that things aren’t quite going to plan. It culminates in a finale, with a few elements of ‘mild peril’. I was slightly concerned how James might deal with this. I shouldn’t have worried – it’s pitched about right – it’s thrilling, but not terrifying.
Despite the temporary nature (it’s there until September) – Dinosaurs in the Wild feels very permanent. The audio visuals, lighting, and set design is like something you’d find in theme park. Also the actors inside are wonderful – they have very lengthy scripts to remember. They were also happy to take questions at every step of the journey. It’s slick, and professional.
I cannot recommend Dinosaurs in the Wild enough – it is a triumph. Don’t let the temporary nature concern you of the quality – just be concerned that you don’t have masses of time to catch it! The fusion of theatrics, special effects, technology and story-telling makes for something utterly compelling. We all loved it. I think if you have a younger child who is a bit sensitive, perhaps give it some consideration. Whilst the peril is very mild, you don’t want to terrify them! James took it all in his stride – he’s actually written a review too it’s below (there are a few spoilers in it!)
The entire experience lasts around 70 minutes, and a family of four can get tickets from £23.75 each. It’s worth every penny. It’s a wonderfully themed, well thought out attraction with a level of detail lacking in some permanent attractions. My only criticism is perhaps the gift shop (which, of course, you exit through) is that it’s a quite expensive. James’ notepad was £4.99, which was probably one of the cheaper items. There’s a good selection of Dino related goodies though.
If you can, I urge you to get there before it closes. As it’s close to the O2, you can make it bit of a day of it. We went to grab lunch at GBK and then took a ride on the Emirates Air Line too to finish the day off.