Disney’s Dinosaur Attraction in Animal Kingdom: Countdown to Extinction

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Dinosaur e1569194817230

Disney's Dinosaur Attraction in Animal Kingdom: Countdown to Extinction

I absolutely love Disney’s attractions, including the thrill rides.  This week I want to bring you another attraction, Disney’s Dinosaur attraction in Animal Kingdom.  We have recently showcased a few other Disney attractions history and backstories, such as Everest and It’s Tough to Be a Bug.

Disney’s Dinosaur attraction is an original attraction to open with Animal Kingdom on April 22, 1998.  However, it wasn’t always called “Dinosaur” in fact, it was originally called “Countdown to Extinction”.  The original ride was an intense journey back in time when Dinosaurs once walked the earth.  If you have been on the attraction you know that it is a very bumpy ride as guests pass Dinosaurs on all sides of the Time Rover before coming face-to-face with a giant Dino that is seemingly ready to eat you.  But, believe it or not, the current Dinosaur attraction is a toned-down version of the Countdown to Extinction version.

Imagineers decided to tone-down the ride due to a soon to be released Disney movie, Dinosaur.  With the new movie being released, Imagineers felt as if more children would want to go on the ride prompting several changes to the ride.  The first change was to change the name to match the movie, the named officially changed on May 1, 2000.  The second change was to tone-down the ride, included in the tone-down process was the roaring of the dinosaurs as you passed by and the height requirement for the ride.  The original ride required guests to be 46″ tall to ride, now the ride requires travelers to only be 40″ tall.


At the start of the ride, guests hop into the Time Rovers to begin their journey to “Save the Iguanodon and get out!”.  These time rovers are called EMV’s or Enhanced Motion Vehicles.  Fun fact:  The full name of the Time Rover is the CTX Time Rover as a nod to the original attraction.

Disney's Dinosaur Attraction in Animal Kingdom: Countdown to Extinction

As guests are loading their CTX Time Rover take a look around at the underground facility you are currently in.  The pipes are painted red, yellow, and white and feature a chemical formula on them.  These formulas are the formulas of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.  This is due to the fact that Dinoland, U.S.A. was once sponsored by MacDonalds.

As guests begin their journey they will start to see Dinosaurs and smoke all around them creating a bit of a spooky feel to the ride.  WARNING: If you have not had a chance to ride this ride, this ride could be scary for young travelers.

The smoke throughout the attraction is created by a smoke machine.  Fun fact:  The smoke machine on Disney’s Dinosaur attraction is the largest smoke machine to be used in a theme park.  The dinosaurs throughout the ride are also extremely large!  In fact, they were the largest Audio-Animatronics made for a theme park.  Another fun fact: Some of the Dinosaurs are so large that Imagineers had to create their own foundations inside the building to get the correct height and weight of the Dinosaurs.

But not all of the Dinosaurs are exact replicas.  During the ride, there is one Dinosaur that does not look like the dinosaur it is modeled after.  The Carnotaurus featured on the ride is taller with bigger thighs and knobbier skin.  Imagineers joke they had made their own version of a Dinosaur called the “Carnotaurus robustus Floridana.”

Guests exit the ride pulling back into the unloading bay right before the asteroid hits, leaving guests out-of-breath and relieved to have made it back safely!

Do you enjoy Disney’s Dinosaur attraction at Animal Kingdom?  Or do you leave this mission up to other guests?

For more Disney attraction history and backstories, follow along at Disney Addicts.

Disney's Dinosaur Attraction in Animal Kingdom: Countdown to Extinction 1

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Jessica Jones