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Dinosaur or DINOSAUR, formerly known as Countdown to Extinction is an attraction in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

History[]

Backstory[]

In this attraction, guests are brought into the headquarters of the Dino Institute of Diggs County, Florida. Thanks to their subsidiary ChronoTech, the Institute has achieved time-travel technology in the form of the CTX Time Rovers. While primarily used for biological studies, the institute allows for guests to be sent on tours of the Mesozoic era for additional revenue.

Your group is one of these tours under employee Dr. Grant Seeker. However, Seeker hijacks your time-rover to send you back minutes before the Chicxulub meteor impact on a mission to retrieve an iguanodon that the Dino Institute had probed and tracked. You are subsequently sent on a mission to the peak of the KT Extinction Event to save the iguanodon from extinction for study.

Development history[]

The Dinosaur attraction was originally conceived as a dinosaur safari attraction which would repurpose the ride-vehicles and track layout created for Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye in Disneyland's Adventureland. The Walt Disney Company's chief executive officer Michael Eisner arranged for the attraction to be developed at the same time in the upcoming film Dinosaur (2000). These productions influenced one another with notable changes resulting from the film including the planned main-antagonist Tyrannosaurus rex being opted out for a fictionalized Carnotaurus and the role of Aladar the iguanodon having been originally planned for a styracosaur.

In the year 2000, the attraction's name was changed from, "Countdown to Extinction" to DINOSAUR as a means of tying into the film Dinosaur's release. Amongst the minor changes made to the attraction for this was the statue of a styracosaur outside the Dino Institute being replaced with a statue depicting Aladar from the film. Up until 2008, the attraction was sponsored by the McDonalds company.

Summary[]

Guests enter the museum headquarters of the Dino Institute where they pass through several exhibits explaining paleontological history. In the queue is an educational dialogue by Bill Nye the Science Guy along with screens showing a recreation of the Chicxulub meteor impacting the Earth, resulting in the mass extinction of 75% of Earth's life. After this, guests enter a large room with several fossils and a model of Chicxulub hitting the earth, all around the skeleton of the fictitious dinosaur Carnotaurus Robustus Floridaensis.

Guests go on to enter a theatre-room where a video hosted by Dino Institute president Dr. Helen Marsh who explains the Cretaceous tours on which they will be sent on. This transmission is interrupted by the eccentric Dr. Grant Seeker who explains he wishes to send guests to the late Cretaceous to pick up an iguanodon that a previous expedition had tagged. Dr. Marsh shuts this idea down due to the obvious dangers that this mission would bring but after she leaves, Seeker hacks into the time rover's computer to send guests to the Cretaceous anyways.

Guests proceed to a lower level of the institute where they board their Time Rovers and are sent back in time to a dark and stormy night in the jungles of Cretaceous Florida. Guests are accompanied by the voice of Dr. Seeker along with a computer built into the rover. The rovers pass by a styracosaurs uprooting a tree near a volcanic vent, an alioramus swallowing a brachychampsa whole, and a mother parasaurolophus with with her young. Following this, guests encounter a lone velociraptor perched on a rock that attempts to chase guests as they speed forwards, homing in on a signal believed to belong to the iguanodon.

After rushing through the jungles, the rovers halts to a full-stop in-front of a massive Floridian Carnotaurus. The Carnotaur lunges at guests just as Seeker realizes its threat to guests and rushes the rover along. After this, the rover comes to a stop near a leaning saltosaurus eating plants only to continue forwards due to the oncoming meteor shower. Guests rush by two squealing baby cearadactylus before an adult cearadactylus passes over their heads. Fragments of hot rock start to fall from the sky around guests as they pass under a branch with panicked compsognathus passing over their heads.

The rover starts to slow down due to a loss of traction only for the Floridian Carnotaurus to emerge from the jungles, chasing after the rover. Seeker quickly shifts the rover to four-wheel-drive as the meteor strike is imminent and fiery debris falls from the atmosphere. The rovers only find themselves once again confronted by the carnotaurus, now at full height as Seeker decides to abort the mission. The rover only then happens upon the iguanodon which they were looking for as it holds up a log which the rovers pass under to escape the carnotaurus meanwhile green lights show the computer scanning the animal. Seeker tells the computer to ignore the iguanodon due to the Chicxulub meteor being seconds away from hitting the planet. As the time travel sequence is activated, the sky flashes as the booming sound of the meteor can be heard and the Carnotaur lunges at the rover.

The rovers proceed into the time-travel hall as Seeker exclaims, "They're not gonna make it! They're not gonna make it!" only to be surprised by the guests being alive and well inside the Dino Institute. Seeker then reveals that the iguanodon also made the passage to present-day as security footage shows it wandering around the institute. Seeker thanks guests for their assistance before they are let out of the time rovers.

Connections[]

Disney Springs[]

A poster for the Dino Institute in the town of Disney Springs with a message from Dr. Seeker that is asking for assistance in finding Aladar's whereabouts is present on the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail. The message also conveys that he is keeping the iguanodon's escape a secret from Dr. Marsh.[1]

Up[]

Several of the missions in the Wilderness Explorers game pertain to the Dino Institute which is the organization responsible for the attraction. Of note there is the Dinosaur Badge has guests assisting in excavation within Diggs County's, "Boneyard". It is likely that the Institute was affiliated in some way with the Wilderness Explorers organization.

References[]

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