'it's a small world' at Disneyland Park

Vintage Walt Disney World: Digging up Adventure at Dino Institute

posted on April 11th, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


“Our tours are designed to take you to the early crustaceous period. And I can assure you that all Time Rovers have been securely locked on those coordinates.” Famous last words from Dr. Marsh, right?

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park brought the age of the dinosaurs back to life in 1998 when the Dino Institute in Dinoland, U.S.A., opened. Here’s a look at the Institute still under construction in October 1997.
“Countdown

Originally called Countdown to Extinction, this attraction takes guests 65 million years back in time to rescue an iguanodon from extinction. The attraction changed its name on May 1, 2000 in honor of the Walt Disney Pictures film “Dinosaur.”
“Countdown

DINOSAUR is one of two attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to open before the movie it was based upon premiered in theaters. The other is “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” based on the Disney●Pixar film A Bug’s Life.
“DINOSAUR

It doesn’t matter how many times I travel back in time on a Time Rover, I always believe Dr. Seeker as he screams, “You’re not gonna make it!” Luckily we do make it, and I’m still here to write about my adventures at the Dino Institute.

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Filed: Disney History, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

13 Comments 4 Replies

1

Scott on April 11th, 2013 at 10:54 am

An excellent attraction, and I’m glad I don’t have the on-ride photo from my first experience here because I was legitimately frightened (don’t startle me like that, dinosaurs!). But Countdown to Extinction was the superior name if you ask me!

 

Nate Rasmussen on April 11th, 2013 at 1:55 pm

My on ride photo is never pretty either. :)

2

Steven on April 11th, 2013 at 11:08 am

Got to visit DAK during the resort sneak preview in March of ’98. No question, Countdown to Extinction (as it was then called) was the best part of the day. We still laugh about the formulas on the pipes as you enter the ride; what a wonderful experience!

3

Chris from NC on April 11th, 2013 at 11:34 am

Loud, scary and awesome. We’ve ridden this many times, but my kids have yet to see it. Their eyes stay closed the whole time!

 

Nate Rasmussen on April 11th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Same goes for my Mom. Never opens her eyes!

4

Joey on April 11th, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Cretaceous Era, not crustaceous era. Crustaceous era sounds like a time where you could have all the crab, lobster and stuffed crust pizza you want.

 

Nate Rasmussen on April 11th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Thanks!

5

todd on April 11th, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Hands-down the scariest ride in any of the Disney parks. Truly amazing, the ride is so well designed. I prefer it to the Indiana Jones Ride (which is built on the same platform), because while Indiana Jones is exciting, the Dino ride will FREAK YOU OUT!

Can’t wait to ride it again.

6

Tony from CA on April 11th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

You know this ride I love. The rare two times i been to WDW 2007 and 2008 I would make animal kingdom and this my first ride. I just wish it was a little longer because it is so much fun, Hmmmm rocking dino lol

7

Tim on April 11th, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Is that photo the correct one? When this ride first opened it was Countdown to Extinction, not Dinosaur.

Also, I would love to see what a Countdown to Extinction Fastpass looked like if you had a photo available.

8

Andrew from FL on April 11th, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Did you post the wrong photo? The posted photo shows the completed attraction with its current name.

9

Mitchell from IL on April 11th, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Love that ride. We make a point to go on it at least once each trip to WDW. The big meatasaurous still catches us off guard!

10

Kyra on April 11th, 2013 at 9:34 pm

I am also viewing a current photo. I’ll check back soon to see if this changes, since I love this ride:)

11

Jennifer from NC on April 12th, 2013 at 9:21 am

I’ll add to the list of comments re: this being the wrong photo. Not only was the ride not called Dinosaur but the dino out front was different. I’d LOVE to see the right photo here Nate! Please please share! :)

 

Nate Rasmussen on April 12th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Hello, everyone. Yes, the other two pictures disappeared by accident. The post has been fixed. :) ,

12

Andrew from FL on April 12th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

@Jennifer from NC. I don’t think the dinosaur out front ever changed. We visted AK in 1998 when it opened. I remember being surprised two years later, when the Dinosaur movie was released, to see that the dino on display was none other than the star of the movie, Alador, the Iguanodon. Now I want to see the “vintage” photo even more!

13

Dustin on April 16th, 2013 at 8:03 pm

One of the more underrated rides at WDW, and the sleeper hit ride at AK. Excellent animatronics, special effects, detail. Just make sure you get ready to be jostled and rocked all over the place!

13 Comments