Kings Dominion Dinosaurs Alive: A Real Richmond Review

We always learned in grade school that they were larger than life, but seeing them in actual-scale and literally larger-than-life was another story.

Sunday, my family and I were lucky enough to tour the brand-new Dinosaurs Alive attraction at Kings Dominion: thirty-six life-sized replicas that move, breathe, blink, and roar just like the real ones may have millions of years ago.

Walking through the shaded pathways (3,000 feet worth), dinosaur prints in the cemented sidewalks, it’s a calmer side of the park I’ve never seen before. At least until the sensors pick up on the little feet running ahead of me and a long, bumpy neck veers towards us, teeth bared. Located near the Grizzly, we found the six acres to be a dinosaur-y (is that a word?) delight.

Thinking I’d learned it all as a kid, I was amazed to see that there have been new dinosaur discoveries as recent as 2010, so many of

Look, mama, he's huge but has tiny arms! Photo Courtesy: moi

the names were new to me, and it’s always fun to be reminded of how much we still have to learn about our past. Example: Irritator. An actual dinosaur name. And here I thought it was what my middle child does when he constantly cries out “that’s not fair!”

"I will control you!" she says, sweetly.

The kids can activate sounds and movement on a few of the dinosaurs, swinging a tail or a head with the push of a button.

Even my sassy little gal, whom I was afraid would be scared to death of these big ol’ dinos, had a great time seeing them move at her fingertips.

My five and seven-year olds took several minutes to dig for bones in the sand while my ten-year old got a closer look at TRex and marveled at his “tiny arms and gigantic body!”  The incredible , ridiculously-smart guides walking around offering info was a plus: did you know that dinosaur poop is used in jewelry in some cultures?

This is one of those super-smart dinosaur factoid-dudes with the petrified dino poop. They don't tell you about this stuff in their brochures.

 If you’re lucky, you can catch a glimpse of said petrified poop. FANCY.

Thinking ahead to the sweltering summer days before us, it’ll be nice to swing back into this shady spot and visit our new (old) friends and learn a little more about ’em. Cost is $5/per person in addition to park entrance. Here’s some info on tickets and a few discount ticket deals.

The kids were chomping at the bit to get on every ride they possibly could during daylight hours, so we checked out the new Windseeker and just about everything in-between, except the water-rides (I’m way too wimpy to be cold in the April wind.)

Our new family member, and one pooped-out thrill-seeker.

We had to tear the kids away from the park as Monday brought school early in the morning, but not without an extra visitor in the backseat, our Rastafarian banana friend, won by my exultant ten-year old son.

Good thing we have third-row seats for that fruity fella.

Thank you to Kings Dominion for providing our tickets and tour to Dinosaurs Alive. We had a blast and hope that our readers can check it out soon, too.

To see a super-quick video from one of the aforementioned super-smart Dinosaur guides click here: