Jack, our 8 year old, is obsessed with dinosaurs. I don’t mean he enjoyed Jurassic Park and has a few stuffed Triceratops scattered around his room. He’s read-all-the-books, knows-all-the-facts obsessed.
We’ve taken him to quite a few dinosaur events. We’ve done dinosaur themed parks, we’ve seen the big animated robotic dinosaurs. So when we saw Dinosaurs In The Wild advertised we wondered if it would be more of the same.
They advertised it as the “Ultimate voyage of discovery” with “cutting edge audio visual effects”.
It sounded intriguing so we decided to book it. The event was at Event City at the Trafford Centre in Manchester and has plenty of free parking. You can always peruse the Trafford Centre itself before or after if you wanted to make a day of it.
The advert told us it wasn’t suitable for under threes so our two year old daughter went to Gran and Grandad’s for the day!
Tickets are £29.50 for adults and £26 for kids but if you’re paying for a family of four it’s £23.75 per ticket so it’s quite a decent saving.
We arrived around 15 minutes prior to our booking time and we were advised to encourage the children to use the toilet before entering as there would be no facilities inside the actual event.
When it was time to go through, the boys had their photo taken with a scary T Rex. OK it was actually just a plain green screen and the dino was added afterwards but we liked the photo so we bought it. Photos were £10 or £12 if you wanted a magnetic frame (we didn’t!)
We were then led to the “departure lounge” with three other families. There was a short video and info to read about the company who had “invented time travel”. Ben, our 6 year old drank it all in, but Jack was a bit more cynical.
“There’s no such thing as time travel, Mum.”
But as our guide started to talk and explain the safety procedures we had to all follow to ensure we travelled back in time safely, he started to believe. By the end of the event he was convinced we had travelled back to the Cretaceous period. This is not a boy who is easily fooled so this is testament to how convincing the whole event was.
From the time machine, to the laboratory with the pumping Alamosaurus heart, everything was done to perfection. Even the labelling on the blood…every detail was thought of.
There was the chance to feel dinosaur poo, to see eggs hatching and even a dinosaur autopsy!
The highlight was definitely the “lookout” at the end. Here we were able to look out of large windows and see dinosaurs in their own habitat. The children were told their 3d glasses were UV glasses to protect their eyes and all of them believed this. The 3D effect was like nothing I had ever seen. I was almost convinced myself! There was a big surprise at the end which I won’t ruin for everyone else but it was very well executed.
The tour guide, doctors, lab assistants etc all played their parts to perfection. I genuinely couldn’t fault it.
At the end you are led out to an interactive play area and toy shop where you could collect and buy your photograph from the beginning if you wished.
The event lasted around 90 minutes and we felt it was great value for money. The boys were convinced the whole thing was real and the looks on their faces was priceless.
I believe it will be in Manchester until January before moving on to London. If you’re interested in booking there’s more information here.