DinoLand U.S.A. is home to the land of animals that once were and one where you can find the third-largest collection of cycads in North America. What’s a cycad you ask? The cycad is a plant species that has been around since the days of the dinosaurs and conveys a sense of walking through their world while wandering DinoLand U.S.A.
The back story to this land centers on the Dino Institute, some great dig sites, grad students playing practical jokes and two guys named Chester and Hester. What it really means is a land where you can participate in your own dig of discovery in the Boneyard, take ride back in time on DINOSAUR, watch an amazing musical at the Theater in the Wild (currently Finding Nemo: The Musical) or just relax on the wacky midway Dino-Rama.
With a host of things to do there are also a host of shops to peruse for that favorite dinosaur-flavored swag. Or perhaps you have a dinosaur-size hunger? Then head over to one of the dining options in DinoLand U.S.A.
All cast members working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom go through an intensive animal training created by curators at the park. Originally a two-day session it provides a comprehensive introduction to the park, its missions and the animals so all cast members can answer basic questions for the guests. Other cast members at certain locations in the park (i.e. Conservation Station, Gorilla Falls, etc.) might be trained even more extensively in order to provide more in-depth answers about their charges.
Just outside DINOSAUR is a casting of Dino-Sue; the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton uncovered to date. Dino-Sue was an original attraction when the park opened in 1998.
The asphalt surface near Primeval Whirl is not asphalt at all. Just as Walt Disney learned on opening day of Disneyland in 1955, asphalt heats up and becomes soft in the hot sun, the Imagineers of Disney’s Animal Kingdom learned how to make their own asphalt without the gooey mess. It looks just like regular asphalt, with cracks and patterns that are similar to the real thing, yet this asphalt is hard as concrete…because it is made of concrete that has been cracked, treated, painted and more to come up with the final finish that is virtually indistinguishable from the original.