Dinosaurs in the Wild has been on our days out wish list since it opened earlier this year and knowing it was closing at the end of the summer holidays (2nd September), we booked in to see it this week as a surprise for the kids.
Dinosaurs in the Wild is located on West Parkside on the Greenwich Peninsula, about a fifteen minute walk from North Greenwich tube station, so do factor this in when booking tickets.
When you arrive you are invited to pop your bags and coats into a manned storage area so you don’t have to lug them around and take a comfort break as the experience lasts just over an hour.
Each tour has a time slot and when it is time to leave, you have a photo taken by a green screen and then enter the Chronotex Departure Lounge.
The thing that really struck me from the moment we walked in and throughout the experience, was how believable everything seemed. There was the story of Chronotex on the walls and even a huge diagram of the time travel process.
Once it is almost time to board, your host takes you through the safety procedures, which mostly involve telling us not to go outside, not to make eye contact with a dinosaur and that we have to wear our UV glasses when the shutters are opened.
We then boarded CTP Unit 01 which took us back in time 67 million years ago to Timebase 67.
We arrived back in time in mere seconds, with just a shake and a shudder and then had to make the short journey across the Cretaceous plains to the time base itself. It is here we first put on our UV glasses to admire some of the most awesome creatures ever to live as we headed towards the time base, with our guide pointing out all the different species of dinosaur – it really did feel like we were on a prehistoric safari.
Once we disembarked, we headed into the base itself.
Again, the attention to detail was out of this world and our guide talked us through what would be happening on our tour of the base, as well as pointing out things in the room, which we were then allowed to inspect more closely.
The TV screens on one of the walls showed CCTV images of what was going on both in and outside the base, with nesting dinosaurs etc.
Dotted around other walls were dinosaur sightings, a memorial to those that had lost their lives in the pursuit of time travel, company values and framed newspaper articles of their achievements.
It was then time to move into the main lab, where we got to learn lots of amazing facts about dinosaurs.
The kids got really involved in the lab and were positively encouraged to touch and experiment with things, even plunging their hands into piles of dinosaur poo to discover more about their diet and finding out about prehistoric bugs on the computer.
They also got to see the effect of adrenalin on a huge alamosaurus heart.
Attached to the lab was the another lab where they were performing the autopsy of a pachycephalosaurus to try to find out how it died and we got to watch on the autopsy cam as she found an egg in the ovum and inspected the creatures brain.
It was then onto the hatchery, where we got to see dinosaur nests filled with eggs that were waiting to hatch and even got to meet a newly hatched dinosaur.
Of course, no research station would be able to do any work without live dinosaurs and we got to meet some nocturnal animatronic dinosaurs in a dark room, before heading back into the light to meet some more, safely behind a cage of course.
We were also given an insight into all the safety equipment that they use to protect themselves and the dinosaurs from harm.
TimeBase 67 saved the best for last as we jumped into a lift to The Lookout, at the very top of the base.
It is hugely impressive space and we were unsure which window to look out of first as they raised the shutters.
The panoramic windows offer breath-taking views of the prehistoric life teeming on the Cretaceous plains outside but beware if you have sensitive children as they keep it as close to real life as possible. We were all cooing over a baby triceratops enjoying the lakeside views with its mum when a huge Kronosaurus leapt from the water and dragged it in. Its severed head then reappeared a couple of minutes later.
The kids thought it was great though and were completely unfazed by it, moving onto other windows to see raptors raising their feathers to scare off an allosaurus and a small group of T-Rex hunting down their prey.
Uh Oh!! Something is amiss and the dinosaurs are unusually agitated, attacking one of the rovers outside the window. It is time to evacuate the look out, but not before being eyeballed by a very large – and very angry – T. rex!
It was an absolutely brilliant experience. The actors throughout were amazing and brought the whole experience to life.
Dinosaurs in the Wild is only open until Sunday 2nd September, so hurry, you only have a few more days to book. Tickets cost £29.50 for adults and £26 for children with under 3’s free. The ticket price is reduced to £23.95 per person when purchasing a family ticket.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Dinosaurs in the Wild for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own