Carowinds Celebrates 40th Birthday Dino-Style

Posted by Andrea Shockling on Friday, April 5th, 2013

Dinosaurs Alive! at Carowinds

Did you know that deep in the wild jungles of North Carolina, dinosaurs are roaming free again? Well, there might not technically be jungles outside of Charlotte, but don’t tell that to the life-size animatronic dinosaurs featured in Carowinds’ new Dinosaurs Alive! experience. This five-acre walk-through tour of the Mesozoic is the largest dinosaur exhibit in the Southeast United States. It’s also the most significant new addition to Carowinds, a Cedar Fair amusement park celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The 32 dinosaurs in Dinosaurs Alive! were created by Canadian firm Dinosaurs Unearthed. Using “storytelling, science, and technology,” the company relies on the latest paleontological data to create a multi-sensory immersive experience for visitors that is also as scientifically accurate as possible. The dinosaurs move and roar as guests walk along the paths, and many are displayed in scenes based on real fossil evidence. From a “predator trap” to a massive flash flood to a pair of Tyrannosaurs stalking a Triceratops, the animal groupings in Dinosaurs Alive! are designed to provoke excitement and thought from visitors of all ages.

Dinosaurs Alive! at Carowinds

Guests are encouraged to take their time as they move through the self-guided exhibit, and there is signage providing more information about the dinosaurs on display. There are even two dinosaurs you can control yourself, so keep a look out for ways to enhance your interactive tour.

In addition to the animatronic dinosaurs, a fossil dig in the center of Dinosaurs Alive! will likely be especially appealing to children. “Junior paleontologists” can uncover dinosaur bones using shovels and brushes, and Carowinds and Dinosaurs Unearthed have put together an extensive educational packet available to teachers and parents looking to supplement their visit with follow-up lessons in the classroom. It’s not often that amusement parks go to this level of effort to provide learning materials that correspond to their attractions, but Dinosaurs Alive! is really part museum, part immersive theme park experience. The fossil dig and other components of the attraction will be staffed with guides to help answer any additional questions visitors have.

Fossil dig at Dinosaurs Alive!

With Dinosaurs Alive! in mind, Carowinds converted their 4D Action Theater back into a 3D theater for Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia 3D.  The theater has a newly installed Real 3D projection system and state-of-the-art sound, and the film itself explores some of the theories about what caused the dinosaurs’ extinction. To enter Dinosaurs Alive!, there is a $5 admission fee per person in addition to the park entrance fee, but the Dinosaurs movie is free for all visitors to Carowinds.

Dinosaurs Alive! at Carowinds

Dinosaurs Alive! is an exciting and educational addition to Carowinds theme park, and a fitting way to celebrate 40 years of family fun. It may pack a different kind of thrill than riding a roller coaster, but we bet visitors will scream just as loud when they hear that T-Rex roar for the first time.

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