Growing up in the Tampa Bay area, I remember on several occasions driving past Dinosaur World.
As a kid, I begged my parents to take me, but I never went. As I grew up, I started to see what my parents saw- a sad looking pair of dinosaur figurines off of I-4 with a very dated sign. But when I was little, I LOVED dinosaurs and didn’t see what they saw in the interstate T-Rex. Chase, my son, has recently become interested in dinosaurs, and I decided that I was going to take him. I went in with the expectation that I would not see the magic in Dinosaur World, but his almost 3-year-old imagination would take off in the park.
Once parked, you enter and purchase tickets through the gift shop.
Adults are $20, but children under 3 are free. The door behind the cashier counter leads to the park.
Upon entering, you are met with several large dinosaur figurines. Their size is impressive, and Chase was immediately overwhelmed with joy and excitement. He took off running towards all of the statues, pointing and screaming, “Mommy, dinosaur! TOO BIG!” I wish I had it on video, because it was adorable.
To the left hand side of the entry are 2 playgrounds- one for smaller kids and another for bigger children. The playgrounds were pristine and well maintained. Frankly, these were probably some of the best kept playgrounds and yards that I have ever seen. As expected, here was no shortage of dinosaur themed equipment. However, what was unexpected was the wealth of covered picnic table areas connected to the playgrounds. The tables were sealed wood, so they remain clean and unaffected by the elements. This area was a very comfortable accomodation for parents needing to take a break while the kids run wild.
Once we had our fun at the playgrounds, we headed off to the Dinosaur Walk.
This is the main attraction of Dinosaur World. I was floored at how well done the figurines were and how beautifully kept the boardwalk and landscaping were. Dinosaur World maintains plant life that would be period appropriate for the dinosaurs, and the resulting effect is incredible. I didn’t expect to be wowed by the park, but I was pleasantly surprised!
In addition to the dinosaur walk, there are several other side experiences you can have in the park.
This includes a Woolly Mammoth area, a gem excavation site, an animatronics museum, a “Bone Dig” sandbox for the kids, a giant puzzle, koi fish feeding, and so much more. We spent hours at Dinosaur World and still hadn’t experienced all it had to offer.
Do I recommend Dinosaur World?
Yes, very highly! Especially if you have children under 12. However, this place is pure magic for any dinosaur lover regardless of age.