Disney's Animal Kingdom - DinoLand U.S.A.
To your far left is the Theatre in the Wild, where "Journey into
Jungle Book" a puppet and live action musical adventure based on Mowgli and Jungle Book is good entertainment.
On your near left is The Boneyard, a play-maze for all ages. All the sand that you dig out to uncover the
skeletons is put back nightly. Yes, this is where they did the 'dig' scenes from
the "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" episode filmed at Animal Kingdom (air date April 24).
But you want to head to your right, to Countdown to Extinction (CtX). Past an original AirStream trailer
that is parked beside Restaurantosaurus.
This is as close to an in-park McDonald's as you can get - it serves McDonald's Fries, Happy Meals and Chicken McNuggets but it's own hamburgers, hot dogs and sandwiches; and it has character breakfasts in the morning.
Head left after Restaurantasaurus, through the Countdown to Extinction entry gates and into the courtyard
and join the queue for Countdown to Extinction (CtX or CTE).
Note that by June 1999, the fountains have been replaced.
It's a non-descript exterior - it's supposed to look like today's typical museum, and the pre-show area
is themed as a typical museum dinosaur exhibit.
But they are really doing time travel to rescue the last remaining dinosaur, and you're in
the vehicle that is sent back.
CtX is modelled on the Indiana Jones ride from Disneyland California, re-themed to the Dinosaur adventure era. It will definitely give you lots of tossin' and turnin', and the anamatronics are well done. Watch for the dinosaur that chases your vehicle! You're in a time travel vehicle, sent back to rescue the last dinosaur.
We were fortunate that the crowds were very light for our preview day and were able to re-ride CtX many times. We noticed that there were some different audio tracks (each car has its own speakers). Prior to the official opening, CtX was revamped, and the storyline rewritten to be more understandable and more thrilling (see Andrew's descriptions in this site's index/home page). All in all, the ride was worth it initially, and the clearer story makes it even more worthwhile now!
Smile! There is a photo taken during the ride.
After you exit, heading to the right you will come to
Chester & Hester's Dino Treasures store
This dino-shoppers emporium is filled with all kinds of dino stuff - toys, models, souvenirs, clothing and unusual trinkets.
Very different, as we're finding out about Animal Kingdom.
Across from Chester & Hester's is a dinosaur exhibit tent with full size casts of skeletons and artifacts:
You'll also find live animals around DinoLand, like these Chinese Alligators
A roving performer truck entertains periodically in front of the boneyard.
On our tour, we crossed the bridge back to Safari Village, and took an immediate left to the Discovery River boat dock.
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You should have your map with you. DinoLand is on the lower right.