If you live in the Orlando and Tampa area, chances are you have driven past Dinosaur World numerous times on Interstate 4 but have you actually stopped by? Many people have not although I hear from everyone that they do want to stop by one day because the idea of dinosaur structures in a park is intriguing.
I visited Dinosaur World many years ago and had a fun time with my friends. It’s a simple park, so you have to take it for what it is. I recently learned that Dinosaur World was dog-friendly, so I jumped on the opportunity to visit again when my friend, Janie, wanted to go with her kids.
The family theme park opened in 1998 and has over 150 giant replica dinosaur sculptures. In 2012, they expanded the park and added a new museum, gift shop and playground area along with fun activities for the kids. I instantly noticed the renovations when I entered the parking lot with the upgraded grand archway with dinosaurs on top welcoming their guests.
We walked into the gift shop where we bought our tickets and Kuma was loving all the attention she was getting from the staff. It’s always fun bringing Kuma with me because she eats up all the attention and wiggles her cute little corgi butt. Plus, it wears her out to show off, so that means more nap time for her when we get home and more relax time for me.
We were given a map of the park and the staff explained to us some of the activities that were going on for the day. We decided to start with the the Dinosaur Trivia Game not too far from the entrance. Mike was the host of the game show and he was very energetic and knowledgeable about the dinosaurs. Even I learned a few things; i.e., there are no dinosaur bones in Florida because it was underwater at the time they lived.
After the fun trivia game, we walked around the park to check out all the dinosaurs. Most of the park is nicely shaded, so it’s a pleasant 1-mile walk in the lush Florida landscape. With that being said, make sure to bring bug repellant with you because there are mosquitoes around in the little pond areas. We walked across several small bridges and there was one area where you could buy food through a dispenser for the fish in the pond.
Along the way, we came across many cute photo ops like the dinosaur egg and dinosaur head, which is always a good time. There are a lot of dinosaurs I came across that I had never heard of, so it was a learning experience not only for the kids, but for the adults as well. For example, do you know what a Chasmosaurus looks like? If you do, bonus points for you! That’s pretty impressive.
On our last stop, we stopped by the Fossil Dig and playground area which the kids really loved. They especially loved the rock climbing part of the playground and I thought it was really cute how all the playground elements had a dinosaur theme to it. I know it’s a dinosaur theme park, but I like the extra effort they put into it. There are also many picnic tables in a shaded area near the playground area, so you can have a nice lunch there (which I saw several families doing) or just relax while you watch your kids have fun in the park.
We all had a great day strolling, learning and playing fun games at Dinosaur World. I think families and dog owners will really enjoy this place. If you don’t live in Florida, there are also two other locations in Kentucky and Texas as well.
ADDRESS: 5145 Harvey Tew Road Plant City , FL 33565
PHONE: (813) 717-9865
HOURS: Open Daily 9am to 5pm
ADMISSION: Adults $16.95, Senior (60+) $14.95, Children (3 -12) $11.95, Babies (2 & Under) Free