By Hayley Crandall
Triceratops, Spinosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex… Oh, my! These prehistoric creatures and others landed earlier this week at the Wisconsin State Fair Park for Dino Safari, a drive-thru dinosaur adventure.
Produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Dino Safari displays over 40 dinosaurs that come to life through realistic sounds and movements, all visible from the comfort of your own car.
An audio guide playable through car speaks accompanies the exploration as well. It sends visitors back in time to the lands before we knew them and teaches them about the habits and relationships of dinosaurs.
“It’s very, very educationally rich,” said Seth Dennis, the assistant general manager. “Just a very fun drive-thru.”
Every visitor also receives a “Survival Pack” which includes a scavenger hunt, coloring activity and various other surprises for an interactive experience throughout the park, the press release outlined.
“It’s just a very fun, neat little thing for the kids to do as you’re driving through to keep them engaged,” Dennis said.
The exhibit’s formulation was created with the guidance of a consult, paleontologist Dr. Gregory Erickson, in order to get achieve the most genuine experience for visitors, Dennis explained. Behind the scenes, Erickson worked with design elements and research to ensure accurate portrayals.
The hope is that families learn something new and leave feeling as if they took a trip to the museum but experienced from the safety of their car.
“We want them to walk away having learned something about dinosaurs and Pangea,” Dennis said. “We also want them to walk away feeling like they just had a museum-quality exhibit that they’ve driven through.”
COVID-19 guidelines are in place throughout the area, Dennis said. The drive-thru element helps cut down on interactions. Social distancing is still enforced, and staff members wear masks at all times.
Milwaukee’s Dino Safari opening day, April 18, saw the largest walk-up and day of sales to date for any opener, Dennis said. He attributes this popularity to people looking for a safe social activity, which this exhibit happily provides.
“I think it’s that people are desperate for something fun to come and do where they can be around other people and get that interaction,” Dennis said. “And at the same time, get a fun, educational experience and give the kids something to do. Everybody knows kids love dinosaurs. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like dinosaurs.”
Dino Safari is open until Sunday, May 2. Ticket prices begin at $49.95 per vehicle. All visitors are highly encouraged to buy tickets online before arriving, Dennis said.
Tickets can be purchased at https://dinosafari.com/