Jurassic Park helped to stir dinosaur fever in the minds of kids and adults alike. Then the BBC series "Walking with Dinosaurs" showed a different side of the ancient creatures with computer animation and animatronics, making the dinosaurs seem more real than ever. Now, your family has the chance to see lifelike animatronic dinosaurs of all sizes and shapes from the comfort of a seat at the Wachovia Center in Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular.
Working with scientists, artists created 15 lifelike and lifesize dinosaurs that roam the stage, including everyone's favorite terror, Tyrannosaurus rex. The animatronic dinosaurs walk, roar, and compete with each other for survival and supremacy. An actor portraying a paleontologist guides your journey through the planet's history and the dinosaurs' time on Earth, giving heaps of history lessons to the audience. The real entertainment is watching the giant dinosaurs lumber onto the stage such as the huge Brachiosaurus, one of the largest animals ever to walk the planet, who stands 36 feet tall and is 56 feet from head to tail. Smaller dinosaurs are played by people in elaborate costumes, creating an interesting dynamic between the large, lumbering creatures and the faster ones below their feet.
Although the suggested age for the show is three and over, the younger set doesn't seem to be afraid of the giant beasts. At one moment, the impressive adult T. rex lets out an intimidating roar only to be followed by a baby T. rex trying to imitate its mother, giving a bit of comic relief and an aww-factor to the audience. The roars of the dinosaurs are loud, so keep that in mind for your own child's temperament. There is no violence, but expect to hear loud earthquakes, volcanoes, comets hitting the Earth, and the rebel yell of many dinosaurs.
This show is part museum exhibit, part zoo, part theater, and all fun. It is the closest you will come to personally experiencing what it was like to walk with dinosaurs when they ruled the world. Unlike Jurassic Park, you won't be lost on an island and running from velociraptors. This is Philadelphia, after all.
Wells Fargo Center