HINT: It’s not Universal. It’s not Disney. It’s not LEGO Land. In fact, it’s none of Florida’s major theme parks. But it is easily accessible from I-4 and makes a nice half day excursion, and one of their humongous T-Rex’s overlooks the interstate.
Welcome to DINOSAUR WORLD. Home of over 150 life size dinosaur sculptures. Paths meander throughout the grounds, sidled by low vegetation, palm trees, tall pines, and dinosaurs. Towering brontosaurs are the most impressive. T-Rexes look the most teethy. Hundreds of others hunt around for prey deep in the forest. I brought my three year old and he swears he saw real dinosaurs.
I went via a Groupon, the listed prices are too steep for me otherwise (an adult pass will run you $16.95). I think that money is generally better put towards a major theme park annual pass. But if you get the chance through a promotion, coupon, or Groupon it is worth going, especially if you have little ones. At the entrance to the park you are already greeted by dinosaur sculptures, sure to get excitable children squealing with delight. They’ll want to touch them and ride them and, in short, admire those monstrous and mysterious creatures.
Once inside the main doors you’ll be confronted by the gift shop. This is also where you purchase you tickets or exchange passes or coupons you may have obtained from elsewhere. I found the staff to be friendly and helpful. When the formalities are finished you are ushered through the other doors to another world.
There is a dinosaur themed playground near the front which is kind of fun. Picnic tables populate the sidelines. Yes, real live picnic tables–the park actually encourages you to bring in outside food. Which is a refreshing change of pace as I’m used to having to employ various tactics to sneak in food past theme park turnstiles. Anyways, here at Dinosaur World it’s wise to bring a lunch as they don’t have grab-and-go food stands or restaurants. There are a few more nifty attractions out there in Dinosaur World that I had stupendous fun with, but I figured it’d be more fun if you went in the explorer spirit and discovered them for yourself and your family.
This is one of Florida’s B-side attractions, entirely kitschy, totally unnecessary; yet it has its place along I-4, and if you live in the area, sooner or later, the curiosity is going to get the best of you and you will have to go in and check it out for yourself.
Take I-4 (from Tampa or Orlando, doesn’t matter). Take EXIT 17. Turn north onto Branch Forbes Road. Hang a left on Harvey Tew Road (it’s the first road on the left.). Dinosaur World will be on your left. Just head towards the giant dinosaurs.
Here’s the address if you’d rather use your GPS:
5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City, FL 33565.
Adults cost $16.95. Children 3-12 cost $11.95. Seniors (60+) cost $14.95. Children under 3 are Free.
For four more bucks kids can get some extra goodies, including access to a couple bonus activities. If you live in the area and really like Dinosaur World then you can get the annual pass. It pays for itself in two visits, plus it has pretty good discounts on other Florida attractions such as 50% off at the Florida Aquarium.
Active Duty Military gets in free with valid active duty ID. Dependents get $1 off.
Children get free admission on their birthdays. Proof must be provided, such as a birth certificate or insurance card.
Parking is free. Keep your eyes open for Groupons and coupons. Here’s a link to their website.