Top 5 Picks for Dinosaur Fans at Disney World

Rides, events, and attractions that appeal to fans of prehistoric creatures

From the thrills of Dinosaur! to the tasty eats at the T-Rex Cafe, Disney World is a haven for dinosaur lovers of all ages. No matter how old your dinosaur enthusiast is, you'll find something fun to do on your next Disney vacation.

Dinoland U.S.A in Disney's Animal Kingdom offers the most concentrated area of rides and attractions for dinosaur lovers, but you can find friendly (and a few not-so-friendly) dinos all over Disney World if you know where to look.

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    Dinosaurs combine with carnival games at DinoLand U.S.A. in Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. A boy is interested in the shooting game.
    ••• Karon Flage/Contributor/Getty Images

    Originally named "Countdown to Extinction," this frantic, fast-paced ride hurls riders back in time — 65 million years back in time, to the days of the dinosaur. Travel amongst the dinosaurs as you try to get back home (and avoid extinction). Some of the dinosaurs you meet are friendly, while others see you as a tasty snack.

    When "Countdown to Extinction" opened, it was a very rough, jostling experience. While the newly badged "DINOSAUR" is a little more rider friendly, it is still an intense experience. If you are traveling with little dinosaur fans, consider taking advantage of Disney World's rider switch program and explore other parts of DinoLand U.S.A. while you wait for your turn to ride.

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    The Boneyard
    ••• Michael Gray/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Climb, dig, run and play at The Boneyard, a Dinosaur-themed playground in the Animal Kingdom's Dinoland U.S.A. This play area features slides of varying heights, rope nets for climbing and an archaeological sandbox dig. Kids under 10 will adore the Boneyard; this is also a great spot for mom or dad to get a workout!

    Note: While the climbing nets and ropes easily hold an adult, the largest slide is a very twisty — if you are over 6 feet tall, the way down will be a little cramped.

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    T-Rex Restaurant - Downtown Disney
    ••• Josh Hallett/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Drop into the T-Rex Cafe in Downtown Disney to experience prehistoric environs of all types. See dinosaurs embedded in ice, frolicking in fire or swimming through turbulent seas.​

    You will need a reservation to dine in the T-Rex Cafe, but the retail shop and activities are worth a visit even if you can't get a reservation. The T-Rex Cafe is easy to spot once you are in Downtown Disney, just look for the huge T-Rex bursting from the front of the building!

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    Nestled in the heart of Dinoland U.S.A. you'll find one of the most toddler-friendly attractions in Disney's Animal Kingdom, the TriceraTop Spin. This ride is a clone of the intensely popular Dumbo ride ​and is sure to delight the smallest dinosaur fans in your group. This is a great spot to spend your "child switch" time while you wait to ride "Dinosaur!"

    Note: This ride is in the direct sunlight, so ride in the early part of the day if you visit Disney World in the summer months.

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    While most of the dino-action is at the Animal Kingdom, don't overlook the Ellen's Energy Universe in Disney's Epcot theme park. Don't let the pavilion's space-age look fool you, the Universe is packed with dinosaurs and teeming with pterodactyls. While this attraction is open to all ages, the dinosaurs themselves may be a little intense for the younger set.