When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened in 1998, the park’s thrilling Dinosaur themed ride quickly become another one of my favorite attractions. Countdown To Extinction, as it was called at the time, took guests back in time in hopes of returning to the present with a live dinosaur.
Two years after Animal Kingdom’s opening, Disney released the film Dinosaur. Naturally they decided to use their already built dinosaur themed ride to promote the film. This brought about quite a few changes to the popular attraction.
- The attraction’s name was changed from Countdown To Extinction to match the name of the film. The new version of the attraction was simply called Dinosaur.
- Before the release of the film, a styracosaurus could be found outside of the attraction. This dinosaur was replaced by the star of the film, Aladar.
- Even the ride experience itself was altered due to the Dinosaur film. Disney felt that more children would be riding the attraction because of the alignment with the film. Therefore, the movement of the ride’s enhanced motion vehicles was modified to be a bit less intense.
- The attraction’s soundtrack was also modified in an effort to be slightly less scary. Carnotaurus‘ footsteps and frightening roar can no longer be heard directly behind the ride vehicle. Instead they sound far behind the vehicle in order to give guests the feeling they have safely escaped the terrifying dinosaur.
While Dinosaur is my favorite Animal Kingdom attraction, I still prefer the original Countdown To Extinction version of the attraction. In my opinion, Aladar and the other modifications to the ride make it a bit less intense than the original version. Although, considering the many children who visit this attraction each year, these changes were probably for the best.
Did you experience Countdown To Extinction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Let us know which version of the attraction you prefer in the comments below!