Dinosaur World, Florida

On the way back from a thing in Tampa in April of 2017, I had the chance to stop in at Dinosaur World in Plant City.   I’ve been meaning to write about it since then, and I am just now getting around to it.  (I know it’s been more than a year.  Shut up, I’ve been busy!)

This wonderful and adorable little attraction is just off exit 17 of I-4, a little bit east of Tampa.  I thought it was one of a kind, but I have learned that there are three of these parks, all owned and operated by the same family.  The park is filled with life sized dino sculptures by a man named Christer Svensson.  (I keep wanting to call him Christopher, but the oph is truly silent.)

The park itself is not terribly expensive, and it won’t take up more than a few hours of your day.  Even from the highway and parking lot, the dinosaurs are visible.

This next picture was actually taken inside the restroom.  I was super entertained that they even themed the bathrooms.

Wherever there are dinosaur sculptures, there are also educational signs explaining what you’re looking at.

::cute the Jurassic Park theme music::

Some of the dino sculptures are just freaking adorable.  There’s a mom-sized one to the left of this little fellow.

The walkways throughout the park are very nicely maintained, and there’s lots of shade.  It’s actually a very pleasant place to stop if you’ve been on the road for a while.

As with nature documentaries, however, there are occasional horror shows.

The T-Rex walk was one of my favorite bits, of course.  It reminded me of that bit in Futurama

There are also numerous photo opportunities throughout the park, which led to one of my favorite recent photos of me.

The sculptures are foam covered in fiberglass and then painted.  A few of them needed touch-ups to their paint but for the most part, the dinos were very well cared for.

There were lots of little showcases throughout the park of dino family groupings.

I particularly liked this one, because a) stegosaurus has long been one of my favorites, and b) it’s so cute when they stand up to get the tall leaves.

There was also a mastodon section, set away from the dinosaurs because chronology.

There was also a set of play areas for children, including a fossil dig and a boneyard that little dino-fans can climb through.  I think there was a picnic styled area where you could bring a lunch, but I’m not positive about that.

Near the main entrance, there’s a smallish indoor exhibit with a few animatronics.  None of the outdoor dinos moved on their own, but this group did.  It just made me miss Universe of Energy more.

Have you ever been to Dinosaur World?

Senckenberg Frankfurt – More Dinosaurs!

I’m really not much of a museum-goer.  I like some of them, to be sure, but not all of them.  I’ve talked before about the Deutches Museum before, and I probably mentioned the local historical museum here in Regensburg, but that’s likely it.

That being said, one surefire way for a museum to entice me to come inside is to put giant dinosaurs out front.  For example, the Senckenberg in Frankfurt.  Across the street from the front door, helping you find the way, is this fellow:

senckenberg01

…and in front of the main building is this friendly critter:

senckenberg02

Once inside, the style settles down a bit, but this is the sort of museum that has skeletons of things and has various animals represented.  There’s a giant hall with a T-Rex, a Triceratops, and some other well known dinos.

senckenberg03

The amount of animal life represented in the museum is staggering, and I could easily have posted a gallery of dozens of pictures, but I decided to represent the museum with three dinosaurs and an ancestor of man.  There’s a very nice area about the evolution of hominids with various hominidae skulls, and at the center, a rather nice display of Lucy the Australopithecus.

senckenberg04

You might consider this a small amendment to the ‘killing time in Frankfurt‘ post.  The museum is easily reachable by public transportation, and it’s a great way to kill a few hours in the city.

What type of museum do you like the most?  What’s your favorite museum?

A Perfect Day

I travelled into Munich on Saturday afternoon.  Compared to last weekend’s total bust of an Ingolstadt day trip,  this weekend’s trip resulted an absolutely perfect day.  It helps that I had a specific goal in mind.  I had acquired a ticket to see Dinosaurier: Im Reich Der Giganten.  I gave myself a little bit of padding time before and after the show, and that extra time is where the day became really successful.

It also helps that Munich is a vibrant and amazing city, with a lot of really cool stuff going on.  There’s so much cool stuff in Munich that even after repeated trips to the city, I’m still ticking things off my “Ooh, I’ve gotta see that sometime!” list.

I went a little bit early today with the intent of finally getting to see the Ruhmeshalle.  I had already seen Walhalla and the Befreiungshalle  (“Hall of Liberation”).  This is a sort of companion piece to the both of them, since they were all originally commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria.  I did make it to the Ruhmeshalle, but I could’t go inside because it was closed up- probably because most of the stairs were still iced over.  At least I got to see it, along with the statue of Bavaria in front.  I’ll have to go back there some other time, when it’s a little bit less icy.

Ruhmeshalle

Because I took a detour to an area of Munich I hadn’t seen on my way to the Ruhmeshalle, I got to see several other interesting things.  First of all, there’s this wacky staircase at the KPMG Building:

unpossiblestaircase_kpmg

Secondly, I got to see a random giant snail.  I have no idea whatsoever what this snail’s deal is, but I assume he’s related to the Deutsches Museum Verkehrszentrum, a part of the Deutsches Museum near Theresienwiese.  It’s a giant glass building filled with trains and planes and automobiles.  And at least one helicopter.    I really need to go back there sometime- I love things that go zoom.  Anyway, here’s the snail.  Doesn’t he look happy?

giantsnail

After my detour into giant snail and unpossible staircase-land, I went on to the dinosaurs that were my reason for going to Munich.  If you go to the Dinosaurier Live site, you can see some cool promotional video of the show.  My seats were way up in “sherpa guides and oxygen tanks” territory, but I still took a few pictures.  Click for bigger. (And a quick side note- remember the brontosaurus?  I miss that big guy.)

dinos_triceratops dinos_trex_anklyosaurus_trike dinos_stegosaurus dinos_pteranodan    dinos_brachiosaurus

I debated whether or not to include video clips, but the way they animate the dinosaurs is really quite amazing, so here’s two short clips.

By the time I came out of the Olympiahalle, the overcast day had given way to sunny and gorgeous, because springtime is banging at the door here.  My walk back to the U-Bahn took me right past the Olympiaturm, another place on my “I want to go there” list.   Since the skies had cleared up, and I had an hour to the next train back to Regensburg, I decided to hop in for a look-see.   There’s a restaurant up at the top of the Olympiaturm, and I’d like to eat there some time in the future.  I love restaurants in tall places.  (I’ve been to restaurants in the Skylon in Niagara Falls, the CN Tower in Toronto, and a few other super-tall places.  My love of dining in the sky knows no bounds.)  This is the Olympiaturm.

olympiaturm

Since the weather had cleared,the views from the top were amazing.  It still wasn’t clear enough for me to see the Zugspitze, but I’m ok with waiting until May to see that for myself.  In this picture, you can see the BMW complex.  You can also see the shadow of the Olympiaturm, which cracks me up.

highview

At the foot of the Olympiaturm, there is a pond.  And in that pond, the forces of Springtime were amassing.  And eating pretzels from all the passersby.  Ever seen a mallard duck trying to chew up a piece of pretzel?  It’s high comedy.   Aside from that, it was really quite lovely, though.  A perfect end to a pretty amazing day.

springtime

To top it all off, when my train left Munich, we passed an open field where four small deer were playing in the snow.  Seriously- a perfect day.

Tell me about the last time you had a perfect day.