Dinosaurs In The Wild is the new creation from Primeval’s Impossible Pictures amongst others, and it is with great excitement that I had a chance to check out this time-traveling, immersive adventure set in the heart of the Greenwich Peninsula in London. Strap in, and get ready for a journey back to the Cretaceous period!
Our journey into the past begins in 2018 – at a Chronotex facility where a massive time-machine has been constructed to send large vehicles (referred to as ATVs) into the past. The machinery here was beautiful – with lots of buttons and gizmos making the large machines feel incredibly immersive. I was genuinely in awe – this felt like the level of themed value you would get at a theme park such as Universal Studios. The attention to detail went even further – with Chronotex branded supply crates and barrels dotted around, and logos adorning the walls – fully immersing you within the world around you. Videos playing on screens, and infographics on the walls provide some insight into how the company of Chronotex within this fictional world have been able to create technology which allows you to travel into the past. These subtle details are incredibly well done – and whilst I would have perhaps enjoyed more time to take them in, the time we get is enough to take them in. It is here that we were also introduced to one of our two tour guides – Johnathan, who escorted us throughout our journey into the Chronotex facility found in the past.
From here we are treated to a journey inside a simulated ATV which features an incredible 3D screen at the front showcasing the Cretaceous environment outside. Here we are treated to Alamosaurus, Dakotaraptor, Ankylosaurus, Triceratops and more all outside in the beautiful landscape. Impossible Pictures and the other members of the team involved in creating the graphics here really have created a master class in creating immersive, and realistic 3D. This is by far the best graphics work I have ever seen – far surpassing the CGI we see in Jurassic World, which is by no means bad. Having recently watched Walking with Dinosaurs which the team also worked on, and being a long-term fan of Primeval, it is truly incredible seeing how far their models have come. Some time was clearly invested in creating authentic, realistic models here – and that investment really pays off. The section of time within the ATV feels quite lengthy, and is complimented nicely by commentary from the Tour Guide during the tour. As we arrive at Timebase 67, the Chronotex facility in the past, we disembark out vehicles and are treated to an incredibly real experience.
From here on out, the experience becomes a lot more grounded – and a lot more immersive. Whilst I don’t want to spoil everything, we get to travel through Laboratories, see a Pachycephalosaurus go under autopsy, and even meet and interact with a baby Triceratops and Ankylosaurus – all before heading to the climax of the show – the viewing area. During the process here, we are treated to different dinosaurs such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex, here in its full feathered glory as science has proven it would appear. We are also treated to the marine reptile Mosasaurus – which many Jurassic World fans will be happy to see here. In a charming set-piece which involves live-action actors, real and immersive environments and incredibly well integrated 3D components, things with the tour quickly go wrong and we are forced to evacuate back to 2018, where we came from. I would love to go into more details on how this unfolds, but it is truly something that you need to experience for yourself. The twist included is refreshing and unexpected – but is also well built-up towards and hinted at throughout the tour.
All the elements of this tour feel incredibly well done – with some serious time put in to making the tour as interactive and informative as possible. Elements of the laboratories become interactive – and it was wonderful seeing some of the younger visitors on the tour fully-immersed in the science behind these Cretaceous creatures. Furthermore, everything felt very well explained – from the justification of 3D glasses being needed to protect us from the enhanced levels of UV light in the Cretaceous atmosphere, to the idea that non-lethal options are always used where possible to avoid damaging the past. This attraction truly feels like a master-class in blending fun and adventure with scientific information – and the result is a fantastic attraction for all ages. At just £20 per ticket for the preview event, and £29.50 for the full event starting in the week, this truly is a steal. If you have children who love dinosaurs, or if you yourself are a fan, then you will not be disappointed with this event. I know I am planning on heading back with some members of the Jurassic community – it was just that good!
As a UK fan, I’ve always seen my friends in the US enjoying Universal Studios, and more recently, Jurassic World: The Exhibition. We have Jurassic World Live fast-approaching, but in the meantime, Dinosaurs In The Wild truly is the dinosaur fix us UK fans need – and deserve! I cannot recommend this event enough. I’d like to take a moment to thank Jonathan and Gavin – our two tour guides across the day. Live events can often be lost in the acting, but our guides, alongside various scientists and members of staff we met, delivered a consistently great performance – and it was that performance that made the event more believable and immersive I feel. This is a great idea for an attraction – and it’s an idea which is executed with extreme class. If you have always longed to get up-close with dinosaurs, then this is the event for you.
You can learn more about Dinosaurs in the Wild HERE!
You can also learn more about Impossible Pictures and their work HERE!