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“Total Rip Off”

Discover the Dinosaurs
Ranked #12 of 13 Fun & Games in Portland
Attraction details
Reviewed 9 February 2014

This was the worst "exhibit" ever. What a complete waste of time and money. Could have saved my money and taken my daughter to the dinosaur park 20 minutes from house for this. I'm so disappointed...over priced...nothing but dirty moonbounces with two hour wait lines. Not like they depicted in the commercials. Disgusted!!!!

6  Thank Treyhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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36 - 40 of 40 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2014

I heard radio commercials and saw a television ad that made this seem like a chance for kids and adults to have a great experience looking at dinosaurs and have some family fun. Well, all of that anticipation died a slow death upon arriving at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, January 12, 2014.

First of all, not one sign anywhere outside the Convention Center. Zero. Where to park? Which door to enter? Nothing.

Picked a door and went in to look for directions. Nothing. Zero. Followed people with little kids up an escalator and after a quarter mile walk, we found a line with about 300 people in it. Figured this was the line for the Security check so I went to the end. A person approached me and asked if I had pre-purchased tickets. I said yes, they are on my iPhone. He said I had to go to the end of the line. I said I thought this was the end of the line. He pointed outside through the glass doors. We went outside to wait with (no exaggeration) about 5000 other suckers. it took 95 minutes to work our way to the actual "event". We were hustled through the door into a maze of black curtain backdrops and some rubber covered machines, a few of which moved slightly and growled. Picture taking was difficult as multiple people would run in front of you or stand in front of your kid.

The first area is where the dinosaurs are and it took about 12-15 minutes to walk through and see everything there was to see. It was pretty crowded and uncomfortable, but the "best" was yet to come. We passed through a black curtain doorway into the larger area and a virtual sea of people. To our left was about a quarter acre store of cheaply made, overpriced dinosaur themed, useless stuff. My kid was focused on the bouncy houses off in the distance so I avoided the store altogether. As we approached the play area, I noticed the lines. Probably at least an hour for every attraction. About 4-5 bouncers and three mechanical dinos to ride. This, 15 minutes after standing on concrete for 90 minutes just to get in.

Of course my daughter wanted to do everything, but I knew riding a T-Rex was one of two things she had talked about all week, so we went to that line. Half an hour into the wait she was sitting on the floor. After an hour wait, she got to ride the T-Rex which was about the size of a small horse and growled. She was happy. I was doing a head count and calculating how much these scammers were making off the crowd of disgruntled parents. There was an air of resentment I have never felt from such a large portion of any crowd.

The other thing she wanted to do was use a brush to dust sand off of dinosaur bones like a real paleontologist. They had about three 4' x 8' sandboxes with plastic skeletons glued to the bottom, covered by about a half inch of sand that the kids brushed back and forth onto each other. At least 15 kids surrounded each sandbox, sadly waiting for one of the four cheapie throw-away paint brushes that were provided for this family-fun event. Most had about half of the bristles worn away. My daughter waited for 12 minutes before she got one. It was sad to see the look of disappointment on the kids faces while they waited for a brush. Seriously, the promoters should have spent $75 and bought 100 of these at Home Depot.

After that, there was nothing else to do that wouldn't cost extra money. I read in a Yelp review that people waited 30 minutes to buy a $8 bag of rocks to run through a sluice like they were miners. What did that have to do with dinosaurs I will never know.

So, after being on site for 4 hours, 3+ hours of which was standing in line on hard concrete floors, I decided it was time to leave. I got no complaints from my 9 year old. She wanted to sit down somewhere, anywhere. The whole experience was less a dinosaur experience than it was a replication of the old Soviet Union with a line to buy bread and a line to buy sausage and a line to buy milk. People got in lines and sent someone to see what the line was for, just like in Mother Russia.

To me, the money wasted wasn't the big complaint. This event is sold as a family fun and educational experience. My kid enjoyed the T-Rex ride and couldn't care less that it cost Daddy about $100 including parking and lunch and took 4 hours. The reality is that it is a few rubbery dinosaur robots with very little educational content. I didn't see any event personnel other than the harried ticket checkers and the ride operators. Absolutely no interaction with the kids. No learning experience.

Discover the Dinosaurs left me feeling used. It was like the carnival flyers that promise Games, Prizes, Showgirls only to leave the bumpkins broke, disappointed and remorseful. I think a trip to the Natural History Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits would be a better use of your time. I felt stupid that I didn't read any reviews for this before I went because my daughter really wanted to go. I just hoped for the best but I don't feel that the promoters aim that high.

This morning I searched on-line and was shocked but not surprised by the negative reviews posted in every city this event has appeared. There really isn't any value for the money spent and the conditions are unpleasant to put it mildly. Long lines for everything, little in the way of educational content, loud and crowded conditions. Music that sounds like every female singing competition show contestant blasting over the cries of bored children. Shoulder to shoulder. People trying to cut across the multiple lines. People struggling to push strollers through the crowd. Not much to actually do for anyone, regardless of age. Nothing for adults or really small kids.

They should stop advertising this as an educational and fun experience and show some video of the poor suckers standing for hours in line to see not much of anything. For me the best part of this show was walking out the door and heading for the snack bar before heading home. I felt like I was freed after being trapped in a mine cave-in. After being fleeced by these carnies, the snack bar at the Convention Center seemed like a bargain. $5 for a slice of pizza? Thank you, at least I got something for my money and a place to sit down!

27  Thank SoCalArt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2014

Do not go to these events and waste your money. It was horrible. Long lines, expensive, they make you pay more after you and in and actually your kids to play on anything. Held in a hot smelly warehouse.

5  Thank Ripple29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

This is by far the worse "convention" I've been to. Complete false advertisement. Took my kids, niece & nephew only to have them stare at a complete mess. Bounce houses that were filthy and chaotic. Don't bother going. $150 flushed down the drain. In total you will see 7 dinosaur replicas and the rest is bounce houses indoors that require a 1/2-1 hr wait. Face painting, fossil digging, and Dino rides are an extra fee not included in the VIP pass that was purchased. Not worth it in any city...

8  Thank Jessica E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

This is a touring show of Dinosaurs, currently in Miami Beach. It is the single worst thing I have ever taken my daughter to. It was way over priced, and the lines were intolerable. It was hour after hour, not only to get in, but also to go on any "rides". I quote it since there were no rides, only dirty jumpy rooms and slides. This is a complete racket. Do not go, don't even think, well this person is too critical. It is that bad.

9  Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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