There’s nothing quite like stepping through the towering, massive gates of Jurassic World to see a brachiosaurus stretch its neck right in front of your eyes. It’s all very thrilling, but also a little terrifying, mostly because I am well-versed in what happens in every single Jurassic Park and World film. Will I make it out alive from this exhibition?
I did, by the skin of my teeth. A new exhibition has just landed in London, dedicated to all things dinosaurs from the Jurassic World series. As the trilogy came to a close in June with Dominion, which is about to be released on home entertainment, this is one last chance to bask in the glory of the T-Rex, also known as Roberta by the fans. Or maybe you (like myself and Dominion’s Mamoudou Athie) are more of a triceratops kind of person.
Past the gates, there is a vast “enclosure” which holds an impressive 16 life-sized dinos. They’re not real (obviously), but this is probably as close as you’ll ever get to feeling like Laura Dern in the original Jurassic Park when she encounters a sick triceratops and goes through its poop (something you can also try at the exhibition!).
While Jurassic World: The Exhibition will surely delight fans of the series as well as younger visitors (the exhibition is definitely more designed for kids and families than 30-year-old nerds like me), I don’t think I’ve ever seen an exhibition quite so tailor-made for the social media era.
The cast members, all wonderfully helpful, cheerful and committed to their roles, don’t waste time asking if you’d like a photo with the baby dinosaurs and remind you not to forget to share your experiences online. There’s very little to be learned from the exhibition, small screens with somewhat limited information about the various species of dinosaurs exist in the corners of the exhibition, but mostly, this feels like a photo opportunity.
And yet, I had a brilliant time. There is still wonder to be found when one encounters an enormous, prehistoric creature, even if it’s an animatronic one. The animatronics are impressively detailed, but the biggest let down was Blue the Raptor. It’s hyped to be a big attraction, but it’s played by a person in a suit, which is still impressive. Maybe there was a technical glitch, but Blue made no sounds and just hopped along her enclosure while a raptor trainer tried to make the situation seem tense.
Thankfully, the exhibition’s last attraction is the big girl herself, the T-Rex. It’s probably the most impressive dinosaur of them all and when Roberta roared for the first time, I could feel myself grinning uncontrollably.
At best, Jurassic World: The Exhibition is a dream come true for fans of the films, but it feels like a strangely passive thing to be a part of. It doesn’t give you any insight into the making of the films nor do you really learn much about dinosaurs. That being said, I would lay my life down for Roberta.
Jurassic World: The Exhibition is open from Aug 25 until November 3 and you can book tickets here.