Fort Mill Times

Carowinds goes back in time for newest attraction, Dinosaurs Alive!

Maggie Harvey celebrated her 12th birthday Thursday at school in Clover. Her mom, Clover Town Manager Allison Harvey, spent the day at Carowinds.

Allison Harvey was among the hundreds of local officials, journalists and invited guests – plus their children – who came for a sneak peek at the Fort Mill-area park’s newest attraction, Dinosaurs Alive!

Carowinds opens for its 41st season at 10 a.m. today. Fireworks are scheduled for Saturday, dubbed eggluminations because of the park’s three-day Easter celebration.

Billed as the largest animated dinosaur exhibit in the Southeast, Dinosaurs Alive! spans 5 acres of the amusement park that used to be an “industrial looking” picnic area, said General Manager Bart Kinzel.

Thirty-two life-sized dinosaurs, many of which can be controlled by visitors, have replaced the picnic tables.

Some dinosaurs roar and move on command.

Others soar over the park.

The giant Ruyangosaurus is 40-feet tall and 60 feet from nose to tail. If you look at it from a right angle it appears Ruyangosaurus is ready to chomp on the 300-foot tall WindSeeker ride or a nearby roller coaster.

Don’t worry, though, Ruyangosaurus was a vegetarian.

The exhibit is a combination of scary and fun, said the children of all ages who walked the 1,000-foot trail through the display Thursday.

It’s an exhibit Allison Harvey said she plans to bring Maggie to. Harvey said her daughter is a not big roller coaster fan, but said she could find thrills among the dinosaurs.

The dinosaur experience is spilt into two parts. There is a 3-D movie that explains how the dinosaurs lived. The movie may be too scary from some younger children as the dinosaurs seem just inches away from viewers because of the 3-D effects. The movie is included in the park’s admission. The fee for Dinosaurs Alive! is $5 per person.