{Review} Jurassic World: The Exhibition

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What is it about dinosaurs that captures the imagination? Is it the size? The incomprehensible time that’s passed between them and us? The glimpses we get by peering back in time through what they’ve left behind, millions and millions of years ago? I don’t know. But inspire the imagination, they do.

We were lucky enough to be invited along to the opening of a new exhibition that the Melbourne Museum will be hosting until October, Jurassic World: The Exhibition, last week.

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As they spoke of all the people it takes to bring an exhibition like this to life, it was clear that most of those involved had, at some point, had their imaginations taken by these prehistoric creatures. Whether it was the Melbourne team that created the animatronic wonders, or the Museum team, inspired to bring us as close to the real thing as possible.

And it showed. The exhibition itself is based on the movie Jurassic World, which I’ll admit I’ve not seen. I saw the first one (Jurassic Park), all those years ago, but like a lot of parents, catching movies isn’t something that’s high on my priority list when it comes to choosing between that and getting to bed at a reasonable time.

However, it didn’t really matter. The exhibition takes you on a bit of a journey, and it’s all pretty self explanatory, so don’t stress if you haven’t seen the movie. You’ll still enjoy it. Because it’s pretty awesome.

The dinosaurs are simply amazing. Their life-like movements, look and sounds draw you in and have the ability to suspend reality for just a little while and take you back in time.

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For us, Poss found most of the exhibition enjoyable. There was lots of things to touch, to explore and get involved with. It’s not a static exhibition, the kind where you stay behind a red rope and gaze from afar. There’s lots for the kids to get their hands into; stimulating the senses.

There was only one part that she really struggled with, hiding behind me and crying, and that was the Tyrannosaurus Rex section. It’s pretty full on. You’re set up before you go in, and told that the dinosaur has broken the paddock boundaries, and from that alone you know you’re going to be faced with something scary.

However, as one person in our group said, the layout is a bit like the dinosaur version of Ikea – you can really only walk forward through a winding path; there’s no obvious way to go back or skip a section.

So we went in. Stress levels high. It wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be (simply from the build up), but Poss was terrified and as soon as they opened the doors, she shot through into the next section.

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From a sensory perspective, it would be great if the Museum was open to doing a sensory session for those on the Spectrum. Maybe with less mood lighting, volume turned down just a bit? And the opportunity to back-track if it’s all too much? Some sort of social story, explaining each section so kids could prepare before hand would have been good too. All feedback which I’ll pass along to the Museum – for whatever that’s worth.

Meanwhile, if you’re thinking about heading along, I’d recommend trying to pick a quiet time (although with school holidays upon us shortly, maybe wait a little while) so your kids can take their time in each part and really soak in the experience.

If you’ve got a dinosaur lover, then this is a ‘not to be missed’ experience. If for no other reason than it will capture your imagination, suspend reality for a few minutes and take you back in time to a land of dinosaurs. Even just for a little while.

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  1. Unfortunately as much as we love dinosaurs it was a bit much, the expense only to be sardined with a hundred other people all crammed to see only a handful of dinosaurs. I think they should have only allowed a certain amount in at once rather then everyone, my daughters felt the stress at being crammed rather then enjoying the atmosphere. I can’t remember seeing the Veliciorapters their at the exhibition?

    • Oh I’m sorry to hear that… We were put through in small groups, and even then it was a lot to process. I’m hoping that once school holidays finishes that we’ll be able to go again when it’s a bit quieter. The Veliciorapters were out the front on the night we were there… Assume they were packed away? A shame that you guys didn’t enjoy it as much as you’d hoped. x

  2. Thanks for writing the review! I was just curious how long did it take you to get through the full exhibition?

    • Maybe about 45 minutes or so, but we did get moved through as we were there as part of a big group. It would be good to go back and spend a bit more time!

  3. Kate Thomson says:

    A most under whelming exhibition.
    I couldn’t believe we had come to the end of it
    when confronted with the merchandise shop!

  4. This would have been a really neat place to visit! I remember going to a few dinosaur museums as a child, which I loved. Are you planning to go see the new Jurassic Park movie this month?

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