I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on Facebook and Instagram, as well as less-than-stellar reviews from fellow influencers and bloggers who weren't blown away by Jurassic Quest 2020... So I'm going to do my best to breakdown the experience for you so you can decide for yourself whether you want to make the drive and spend $49 on the event.
First, the facts:
Jurassic Quest is running now until July 12 at Fair Park in Dallas.
It is $49 per vehicle to enter the event.
The event opens at 9 am and closes at 8 pm. When you purchase tickets, you will choose which time you would like to attend.
Allow 1.5-2 hours to get through the line and the experience.
There are souvenirs for purchase but no food. Bring snacks!
There are port-a-potties on site.
There are additional activity kits available for purchase online.
You remain in your vehicle the entire event- which means no one gets to complain about the heat because of the air conditioning!
There is an optional free digital photo at the end.
We pulled up to Jurassic Quest at about 9:15 am on Sunday morning and were surprised to see how many cars were already in line. But the line moved quickly! We left the Fair Park parking lot around 11 am, and that included a potty stop before we headed back to Arlington.
We plugged my phone into our minivan speaker and enjoyed listening to the guided audio tour. The narrators tried to make it both fun and educational (my girls loved when someone "broke in" to the broadcast to announce the T Rexes had gone missing...) The dinosaurs were spaced out quite a bit so cars wouldn't pile up too much and prolong the drive-thru experience. The narrators told us when to pause the audio so we were able to follow along from display to display and learn interesting facts about all the dinosaurs! My favorite was the ammomite- did you know these grew up to 6 feet tall?!
I'll be honest- my girls mostly loved being able to take turns sticking their heads out of the car's sunroof and telling me about the top-level view of each display. The speed limit through the event is 5 miles per hour, which is the only reason I allowed this to occur. They also loved sitting together on the captain's chairs and switching from side to side to catch a glimpse at all the animatronic dinosaurs! We allowed the girls to move throughout the vehicle freely while we were inside the event space and then stopped at the end to readjust car seats and booster seats and get everyone buckled in properly for the ride back.
Halfway through, you drive through an optional souvenir area, where you can purchase various animals. At the end, you have the option to have your photo taken and are given a QR code to retrieve it online after the event.
My girls loved seeing the meglodon at the end of the experience, although they are convinced that the one on display was not true-to-size (they tout themselves as shark experts!). We probably spent the longest time of the entire experience admiring this terrifying creature from our vehicle!
Okay, I"m going to go rogue and be perfectly honest here. Yes, I was given a free pass to this event in exchange for my honest review, and that's what I'm going to give you.
Times are different. Things are different. This is certainly not the same event I would have expected to attend one year ago. Did it lack "ambiance?" Yep. You lose a certain amount magic when you can't set the lighting and sounds to match the mood of the event. The scenes were spaced out quite a bit to allow cars to move freely without too much back up... But that also meant there was a lot of downtime while we drove from spot to spot. I can't stress enough that you should pack your snacks (and your phone charger!) so the kids keep busy between displays.
The night before I ventured out to Jurassic Quest, I went to the Garth Brooks Drive In Concert Experience at Coyote Drive In in Fort Worth. It was expensive (more so than JQ!) and certainly didn't sub in for a true Garth Brooks Concert in any way. BUT, I was able to stay in my car. I was able to keep an appropriate, socially-acceptable distance from everyone around me. I didn't have to touch any public space unless I chose to use the bathroom or visit the concession stand. I was outside or in my personal vehicle, and I did wear a mask when I went to wash my hands in the restroom. All things considered, I think it was a decent way to get out and enjoy some entertainment during this time.
So, back to Jurassic Quest... Do I think it's worth $49? To be honest? Yes. Do I recommend you bringing teenagers? Probably not. But my girls, who are 6, 8 and 10, as well as my niece, who is 4, and a friend, who is 9, all really enjoyed it. We packed the car full of 7 people (as many as my car would legally hold), making the amount per person $7. It was definitely worth that! But even if you only plan to bring one or two kids, I think you can absolutely have a good time that will keep you socially distanced and allow your kids to have a great Summer 2020 experience. Remember, we are all navigating this summer together... Don't set sky-high expectations. Honestly, I think I enjoyed viewing the dinosaurs a lot more this way than I would have if I had to fight crowds to get up close and snap a picture or pay to access the audio guide and put on headphones that countless others have had on their ears.
I thought the experience was fun and different- a nice change of pace from our normal daily routine. The EA crew recommends as long as you keep in mind that this experience may not line up with the expectations you would have had a year ago! I highly recommend finding a friend with a minivan or SUV and putting a bottom in each seat belt. You will end up paying a lot less per person this way and control the germs you come in contact with (even check-in at the event is contactless!).