Bangkok’s latest “pop-up” theme park, Dinosaur Planet occupies a prime location right in the heart of the city. On more than 12,000 square metres in The EM District, the park is hard to miss. Life-sized and animated dinosaurs stand at the entrance while a large Ferris wheel extends into the central Sukhumvit skyline.
Open from 10am to 10pm daily, the park comprises eight zones, featuring over 200 dinosaurs. At the front of the park, Dinosaur District allows visitors to learn more about dinosaurs through multimedia technology. They can see the skeletons of Brachiosaurus, Triceratops and Stegosaurus at Big Bone Gallery, and watch dinosaur eggs hatch at Dino Lab.
Patrons can also see the city from 50 metres up high on the air conditioned Dino Eye Ferris wheel, and travel back in time at Stars of Dino, where dinosaurs roamed the earth during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. At the Raptor X-Treme attraction, visitors can embark on an interactive adventure among ferocious creatures in several challenges. And at Dino Farm, kids can ride a “tame” (and very slow) Triceratops, Apatosaurus and Ankylosaurus, as well as unearth fossils in an excavation pit.
The cost of entry is 600 baht per adult and 400 baht per child under 140 centimetres tall. There’s an additional fee of 200 baht per person to ride the Ferris wheel, and 100 baht per child to ride a dinosaur at Dino Farm. Combo passes are available where you can buy an entry pass, one ride on the Ferris wheel and one Dino Farm ride for 800 baht per adult and 600 baht per child. (Adults, however, cannot ride a dinosaur at Dino Farm so your child can use your ticket for multiple rides instead!)
Discounts of 15 to 30 percent off the admission price are available for AIS customers, Bangkok Bank debit and credit cardholders, and M Card members. Such discounts cannot be applied toward combo pass purchases.
One attraction, 4D Deep World, will open in May 2016. And The Great Volcano and The Extinction Live Show, a light and sound display with animated dinosaurs, only takes place after dusk. To get the best value and experience, come in the evenings when all the attractions are open. A nighttime visit also makes the most sense, as it can be excruciatingly hot during the day. If you plan to visit then, bring hats, sunscreen and/or umbrellas.
Also, it would be best to come on a regular weekday, if possible. During weekends and public holidays, the park gets very crowded and the wait for some attractions can be well over an hour long. There are also long lines at the ticket box. It is good to purchase entry tickets online, at a 15 discount, to save time – even if you qualify for larger discounts through AIS, M Card or Bangkok Bank at the ticketing counter.
The ideal age range for Dinosaur Planet is 3 to 10 years or so. Younger children will enjoy Stars of Dino, Dinosaur District, Dino Eye and Dino Farm. Also, in Dino Square, the food court and shopping zone, kids can build clay dinosaur models (for an additional fee) at a dedicated crafts area, as well as play with an interactive station where they can colour and animate their own dinosaur creations on a large screen.
Dinosaur Planet is probably not a place you’d visit repeatedly, as the novelty wears off pretty quickly. However, the park will only open until January 2017, and it’s worth seeing, especially for those with dinosaur-loving kids. All in all, it is good for a bit of fun edutainment, as long as the challenges of crowds, long lines and waiting in the heat can be mitigated.
Image Credit: Dinosaur Planet