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Review – Days of the Dinosaurs

A couple of months ago I came a cross an ad promoting the Days of the Dinosaurs exhibition scheduled to tour Jozi and Cape Town. Ava is dino crazy so we knew right away that we would have to attend!

The exhibition is running in Jozi from the 20th June to the 20th of July and then moves on to Cape Town from 31st July to the 20th August.

The exhibition opened in Jozi on Saturday and to be honest, I was a little apprehensive after following a trail of angry and despondent tweets about the exhibition on Saturday where people had stood in long queues, some up to two hours to get in, reports of the queue stretching down the road and people actually leaving the exhibition without even going in and no tickets being sold at the door, as previously advertised. I couldn’t bare the thought of disappointing Ava if we got there and had to stand around for hours to get in. So we hatched a plan to visit the exhibition at 4pm yesterday afternoon and it totally paid off.

No queues, we walked straight in, the exhibition was not crowded at all and in fact we got to walk the exhibition twice, at our own leisure and it was very pleasant because of the lack of crowds!

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Because the dino’s all move and make sounds, Ava was convinced they were real and she was a little scared to stand too close to them alone and she had a little freak out when I reached out a hand and pretended to touch one, yelling at me that it was going to bite me. But she really did love it. There were also a number of smaller children there who were afraid of the dino’s, some being carried, in tears, through the exhibition by their parents.

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It takes about 20 – 30 minutes to do the walk through, depending and there is an auditory tour (you have to pay extra for this) available too for those who want more information on each dinosaur in the exhibition. Once you’re through the tour, there are a number of activities, including an archaeological dig for “bones”, a dino inspired store with t-shirts and toys, an interactive dino game  for the kids and a small dino inspired food court.

What was most disappointing was that there was also a dino “ride” where kids could sit on a dinosaur and have their photo taken, unfortunately they had run out of “frames” and as a result the photographer had left so that was not an option.

I felt the exhibition was expensive…

Ticket Prices

 

Seriously, we had to pay for Hannah to attend… she’s 16 months old and doesn’t even know what a dinosaur is?

It was a great outing and Ava loved it and has asked again this morning if she can go back, it was like living a fantasy for her but I’m just not really sure it was worth the R395 discounted rate we paid for a family of 4, especially considering that we didn’t get the full experience as the dino store was very low on stock and couldn’t get a “dino” ride with photo to document her visit.

I know some of you are driving up from Durban (the forgotten city) to visit the exhibition and I fear you may be a little disappointed, making such a long drive, just for the exhibition. I asked Walter his opinion and he agreed, if this exhibit wasn’t in Jozi, we wouldn’t have bothered going.

If you are attending, be sure to either be there very early or go late as it apparently gets VERY busy. Perhaps that was just opening weekend traffic and I believe that because of this, the organisers are now allowing people to attend on other days, even if your ticket was booked for a specific date. Also, both on Saturday and Sunday, because of the volume of tickets pre-sold and the number of visitors, they did not sell any tickets at the door, so if you didn’t have a pre-booked ticket, you couldn’t go in.

If you’d like to visit the exhibition, you can book your tickets here: Computicket

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply Cat@jugglingact

    We booked for the last week on the middle of the week. The kids have begged forever so I hope at least they will love. It

    June 23, 2014 at 10:29 am
    • Reply Sharon

      They will love it, Ava did. But for me it was just very pricey for what it was & quite disorganized.

      June 23, 2014 at 10:32 am
  • Reply Jeanette

    Oh dear no! That’s even more expensive than the Da Vinci thing! I’m sure that was at Gold Reef a few years ago and we took Bradley then… it was worth it then because we got entrance into the park, so it was a whole day thing.

    June 23, 2014 at 11:55 am
  • Reply Gibson

    Yip. We were the ones that queued almost 2 hours. And once inside it was so packed and pushy that we couldn’t really appreciate anything. Very disappointed. Didn’t even get to the other stuff. But I did queue for 20 minutes for a R50 balloon. A big. Fat. Ripoff. Bleh.

    June 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm
  • Reply Karen at MomAgain@40

    Thanks for this! We have also been waiting to attend this, but it is expensive! Ouch! Especially for only 20 minutes. I was told a face paint costs an extra R40.

    June 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm
  • Reply Nasima

    Photos cost R50 for one or R75 for 2. Face painting is R40. The drinks are expensive too. We were lucky enough to go to the media launch but both my husband and I also felt that we would’ve been disappointed had we paid for the experience.

    June 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm
  • Reply Momma Jo

    We are a family of 7 (3 adults) and for 30 minutes it’s definitely not worth the cost. Thank you for posting about your experience.

    June 24, 2014 at 3:38 pm
  • Reply nunu5

    going in july – but not much more expensive than movie tickets for 4 people

    June 25, 2014 at 8:45 am
  • Reply G

    Absolutely disappointing, you could have a look at all the amazingly created dinosaurs but that’s about it, the audio tour is extra, the buttons to be pushed on the small figures of dinosaurs to make the tail and mouth move did not all work, the bones to be dug out as excavation by the kids were wooden cutouts in a small shallow sandpit, the 3D movie theater was a joke as the two images were not lined up and you could not view the movie nicely in the 3D format, though not such a great loss as they hardly had any dinosaurs shown in the movie, and a small bag of slap chips cost R25!!!, I could go on but all in all just not worth the money. Very low service standard for an exhibition at the Sandton convention center.

    June 30, 2014 at 7:30 pm
  • Reply michzanetti

    We went today, and the actual exhibition was a good experience, especially for the kids. Ticket were too expensive, did not include the audio, which was R35 extra per person and did not work properly. Everything else (balloons and photos) a total rip off. The organisers should be a ashamed.

    July 10, 2014 at 6:18 pm
  • Reply Why Mom Blogs Are Important | South African Mom Blogs

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    June 15, 2015 at 8:52 pm
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