Guests at the Birmingham event last night included the likes of Danielle Lloyd, Michelle Heaton, Natasha Hamilton and Ryan Thomas ready to travel back 67 million years into a world where dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
From the creators of the BBC’s Walking With Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs In The Wild combines theatre, theme park fun and the latest science; weaving live sets together with cutting-edge computer-generated imagery and animatronics to create a believable prehistoric world, where visitors will feel as though they are really there, in the time of the dinosaurs.
Producer Jill Bryant commenced the evening, thanking fellow producer Bob Deere, palaeontologist Darren Naish and the hundreds of crew involved at every point of the process, before we were separated into our tour groups and given a brief safety talk before our journey into the past.
The experience is so thoroughly immersive, it is easy to forget that the marvels before your eyes are not real.
The very moment dinosaurs were first revealed in our transportation to Timebase 67, my breath was taken away. I really felt like I was on a prehistoric safari.
The guided tour begins with visitors being introduced to the history of Timebase 67 with every detail accounted for. Newspaper clippings celebrating the rise of the Chronotex Company adorn the walls, CCTV cameras trailing the movements of dinosaurs outside of the base flicker on monitors and a commemorative wall dedicated to those lost in time hangs solemnly.
Visitors are then taken on a wondrous journey and shown how Timebase 67 studies the lives of dinosaurs in a fantastic blend of entertainment and education.
The Pathology Lab allows guests to marvel at some of Chronotex’s impressive research into the inner-workings of dinosaurs. Visitors can get their hands dirty studying the remains of dinosaur dung, study a dissected Tyrannosaurs Rex arm up-close, see through the eyes of a carnivore or a herbivore and hear the beat of an Alomosaurus heart - one of the largest dinosaurs.
If this wasn’t enough, we were treated to a ringside seat to the live dissection of a Pachycephalosaurus; complete with her thick skull being cut and her brain removed for all to see.
It isn’t all guts and gore - the audience were left doe-eyed as we stepped into the hatchery to behold Triceratops, Dakotasaurus and Alomosaurus eggs hatch before our very eyes. One little girl had her birthday wish come true, as a fluffy baby Dakotaraptor was named after her.
Onto the Animal Lab, where guests can see juveniles from species such as Leptoceratops, Acheroraptor or Ankylosaurus that were hatched at the TimeBase and being studied, while asleep - making everyone jump as they awoke suddenly.
We arrived at just the right time to experience feeding time for the Tricerotops and the Ankylosaurus juveniles, before a brief talk with a Chronotex worker about the perils of the job.
Various workers can be seen wandering around the experience - whether ready for talks or simply studying as the tour commences, but always in character.
The experience culminates in the breath-taking Lookout where you can observe dinosaurs in their natural habitat - from a safe distance of course! This awe and amazement was cut short and we were plunged into excited terror, as an angry gang of T-rexs bashed the glass and forced us to be transported deep underground through the emergency pods.
I’ve seen Jurassic Park a million times - I know how that story ends! But I couldn’t help being thrilled by the tour suddenly plunging into action film territory.
Safely transported back to 2017, or rather 2018 after a system malfunction - I was left thoroughly exhilarated and also slightly heartbroken that what we had experienced wasn’t real. Mind-blowing fun for all the family - Dinosaurs In The Wild is the experience of a lifetime.
Tickets are available to buy now for Dinosaurs in the Wild which runs from June 24 to August 23 with prices starting at £25 for off-peak adult tickets and £85 for off-peak family tickets.
Visit www.dinosaursinthewild.com for more information.