Opened: March 1999
Type: Interactive Exhibition
Ride Time: N/A
Further down the path is the back entrance to the Discovery Center. Here you will find a small restaurant and a small gift store with T-shirts, toys, dinosaur fossils, cups, and even some original JP lithographs to decorate your walls.
Upstairs is mainly a sitting area. You can sit outside in the front of the building on a deck, or out back next to a little pond.
Going downstairs you pass the familiar skeletons of a rex and Apatosaurus, and if you look straight up, there is even the skeleton of a pterosaur.
Down stairs is the learning center, filled with several amusing learning stations. These are mostly child-inspired.
Guided by Mr. DNA himself, the first station takes your "DNA" and a picture of your face, and allows you to create a dinosaur that has your face and whatever body configuration you like. Unfortunately, at the end the DNA mix becomes “unstable” and your dinosaur is aborted; but it is fun to see what you would look like as a dinosaur.
The next station is an interactive hatchery. You can see dinosaur eggs resting in nests, and even help the scientists by scanning the eggs for several different things, eventually identifying the dinosaur species within the egg.
Sometimes the worker behind the glass wall will talk to you. Be sure you don’t shake the eggs; it doesn’t make the workers very happy (and probably isn’t healthy for the developing dinosaurs).
Next, you have a game show-like station where you are pitted against a few other guests to answer dinosaur questions. This is great for the kids, and encourages learning.
In the corner there is something called "Be-a-saurus." Three full-scale dinosaur models are stationed here. Behind each model is a headset that can be used to move the head around while you look through the eyes of the animal. There is also a "roar" function. It is great fun to startle other guests.
Walking out the front door you are confronted with very regal stairs that descend down to a promenade overlooking the center lake of the entire park. From here you can take some great pictures of the park, or turn around and get some of the compound.