it's traveling back in time to visit the earth millions of years or just
traveling back on a more personal journey to the childhood of about 30
years ago, Dinosaur Land in White Post Virginia is the perfect destination.
Truly one of the last "dinosaurs" of its kind, this little reminder
of Roadside America is practically begging for one last ride in the back
of the family station wagon to a place where roadside billboards beckoned
you with words like "Spectacular!", "Colossal!" and
"Unbelievable but True!". Unlike the real dinosaur, however,
this place seems to be winning the battle of extinction as crowds still
gather to touch one of the last remaining pieces of Americana.
in 1968, Dinosaur Land still stands as a reminder of an era filled with
drive-ins, B-monster movies and a certain amount of innocence that allowed
for us to stare in awe at life-sized fiberglass models. Today its lure
is more for children looking for a place to play and adults still searching
for that last bit of childhood. However, it has so much more to offer.
Where else can you sit in the hand of the famous movie star King Kong
for a mere $5.00? If you are inclined you can even climb inside a 60'
shark, wrestle with a 70' Octopus or trade moves with a 14' preying mantis
that looks like it walked right out of a set of a 1950's nuclear radiation
movie. The park is a virtual warehouse of old sci-fi movie props just
waiting to be photographed with you as the latest star. No need for computer
generated imaging. It's just you and the "real thing" and there's
no problem with copyright issues. In fact, photography is encouraged at
no extra charge. Talk about a true time warp!
addition to all the campy fun, you just might actually learn something.
Parts of the park are actually educational. Information is posted near
every model with interesting facts and descriptions of many lesser known
creatures such as a Diatryma to more popular Mammoth and Sabre Tooth Tiger.
Many animals are forever frozen in candid scenes from their daily lives
such as the Pteranodon lodged in the tree branches overhead ready to swoop
down upon its prey or the Brontosaurus craning its neck to nibble leaves
from a high treetop. Even the depiction of the "Epic battle"
between the meat eating Tyrannosaurus and the herbivorous Titanosaurus
gets the basic message of "survival of the fittest" across to
even the youngest of visitors.
its day, Dinosaur Land was the promise of every child's imagination. Now
it takes a bit of that same magic as well as a longing for childhood to
bring the luster back to these somewhat aging characters. Though it's
a bit tarnished from years of use, it is what it proclaims to be and nothing
more. Signs warn that some of the dinosaurs are being repaired and that
the weather has "been hard on the park". However, there are
promising signs of renewal and hope as the park is planning on getting
10 more models soon.
the tour, a visit to the souvenir shop is a must. The store, just like
the park itself offers a wide range of goods from the tacky to the educational.
You can find everything from fireworks to pottery, Native American goods
to novelty items such as a Hillbilly Fish Finder and of course, all things
visiting White Post, you would be remiss if you didn't stop and see the
famous "white post" for which the town is named. This marker
has stood as a reminder of the town's heritage since it was placed there
in 1750 by George Washington to serve as a guidepost for visitors to Lord
Fairfax's estate. (The white post is located on White Post Road Rt. 658).
Though the original post has been replaced several times, the town has
taken great efforts to recreate the original. The town of White Post,
like Dinosaur Land takes great efforts to preserve its history. Perhaps
this explains why though many roadside tourist attractions of the past
have become extinct, Dinosaur Land has withstood the test of time.
Directions: Located in the Shenandoah Valley on US 522, 340 & 277
between Winchester and Front Royal
Hours: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM Daily. Closed Jan and Feb
For more information visit: www.dinosaurland.com
Other Items of Interest:
Convenience Store and Gas: Located on premises
Picnicking: Area located at White Post Village Park less than 5 minutes
away on Rt. 658 on White Post Road
Dining: Chasens Country Buffet located less than 10 miles away on Rt.
50 in Winchester. (Take Rt. 522 N to Rt 50. Left on Rt. 50 to Delco Plaza.
Located right before Harley shop)