Traveling with Toddlers : Dinosaur World of Florida

For years, I have passed through the area on I-4, the busiest interstate connecting Tampa and Orlando. If you don’t pay attention  you may do a double take when you see a few dinosaurs peeking at you from the side of the highway. Finding a place to visit with free parking can be as rare as seeing a dinosaur, but you get just that at Dinosaur World! Free parking and affordable admission! There are a variation of types of Dinosaur World tickets you can select based on your activity desires, but each one is sure to delight and create memories.

Mammoth Gardens
Mammoth Gardens – images via

With all the hype about Jurassic World coming out, I thought it was a great time to take a day trip to Dinosaur World of Florida. They have a little something for everyone! Encased in 20 acres of beautiful, lush, almost exotic feeling surroundings, you will find over 200 life size dinosaurs. Plenty of shade to be had which is great for this time of year.

The first thing you need to know about Dinosaur World is that there are no set up restaurants or food stands. This brings back the fun of a real picnic. They have multiple picnic areas around the park and allow you to bring your own food or drinks or they can even call in an order of pizza for you to be delivered. If you forgot to pack drinks, that’s OK, they do have vending machines for some refreshments and snacks. Before you take a lunch break, make sure to check out the play grounds, they have two side by side for all kids to have a little prehistoric fun and wear themselves out!

images via

When you arrive you will be walking through the gift shop and purchasing your tickets with the cashier or check in if you purchased online. If you forgot a hat or need a souvenir on the way out, the prices are beyond fair, and the selection is outrageously large! You can buy something for everyone. My son was enamored by the hat selection!

A few things you can choose to include in your ticket are the  Dino gem excavation (mining) and the fossil dig for kids is including in their ticket, or you can pay $2 for kids under 2. You can also pay to use the Geode Cracker. The fossil dig is at scheduled times and children get to dig and find their own fossils and pick their favorites to take home. The excavation mining tickets let you get a bag of gems to sift in the water and take home your treasures. This is a MUST DO for me! We had a blast, even though I am still sour about my son tossing a stunning purple gem down the water line. We will be having a few pieces turned in to jewelry by a friend, we will be sure to show you those at a later date!

images via

There is an air conditioned indoor museum that features a few motion and sound dinosaurs, my son as not thrilled by these, but they have some great items to look at. He was a bit scared by the  motion of the dinosaurs. You can play a game show of truth or false for prizes at scheduled times, and you can even go see what a Paleontologist does!

All of these are included with your base ticket. Now to go mingle with the dinosaurs, please keep your hands and feet inside the roped off areas so you don’t get bit.

images via

There are many dinosaurs to see and some will want to hide and some will pose for you. The one thing we felt might have made the trek a little more realistic is if there had been nature sounds from speakers and maybe a few “Roars”, but I do understand that could scare the little ones. There were lots of photo opportunities and everyone, I mean everyone, tried to feed their child to the T-Rex! I don’t think you can call it a complete trip to Dinosaur World if you don’t take home a photo capturing this!

My son had his favorite parts, as did I. He loved the Boneyard. This is included in your ticket price as well and is a perfectly shaded spot for parents to take a load off while letting their little ones play! Brushes are available to grab so they can go find the great hidden dinosaur bones! We nearly had to drag him away kicking and screaming when it was time to go. We knew this had to be our last visit due to his love of sand.

Dinosaur World

I truly do think this is a great place to visit with children. The area itself is beautiful for adults but the look on a child’s face when able to discover new things, ask questions (or point in my son’s case), and be in a no line or wait type of setting to enjoy a day of fun, it’s just what the doctor ordered for a fun family travel spot. We can’t to go back when Davin is a little older and he can watch Jurassic Park (per his Dad), but I think I will start him off with The Land Before Time first, ya know, a little more child friend!

As you can see, I posed in the eggs, my husband tried to feed him to T-Rex, therefore we know who wants the nice dinosaurs and who wants the carnivores! One last place to pose (or do upon arriving) is right outside the gift shop entrance. We couldn’t come or go without seeing people taking photos here!

Make sure you take your little paleontologist or dinosaur fan to Dinosaur World Florida, between all the educational information and fun, it is a day out, you won’t soon forget!

Dinosaur World Florida
5145 Harvey Tew Road
Plant City , FL 33565
(813) 717-9865

Share on: