May 27, 2018
Dinosaurs Take Over Derby In 'Extravagant' Dino Theme Park

Dinosaurs have risen in Kansas and are taking the city of Derby by storm, the Wichita Eagle reports. No need to worry though, as these dinos are all animatronic and have been awoken to entertain the public and brief them on an ancient history lesson that really puts Kansas on the map as an invaluable paleontological site.

The dinos are part of an "extravagant" theme park dubbed "Field Station: Dinosaurs" that officially opened its gates in Derby on May 26.

According to the Wichita Eagle, the 14-acre dinosaur theme park is the first major attraction to open in the area in the past few years and is filled with exciting activities for the young and the old alike, as well as with dramatic exhibits that would make anyone pause for gasp.

The Derby theme park features 44 life-size animatronic dinosaurs that "roar, breathe, and blink" and promises to "make this whole world disappear when you're in the park," says Guy Gsell, executive director of the park.

"We've created a hill we call Mount Derby; we have a lake; we've built a quarry. So, when you're in there... you really are sort of in that 'Field Station: Dinosaurs' world."
Derby's theme park cost $6.5 million to put together and is built around three main areas: the "Dinosaur Path," which is the park's prime attraction; the "Challenge Dome," an indoor rope course; and "Jurassic Golf," a mini-golf course.
All the 44 dinos that will be enchanting visitors at "Field Station: Dinosaurs" belong to species that have a historical connection with the area. Over the years, Kansas has seen its fair share of dinosaur fossil discoveries and is regarded as "the birthplace of modern paleontology," Gsell points out.

Most of the dinosaurs that lived here in prehistoric times were largely aquatic or flying reptiles, seeing as though Kansas was an inland sea some 86 million years ago.

Derby dinosaur theme park.
AP Images | Charles Sykes
This life-sized animatronic pterodactyl was among the dinosaurs 'set loose' at the 2014 'Field Station: Dinosaurs' exhibit in Secaucus, New Jersey.

As the Inquisitr previously reported, the most recent paleontological discovery in the area was the Ichthyornis dispar fossil that made headlines as the beginning of the month. Another famous discovery by the University of Kansas featured the remains of what is presumably a baby Tyrannosaurus rex.

Derby dinosaur theme park.
AP Images | Charles Sykes
A life-sized animatronic T. rex at the 2014 'Field Station: Dinosaurs' exhibit in Secaucus, New Jersey.

"Field Station: Dinosaurs" is meant to both entertain and educate, by telling the "story about the early days of paleontology and some of the discoveries that happened right here," notes Gsell.

Aside from the dino exhibit, the theme park offers a wide variety of games and interactive activities, geared toward both children as young as 2 years old and adults as well, and which Gsell describes as "the heart and soul of the park."

The theme park is located at 2999 N. Rock Road in Derby, just north of Patriot Avenue, and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. This schedule will stay in place until September 9. Starting September 15 and all the way through to November 25, "Field Station: Dinosaurs" will be open on weekends only, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Another glorious dino exhibit to hit Kansas this summer is "Dinosaurs Revealed: Journey Across America," set to open on July 3 at Union Station.

This summer show will be hosted at the Bank of America Gallery and features 26 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, as well as actual fossils, full dinosaur skeletons, and interactive exhibits, reports the Kansas City Star.