Monday, November 23, 2020

Dinos of Disney - Primeval World on the Disneyland Railroad

And for my last Dinos of Disney post for Disneyland (for now at least), I am looking at something that I had heard about but for some reason never experienced except for this last trip to Disneyland.

The Dinos of the Disneyland Railroad

(AKA Primeval World)

Normally, when we rode on the railroad, we would take the Main Street, U.S.A. Station around to the various parts of the park we wanted to visit. The last stop we would get off would be at the Tomorrowland Station, because afterwards it just circles back to the beginning. So, we never felt the urge to ride from Tomorrowland to the Main Street, U.S.A. Station, however, this is where the dinosaur fun begins.   

Before even hopping on the train, they have these rotating billboards that have "advertisements" for each part of the park that the train stops at. They even have one for the dinosaur exhibit stating "Primeval World. Enter the World of the Dinosaur. Temporal Zone 200,000,000 BC".

The ride to the Primeval World begins with a trip along the Grand Canyon, specifically this Grand Canyon Diorama that was added to the railroad in 1958. The diorama is 306 feet in length and provides an exquisite view of the south rim of the Grand Canyon, which also includes some animals and trees along the way. After this you are then transported back into the Primeval World. 
"That was the Grand Canyon as we know it today, but it wasn't always that way. Quiet now, as we travel back in time, back to the fantastic Primeval World, land of the dinosaurs!"
The Primeval World was a series of Audio-Animatronics dinosaurs originally created for the Ford Magic Skyway at the 1964 New York World's Fair. The original ride was created as a time travel experience where people sat in Ford cars during the ride with the scenes narrated by Walt Disney himself. The scenes from the ride were taken from the Rite of Spring segment of 1940's Fantasia, which in and of itself had some paleontologically problematic scenes, as we will see below. Not all of that Magic Skyway experience had been transferred here, just the dinosaurs. 

The first animal we encounter is an Edaphosaurus, which unfortunately I did not get a good picture of. Edaphosaurus is a relative of the more common Dimetrodon, a synapsid from the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian time periods. Generally, this means that Edaphosaurus was not a dinosaur but closer related to mammals, and actually was completely extinct by the time any of the dinosaurs started to appear. 

The next series of animals we encounter is the group of Brontosaurus seen above. The posture of the body in these animatronics gives a sort of "loch ness" vibe to them with the curve of the neck, whereas in the real would stick out more and the tail would also be raised above the ground. The comment that their postures are incorrect is actually a general comment for all of the animals in this exhibit, as that it has been scientifically determined since these animals were created that they were able to keep their tails elevated off of the ground with their spines more or less straight. Side note: the three baby Brontosaurus were called Huey, Dewey, and Louie by Walt

The next animals on our prehistoric journey is the Pteranodon, pictured here with a group towards the back. Generally, it has been noted that their posture is not the best, especially if they are resting or walking. It has been shown that they do use all four limbs when walking, causing their wings to fold back behind them, instead of open like this. 

A up-close view of one of the Pteranodons, unfortunately the window lines tended to get in the middle of my pictures. 

The next up is a family of Triceratops watching their babies hatch. From what I can tell, scientifically, these are pretty good and the detail on them is quite amazing given when they were created. 

The next scene is a group of Struthiomimuses. The only dated aspect of these is that they likely had feathers. There are also several skeletons lying around on the ground. These skeletons are a bit difficult to view here but they include a Megalosaurus (seen here on the left) and a Plateosaurus, which is directly behind the Megalosaurus up on the hill a little bit. 

And we make it to the final shot of the train ride, which is also one of the climax shots of the Right of Spring. The most obvious complaint that we have here is that Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex lived in completely different time periods, so the possibility of this battle ever happening outside of a Jurassic Park cloning experiment is absurd. Stegosaurus lived during the Jurassic period (~150 million years ago), while the Tyrannosaurus live during the Late Cretaceous (~70 million years ago). That is more of a time difference than is between the T. rex and us now. 

Looking at the reconstructions of the dinosaurs, the T. rex could be considered to the the typical 1940's(ish) T. rex, complete with upright stance and a rather small head for the rest of its body. The shape of the skull is also completely off. They did fix the skull shape somewhat for the other T. rex in Disneyland on Big Thunder Mountain, although that one isn't perfect either. It also have 3 fingers, which most grade school kids would be able to tell you that the T. rex only has 2 fingers, while other large predators like Allosaurus typically have 3. The end of the Stegosaurus tail is also colored as if it is a spike as well, instead of just the end of its tail. This seems to indicate the creators of it gave it 5 spikes instead of the actual 4 it should have. 

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