From Dinosaur Jubilee to Dino-Rama!
As part of Dinoland U.S.A, before Dino-Rama, there was the Dinosaur Jubilee! Resembling a giant tent, it housed various dinosaur skeleton casts, interactive exhibits and cool fresh a/c to chill on a hot day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Both the Dinosaur Jubilee and it’s nearby counter part, the Fossil Preparation Lab, went through various changes from April 1998 until late 2000 before the way was cleared for Chester & Hester’s Dino-rama!
Dino Jubilee 1998
During the cast preview days of March 1998, a supplemental insert to compliment the park map was available (see image). It included times for shows (“Festival of the Lion King”, “Journey into Jungle Book” and “Flights of Wonder”). Because the park was not fully operational yet, it also noted attractions or shows that were not available yet, including:
- 1998 Dinosaur Jubilee – Opening April
- Fossil Preparation Lab – Opening April
The Jubilee itself was a large tent-like structure located where Dino-Rama! is now, just outside of the Chester & Hester’s store. There was no denying that this was a temporary building and attraction, as it was relatively sparse and the theme was minimal.
“Meander through dino artifacts – see casts of spectacular real dinosaur skeletons!” – 1998 Dinosaur Jubilee, 1998 Guide Map
On the upside, it was one of the few areas of the Animal Kingdom with air conditioning. Nearly all shows (Grandmother Willow’s Grove, Festival of the Lion King, Flights of Wonder, Journey into Jungle Book) and attractions (Kilimanjaro Safari, Gorilla Falls, The Boneyard, The Tree of Life Garden, Discovery Riverboats, Wildlife Express) were outdoors. The Dinosaur Jubilee and Conservation Station (Rafaki’s Planet Watch) were constantly mentioned by the cast to the guest as a great way to cool down.
Dino Jubilee 1999
The 1998 Jubilee rolled into becoming the 1999 Jubilee. I honestly can’t recall the specific changes and most of the pictures I have are from 2000 and it was not a place I felt was a “must-see” for every visit to the park. From the map description update, it appears that “tours” were added to spice it up a bit.
“Meander through dino artifacts – see casts of spectacular real dinosaur skeletons! Although you can visit anytime, the DinoLand U.S.A. Grad Students give off-the-wall guided tours daily at 11am, 12, 1:30 & 2:30pm.” – 1999 Dinosaur Jubilee, 1999 Guide Map
Dino Jubilee 2000 and Carnival Games
For the final year of the Dinosaur Jubilee, the year was dropped from the name. Rather than calling it the “2000 Dinosaur Jubilee”, it simply dubbed the “Dinosaur Jubilee”.
“Explore the dino world and see casts of spectacular, real skeletons.” – Dinosaur Jubilee, 2000 Guide Map
The tours may have been dropped, but for summer of 2000, a new shift of entertainment was brought in in the form of carnival style games. As a precursor to what would eventually be a large part of Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama! a series of carnival style games were setup outside of the Dinosaur Jubilee area. Advertising at the front of the park in the form of a tacky, giant inflatable T-Rex as well a banner at the entrance to Dinoland were aimed and sending more guests to the Jubilee. The background story was along the lines of grad students (the ones that dig in the Boneyard and hang out at Restaurant-o-sauru, were putting on a carnival in order to raise money.
“Just inside… Dinosaur Jubilee” – Dinosaur Jubilee Banner
By August, the extra advertising had been taken down. In December, the T-Rex was given a Santa hat.
The Jubilee was closed down by spring 2001 to clear the way for Dino-Rama!