One of Drumheller’s premier attractions is in the process of expanding and adding a whole herd of animatronic dinosaurs.
Fossil World has had a presence in the valley for more than two decades, and is in the sixth year of operations of its Discovery Centre on North Dinosaur Trail. One of the main features of the Discovery Centre is the Animatronics Tyrannosaurus Rex, the premier machine of its kind in the world.
“We are very excited about the new animatronics family we are bringing to the valley. The official unveiling will be this coming spring,” said Sandra Thompson Chambers owner of Fossil World. “We are revamping the interior of the museum, a portion coming in September to mimic a dinosaur valley. It will give visitors an image of walking back in time; the lighting, the sounds, the dinosaurs and the foliage.”
Chambers tells The Mail there will be five new full sized dinosaurs and a number of juvenile animatronics added to its collection, in all making 13 new dinosaurs. The dinosaurs have just arrived in Canada.
There will be a stegosaurus and juveniles, a triceratops and two juveniles, a spinosaurus, a raptor, and brachiosaurus with two juveniles.
The new animatronics are top of the line with the newest technology.
“We’re not bringing in inexpensive dinosaurs, we are bringing in custom made dinosaurs with custom movements so visitors will see a little more excitement with the dinosaurs,” said Chambers. “Our T-Rex is number one in the world, the company that produces them is the top in animatronics, and that technology is amazing.”
She adds that bringing in the juvenile dinosaurs will be of interest to younger visitors.
“They will help balance off the children’s understanding of dinosaurs. This way they will associate each of the dinosaurs with adults and their children,” I think this will be an exciting addition to Alberta because this is one of the first.”
She explains her husband Don Chambers was in China to see the construction of the new additions; from the mechanics to the exterior finish.
“We are really detailed oriented with our new dinosaurs and we want everyone to be surprised and impressed,” she said, and the new display could have a larger impact on the rest of the community.
“People are going to be here longer because there is more to see. Our museum is going to create a lot of interest, and it is something new that has not been done. It is a permanent feature.”
In the meantime, the museum has been busy adding to some of its dinosaur statues outside. They have unveiled a new 60 foot brachiosaurus and raptors to replace the one damaged by last summer’s windstorms. There is also a new installation at one of the shops on Highway 9 South. “We are dressing up the town,” she says.
Chambers says Drumheller has advantage with such a strong brand.
Every small town struggles with an identity. We are so lucky to have the Tyrrell and all of the dinosaurs, and the World’s Largest Dinosaur,” she said. Of course with ‘Jurassic World’ just coming out, it is really going to boost tourism in Drumheller for everyone. We already see substantial interest in the specimens that are featured in the movie.”
“The fascination with dinosaurs is never going to go away.”