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Walking with dinosaurs at Tong Garden Centre

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It will be West Yorkshire’s Jurassic Park - without the peril.

That’s the vision for a new dinosaur attraction based on land behind Tong Garden Centre, near Birkenshaw.

The brainchild of Christian Cristobal – a former theme park designer – Dinosaur Discovery will wow visitors with a trip back in time when the interactive park opens in the spring.

The attraction will feature robotic and human-controlled dinosaurs that will mimic the movements of the beasts that ruled the earth 65 million years ago.

Christian is launching his project in partnership with the garden centre and wants to bring a unique attraction to the region.

He said: “There are other parks in the UK where you can see dinosaurs but they are made from fibreglass so they do not move.

“I wanted to create somewhere where visitors can interact with the dinosaurs, see how they move and come away with something they’ll remember.”

As the visitors walk through the large Jurassic Park-style gates, they will encounter animatronic dinosaurs, static beasts and hydraulic models that they will be able to control themselves, ranging from the early days of the Triassic era to the Ice Age.

Hidden throughout the 10,000sq ft lake land woods will be different dinosaurs including a terrifying tyrannosaurus rex, a dilophosaurus and a velociraptor.

The trail also features other prehistoric creatures such as a woolly mammoth, a neanderthal hunter and a prehistoric snake.

The models are made from a mix of silicone, foam, fabric and rubbers, all wrapped around a metal skeleton.

Christian said: “Most the models will have a motion sensor trigger and sounds effects. We want to make it as interactive as possible.

“I wanted it to be more than just the typical T-rex that was obviously made popular by Jurassic Park.

“We will be adding new dinosaurs and creatures all the time, with facts and information about what they were like. It’ll be a trip through time.”

Additions already planned for the site include a brachiosaurus, a caveman dwelling and a prehistoric sea creature rising from the lake.

Christian moved to West Yorkshire from the Philippines more than a decade ago after working as a theme park designer in China.

He moved to Ossett in the hope of setting up a dinosaur park in the UK, and after finding Tong Garden Centre on Google, he decided it would be the perfect site.

He said: “I was driving my wife crazy as before I had a site, I had dozens of dinosaurs sitting in my garden.

“I had families and children stopping on their way to school coming to see them. That’s when I decided to built the attraction outdoors.

“We have had lots of people asking about the park already and can’t wait for it to be finished.”

The park is expected to open in spring and will include a new dinosaur-themed gift shop.

For announcements on the attraction, search for Dinosaur Discovery on Facebook.

 

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