CAVE CITY, KENTUCKY (WDKY)– Drivers who take I-65 can’t help but do a double-take near the Cave City exit.
And kids have learned to be on the lookout for the landmark looming over the south-bound lanes. A large T-Rex is better than a billboard.
“He’s a pretty good magnet for us,” said Park Director Chris Randall.
Since 2004, crowds have been having the prehistoric time of their lives at Dinosaur World.
Randall said, “Almost every day I hear, ‘Well, we thought it was just going to be a little roadside tourist trap,’ but they say ‘that was neat, really special.'”
Matt Cissell made a recent visit with his family from Owensboro after a friends told him how much his kids had enjoyed it. “We decided to come and make a day of it. My son has really enjoyed it,” Cisssell said.
10-year-old Logan Downs ran from one model to the next, but had a clear favorite. “I like the T-Rex. He’s just so big and strong. I like that,” Downs said. “And he can gulp up a human in one bite.”
The trail takes visitors past more than 150 dinosaur models, all made on site with styrofoam, fiberglass and putty.
There’s also a museum with real fossils. So, make no bones about it, a visit here can make you smarter.
“Even if you’re not wanting to be educated on the day you visit, you usually end up learning something and taking it back with you,” Randall said.
This is the second of three such parks in the U.S. and it ended up here all because of a sign.
The owner of the original Dinosaur World in Florida was making a trip north about 20 years ago when he saw the Mammoth Cave exit and something clicked. He thought of the word “mammoth” and connected it with wooly mammoth, and just seeks later he was making plans to build on a 15-acre site north of Bowling Green.
The nearby cave is named because of its size, not for giant creatures, but it still proved to be a great tie-in for people looking for adventure.
A third Dinosaur is now located in Glen Rose, Texas.
Kentucky may be an unlikely place for a primeval attraction, but the idea behind it is simple–to give visitors a roaring good time and memories that will never go extinct.