Special Features
Behind The Scream:
The Dinosaur Expo

By AL J. Vermette

 This spring I had the great joy of
visiting the Orlando Orange County
Convention Center for the expo “
Discover The Dinosaurs.”  I was like in
prehistoric heaven when I first walk
into the entrance way that looked a
great deal like the opening gates
entering into the dino park in the
movie Jurassic Park.  Upon my en-
trance, the sounds of creatures past
filled the giant convention room with
roars.  The first sight that came to eye was the terror of the Jurassic times, the
Allosaurus.  This amazing beast stood over ten feet long with snarling jaws and
gasping claws.  He was in pursuit of the plant eating Stegosaurus who seemed to
run just before the deadly hunter.  To see these creatures in such life like poses,
see them moving and hear their roars was such a blast for this lifelong dino fan
that I could not help but smile the whole time I was at the show.  I was 10 years old
all over again.

 After gazing over the two beasts, I went in search of
my real target.  I knew he would be somewhere near, I
could hear the great creatures bellow off in the distance.  
Then I turned around and there he was.  There across
the room was the thing I came to see the most. I beast of
my dreams, the greatest creature God himself ever
created.  I approached him with the awe of a child as my
childhood dream of seeing one in person and alive at last
came to be.  Sure he was only a life size representation
of the real animal but it still brought a tear to my eyes just
the same to see the mightily T-Rex standing before me.  
He had to be over 30 feet long from nose to tales end
and about 15 foot high with his tail swinging far out from
the display ropes.  As I stepped under it waving over me, I could only envision this
great beast walking in his own time and what the world must have been like with
such an amazing creature within it.

 Walking beside the T-Rex was his offspring, a
younger Rex with mouth full of killer teeth and stand-
ing perhaps 8 feet high and 15 feet long.  He like his
father was stalking a Duckbill Dinosaur running be-
fore them with a look of fear in his eyes.  Each Rex
had moving eyes, tails, arms and jaws as they hunt-
ed their prey.  I must have stood there looking upon
these two creatures for about 30 minutes before
moving on to other displays and yet throughout the
day I would return over and over again to gaze upon
my dinosaur hero.

 All the main players were there too.  Just across
from the T-Rex display were 3 long neck sorapods
with one who’s neck reached out and over the ropes
that surround their enclosure.  Other well known dinosaurs were the Triceastops
with its young, Spinosaurs and assortment of Raptors.  It was a who’s who in the
dinosaur kingdom.

 All creatures in this amazing event were displayed in large sets with plants, trees
and life like moment.  Each creature painted with assorted colors, strips and
patterns.  Much of their look was done at the discretion of the artists who built
each dino and each one was as unique in its own right.  For the kids attending this
event, there was a game area where they could climb on dinos, ride dinos, play
games, work with puzzles.  There was food court and even a dino store where
anyone could buy a little dinos made of plastic or some were stuffed.  One part of
the event, I spent a great deal of time in was in the mini Dinosaur Theater.  There
throughout the day, Discovery Channel documentaries ran with all sorts of tidbits
about dinosaurs and the worlds they once lived in.  The theater was set up to look
like a cave with a dino head as the projector.

 If you love dinosaurs like me you need to catch this show when it makes it to your
town.  Just don’t get yourself eaten.
For Behind the
Scream: The
Dinosaur Expo,

For 30 Years of
Nightmares, The Rise
of Freddy Krueger,
click here