Hi new (and old) friends! For those who have known me for more than three seconds, you’re pretty aware that I have an obsession with dinosaurs. For anyone who hasn’t, yes, hi, hello. My name is Amelia and I really love dinosaurs. I think a big part of this can be attributed to the fact that the first movie I ever saw in theaters was Jurassic Park. I was four. Thanks, dad! Anyone who remembers the dinosaur situation in 1993 can tell you that We’re Back, A Dinosaur Story came out that year as well. Little me + lots of dinos = life long obsession.
With all of that in mind, you can imagine my excitement when I found out that the opening of the Jurassic World Exhibition would be starting at the Field Museum in Chicago the day that I left to fly back home. I had had a terrible week, so I decided to drop the cash to rush through the exhibit. Anyone who’s been to the Field Museum can tell you that it’s not a cheap endeavor, but they’ll also tell you that it’s absolutely worth it. Bear in mind that I say that as someone who literally only had the chance to see two things while I was there.
My mission was clear. I would rush to the Field Museum as early as I possibly could, and then gobble up all the dinosaur related content I could before I needed to speed to Midway to get on my blessed flight home after a miserable week in the windy city. As a notorious early-arriver at airports, I was a little stressed about the whole thing, but that all cleared up once I got to the museum.
Before we delve into the rest of this, I just need to say that if you’re in Chicago or its surrounding areas, have the means, and aren’t spending every moment you can in this museum, WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?! I know, I know, I’m not a local and when you’re local things are less interesting but goddamn that place is like 20 times the size of our museum out here and I want to see all of it! Traveling to Chicago is never a “because I chose to” situation, but damn, I’d fly out there to spend a weekend in the Field Museum if I had the funds.
Anyway! Now to the adventure. As I mentioned, I had very little time. About an hour in total if I ran real, real fast, but I wanted to keep it under that if I could. I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay the exhibit the full attention that it deserved, but I did still get to see some pretty amazing stuff. Are spoilers for an exhibit a thing? I probably wouldn’t want to know if I had the opportunity to see it in person, so with that in mind, SPOILERS AHEAD!
I didn’t take pictures of everything, but you kick things off in a boat room. They shut everyone in with a bunch of monitors that show you the water as you sail over to Isla Nublar. Your tour guide pops on the screen and gives you the spiel, and then it’s off to Jurassic World. As you can see from the header, you get to walk through the big archway. I was definitely super normal about that and didn’t tear up in the slightest. Much calm. Very chill.
*I’m sorry I took this video in portrait mode like an asshole. I was excited and distracted.
The animatronics that they’ve used to bring these creatures to life are exceptional. Going to this exhibition is genuinely the closest you’ll come to ever seeing these creatures in real life. Even their eyes move! The only exception to this rule is Blue (YOU. MEET. BLUE), presumably because they couldn’t get the animatronics to move as quickly as a velociraptor would. Still, unless you’re paying very close attention to the legs you can hardly tell that there’s a person in there. She almost bit me! It was the best! Since I was rushing through, I actually had the opportunity to meet the gentleman controlling the raptor. He, and all of the rest of the staff were lovely and sympathetic to my lack of time and pointed out anything fun and must-see that they could think of off the top of their heads!
While the dinosaurs are obviously the biggest draw, there’s more to the experience than that. Your walk through includes the innovation center and an InGen lab. My photos of the innovation center turned out fuzzy because I was in such a rush, but I did manage to get a few of the lab!
There are so many fascinating details throughout the exhibit, but I didn’t take pictures of all of them. Honestly, I wouldn’t include all of them here even if I had. Some of it you’ll just have to read for yourself when you go! I will say that there are more incubators in that lab, and that’s only a fraction of their amber wall. I’m going a bit out of order here because I want to save the best for last, and it’s definitely nestled pretty solidly in the middle of the exhibition.
The two attractions at the very appear to be just one if you don’t know where to look. You round the corner to the Gryosphere Valley and its inhabitants, and then there’s a little tunnel that you walk through to make your way to the gift shop. The valley is just as you’d expect. It’s filled with lush greenery and herbivores munching away on their dinner. I’m glad I poked around a little bit, because hiding where you’d least expect her is the Indominous Rex. I’m unsure if she does anything if you go through the exhibit at the rate of a normal person, but when I walked through she was just chillin’ out and lookin’ ominous. I won’t tell you where to find her! You’ll have to dig for yourself!
If you’ve spent as much time gobbling up everything you can in the Jurassic Park franchise as I have, then you know where I’m going with my favorite part of this little adventure. Paddock 9 is a part of your journey through the exhibition, and you get to meet the real hero: Rexy. How do they fit the monstrosity that is a tyrannosaurus rex in an exhibit? Fam. There was a brontosaurus earlier in the exhibit, and the indominous is just chillin’ out. SIZE IS NO MATTER LOOK AT REXY IN ALL OF HER GLORY!
*This one is in portrait as well, because, as mentioned, I’m a monster. I’m sorry!
As you can see, the adventure was very worth taking, even for all the money I spent to do so. (We won’t talk about the gift shop). For those keeping score, I did manage to make my flight on time and get back home uneaten. Though, let’s be honest. If getting eaten by a dinosaur is how I go, that’s just how I go.
Before heading on my mini cinema inspired adventure, I made sure to make time to go see the real deal. If you’ve never met SUE the T Rex, she’s every bit the spectacle she’s built up to be. Even if the Jurassic World exhibition is gone next time you make your way into the Chicago area, she, and the rest of the Field Museum, certainly deserves your attention.