Monday, December 31, 2012

Clarkfield, Pampanga | Dinosaur Island : To be a kid again, In the Land Before Time!

Newsflash! Dinosaurs discovered in Clarkfield, Pampanga!

A few days before Christmas, the stokedtraveler was invited by his bro to go to a dinosaur park with the kids. The inner child in him was thrilled by the thought of going to a dinosaur park. It also helped that his nephew and niece were practically shouting with excitement that they were going to see dinosaurs.

However, the pessimist in him thought that it was just going to be one of those playgrounds where there would be dinosaur replicas and kiddie rides. He didn't even think it was possible to have such an attraction so close to his home and not even hear of it anywhere else.

It was just a few minutes drive from his house to the Clark Nature Park (Picnic grounds) in Clark Freeport Zone for them to reach “Dinosaur Island”

Outside, it was the typical Clark Freeport zone scenery: Native aetas selling bows & arrows, flutes, other crafts and home grown crops. The park passes cost Php 350.00 each. Students and the elderly get special discounted rates. It seemed somewhat expensive for what the stokedtraveler was expecting for a playground or even a dusty museum.

When the large doors opened to welcome the visitors, the stokedtraveler was jolted back to his childhood fantasy adventure. 

That kid just can't wait to show the group around the park

Seeing the almost life like dinosaur animatronics felt like being in the 90’s film “Jurassic Park”. The forest landscape, the replicas and the dinosaur sounds all fell together to create the perfect ambiance to recreate a child's imaginary dinosaur park.

As a young boy, the stokedtraveler was very much interested in fossils and dinosaurs. In an alternate universe he might be an archeologist. He was also so in touch with the characters of the animated film series “The Land Before Time”. Perhaps the love for dinosaurs runs in the blood too. The stokedtraveler saw himself in the kids who were dragging him and their dad to go from one park feature to the next.

Imagine having a monster on a high protein diet tower over you like that...

Caught in the midst of a dino battle

Smash that critter before it hatches completely!

The park consist of four main features: the adventure ride where kids can ride the animatronics dino, fossils museum which features skeletons and fossils from the Mesozoic era, Dino Trail where each dino is sensor activated to respond to visitors as soon as they get close enough and the World of Fun where dino mascots interact with the park visitors.

Having a growling contest with the dino :)

Fossil museum

The walking trail is fun but expect to perspire from the humid air and the long walk

Although the fossil museum was closed at the time of their visit, the Dino Trail was more than enough to keep the family awed with the work done on each Dinosaur. People wearing dino mascots in world of fun feature seemed to lack taste but having to face life like mascots was still a totally different experience. Don't think it is like seeing "Barney" in action. It is really more like having a real walking dinosaur unleashed into the crowd.

The park offers escorts that will guide you through the trail. If you prefer to read than listen, there are also interesting facts found on the stones next to the dinosaurs

This one looks so real that it can even close its eyes

The park is still on its soft opening. They just started accepting guests last August 2012 and there’s a lot more to improve on to really attract a regular flow of visitors. The stokedtraveler hopes that the park gets sufficient funding to really make it a competitive destination for both kids and kids-at-heart.

spitting dinosaur

The concept of Dinosaur Island shows promise. It is the first-ever Animatronics Dinosaur Park in the Philippines. It is a good place to drop by to when in Clarkfield Freeport Zone. However, it could use a lot of real feedback/suggestion from park visitors to keep people coming.

Park Schedule:
Monday to Sunday (9 AM to 5 PM)


How to get there:
DINOSAURS ISLAND is located in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.  Clark is located 80 kilometers north of Manila and is reachable by land or air.  Driving by car from Manila takes an hour and a half.  Take the North Luzon Expressway and exit at Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga.  Make a left turn toward Angeles City and then a right turn toward Clark.

Take M. A. Roxas / Turn right at C. M. Rector / until Gil Puyat / Turn right at Gil Puyat until you reach Clark Nature Park (Picnic Grounds)
-          It sounds complicated but it really isn’t. Clark is a nice driving area so don’t worry even if you miss a few turns. You can just ask one of the patrol units for directions J


The video below is not taken professionally and could've been done better. It's not really worth including on their website but it's the only one available 



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