Dinosaurs causing excitement in marina.jpg

Dinosaurs causing excitement in marina

IF YOU loved Jurassic Park, then the display of ‘animatronic’ dinosaurs at Albufeira Marina is definitely for you. Running until August 31, the Dinotaurs exhibition will be resident at the marina, showcasing T-Rex and his peers in a unique light, and terrifying all who dare enter their lair, The Resident’s Ruth Sharpe reports.

As you walk through the black curtains into the prehistoric world, you are emerged into a forest scene, with smoke, lights and sounds of the jungle echoing around the enclosed space. Many have chosen to turn back at this point, in fear of what may lie ahead, but if you walk a few steps forward, you will be greeted by some harmless looking baby raptors. A few steps further, however, and all sorts of terrifying species emerge out of the bushes and smoke, providing an amazingly lifelike replica of the prehistoric world. The show has been carefully designed so that the smoke, lighting and movements of the dinosaurs merge together to produce astonishing scenes for visitors.

Overseeing the exhibition is electronic engineer Alan Danebridge. The nucleus of this unique project began six years ago, initiated by engineers on the south coast of England. Alan came across the project and saw great potential for it to be made into a show. He and his team worked tirelessly to get the dinosaurs into their lifelike state. The creatures are made out of polyurethane foam and latex skin, which look and feel strangely authentic.

The show was originally exhibited in Great Yarmouth, UK, and, after great success and positive feedback, Alan decided to bring Dinotaurs to the Algarve.

Various types of species are on show at the marina, including a Deinonychus, a Dilophosaurus, Parasaurs, Raptors, Triceratops, a Pterodactyl and the main attraction – the spectacular Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The comment book available for visitors to sign is a fine example of the success of the show. Reoccurring phrases include: “Well worth the money”, “Great effects” and “Realistic”. Alan is especially pleased with the reaction from the Portuguese. “There is nothing like this in the Algarve or even Portugal, which is why I would love to base it here,” Alan said. “We have had so much positive feedback from the Portuguese and one visitor even requested if he can help us host the exhibition in Porto!”.

The show was also recently broadcast on a regional BBC show in the UK, and the exhibit still has interest from English investors hoping to showcase Dinotaurs in the UK in the future.

Alan and his co-workers are known as the ‘Dinosaur men’ back home in England, due to the time and effort they have put into this project. For many of the youngsters who visit the exhibition, it is their first discovery of the reptiles. The interest in seeing life from millions of years ago causes great excitement within them and is what drives the team behind the project to make sure every part of the show is up to scratch. Alan describes the thrill of seeing people’s reactions to the work as creating an “immense amount of job satisfaction” for his team.

Dinotaurs is open daily from 7pm until 12.30am. Entry is four euros for adults, three euros for children or 12 euros for a family ticket. The show is located on the far right-hand side of Albufeira Marina. For more information, contact Alan on 916 105 934.