Wednesday night I took Connor, Mathilda, and my godson to the Palace of Auburn Hills to see Walking With Dinosaurs. I had heard of the movie, and in fact Connor and Chris had seen it at the theater when it was out. But, even though I had read a bit about this live show and wrote about it over at MichiGal Travels, I wasn't really sure what to expect.
I've been to the Palace for basketball games, Disney on Ice, concerts, and other live shows. They always manage to change things up to suit the performance. In this case, I'd say the staging area was about the size of the ice arena for the ice shows. Really big. There was a (human) narrator who was out there the entire time, and two jumbo screens on either side of the stage so that the audience could get a better view of what was happening down there.
Walking With Dinosaurs was way more educational than I was expecting. The narrator basically took us through an abridged version of the history of dinosaurs. As he told us about different eras and various species, the dinosaurs would come out on the stage. Some were manned by people who were inside of them, but most of them were robotic. They were massive! Aside from the educational value of the show, there were some cool special effects - like when the narrator explained about the origin of flowers, colorful flowers "grew" all around the stage.
If you have kids, you have probably read and learned quite a bit about dinosaurs since becoming a parent. Nonetheless, I felt the show was pretty interesting, and I learned some new things. Having the huge dinosaurs up on stage illustrating the narrative really brought it to life. They moved around the stage, demonstrating some typical dinosaur behaviors. A few times they sort of interacted with the audience by growling up close or bending their long necks over them.
We were sitting in section 224, and the seats were great. We had a clear view of everything. But it might have been fun to sit on the lower level, especially when those big long necks poked their head over and got up close and personal.
A word of caution: at times it was super loud. When we got up during the intermission, I noticed someone selling ear plugs. If you have a child who is sensitive to loud noises, you might want to consider bringing some. Also, when the T-Rex is out, and you notice her walking over to the edge of the stage to look directly at the audience, know that she is about to snarl really loudly. She walks around and does this to different sections of the audience, and it's loud and potentially scary. So, I'm not trying to ruin anything for you, just giving you a heads up so you can be prepared in case you think it might scare your child.
Other things you should know:
The show started at 7:10 and was over at 8:50. This included a 20-minute intermission.
Parking is $10.
Food is expensive but I've seen worse. I bought 3 regular size beverages, an order of nachos with cheese and salsa (big enough to share) and a soft pretzel (also big enough to share) and the total was $24. I also bought three individual size cotton candies, and that was $9 total. The serving size is small, but how much sugar do you want your kid consuming anyway?
If you have a dinosaur fan on your hands, I'd say this show is a MUST. The three kids I had with me, ages 5, 8, and 11, are not particularly huge dinosaur lovers. But their attention remained drawn to the show the entire time and they really enjoyed it. This is a unique performance and I was impressed with the stage production and the flow of the narrative. If you're looking for a fun family outing this weekend, this just might be it.
|Walking With Dinosaurs|