Hey there Jurassketeers! The rainy season has ended and that silly travel ban to Isla Nublar has once again been lifted. You heard me right folks: the park is open! And it’s super good news for you who’ve already booked one of the park’s non-refundable vacation packages. If the sketchy travel situation had you waffling about making Jurassic World your summer vacation destination this year, then I have even better news: you don’t have to play into their deals. The best way to experience Isa Nublar is to GO IT ALONE!
Pre-paid packages are a total rip-off if you know your way around the park. If you want to save some cash and see more dinos this year, just follow this handy-dandy visitor’s guide. All I’ll say here is that you’ll definitely want to plan to stay at least three nights on-island — so book your airfare accordingly. OK, onto the guide!
Today is about getting to the island and getting comfortable. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet. Here’s your itinerary:
- Board the Ferry: 9:30 or 10:30 are generally the best times. It takes 3-4 hours to make the trip to Isla Nublar, and hotel check in starts at 2pm.
- Check in and make dinner reservations — the nicer places to eat in the park require reservations, and they only take them day-of. Everybody else is already out there screaming about dinos, so today you have the advantage. I recommend Winston’s, but Nobu is good eats too.
- Day 1 Dino: Don’t miss the Mosasaur’s last feeding of the day at 4:30. The ferry ride will already have you smelling like salt water, so what’s a bit more?
- Pop into the Hammond Creation Lab. Between 3 and 5PM, baby dinos are born here every week. Ask your tour guide when they think the next batch might hatch, then stop in for a real treat!
- Head back to dinner through the underwater observatory’s tunnel. The Mosasaur you saw earlier might even pay you a visit!
- Turn in early — tomorrow’s a big day.
Start early today and you’ll be guaranteed a jam-packed trip. Your first stop is the hotel concierge, where you can ask to be put on the waiting list for “Sleeping with the Dinosaurs.” This is a package-only event, but because it’s only offered for high-rollers, it never sells out. If you’re one of the first names on the list, you’re gonna get in.
- 8:30 breakfast: you want to eat before the next part of your day.
- T-Rex Feeding: The park’s grande dame only eats once per day at 10am. Don’t miss it, but know that small kids might get scared when she eats her (still live) goat for breakfast.
- Take the monorail to the Gyrospheres: This ride is notorious for long wait times in the afternoon, but a midday sphere on autopilot is a great way to finish waking up (or wait out the T-Rex induced nausea).
- Head back to main street and catch a gladiatorial bout at the Pachy Arena. These guys only really start getting riled up after a day’s worth of sun.
- The rest of the day is yours for the exploring. For families, I cannot recommend Aquatic Park enough. For the golf set, now’s the best time to get in a round.
- Camp under the stars: The concierge will let you know if you’re in to “Sleeping with the Dinosaurs” by 4pm, so remember to check your phone! Dinner is included in your tent’s amenities.
Yesterday was full of tooth-gnashing and head-butting. Today we’ll explore the cuter critters of Jurassic World.
- Grab a leisurely breakfast in your tent: You don’t have to pack up until 10am.
- Pet a Triceratops at the Gentle Giants petting zoo. You can even feed a baby dinosaur for $5, and in the morning these little monsters are super hungry!
- Wander the exhibits at the Innovation Center: Parents, did you know that you can leave your kids here? Parents, you can leave your kids here. (WIN!) Kids under 10 are welcome at the center’s daycare, and they even get to meet Mr. DNA!
- In the early afternoon, monorail your way to the aviary: Feeding lorikeets at your local zoo is nothing compared to seeing Pterosaurs dive at their prey.
- Kayak across the millennia on the Cretaceous Cruise. There are 100 different species of dino on these riverbanks. Can you spot them all? (Warning: You must be fit for this one. Two hours of paddling is a lot longer than it sounds)
- Top of the Isla Gondola: Take the monorail again, and make sure you get to the ride’s line by 5pm. Otherwise you won’t be at the summit for sunset!
- Night hike! This is a don’t miss. Led by a guide, you and your fellow hikers will get to explore “the Isla” just as her nocturnal beasts are waking up. (For me this was scarier than the T-Rex!)
You’re leaving today, but don’t let checkout times force you to leave the park early. The concierge will gladly hold your bags for you while you enjoy the end of your vacation before the last ferry leaves at 6pm.
- Safari Breakfast Adventure: Pancakes, churros, and cereal are on offer as you explore Gallimimius Valley by SUV.
- Last chance for souvenirs! Monorail back to Main Street and pick up some good picnic foods to snack on later while you’re there.
- Ride the Egg Spinner: Located right next to the Mosasaur tank, this awesome little ride is often overlooked.
- Picnic lunch on the Bamboo Forest: This is one of the park’s hidden gems — the Bamboo Forest spans a whopping 542 acres and is home to seven species of dinosaur, but nobody ever thinks to go here. Find a secluded spot just your own and let the Jurassic come to you!
- Don’t be late for the ferry! If you get stranded, an extra night at the park hotel is pretty pricey!
Got your own pro tips for visiting Jurassic World this summer? Leave them below — I might even add them to the official guide!
Photo Credit: Jurassic World