The thrilling, fun Jurassic World Exhibition that’s not just for dinosaur fans

Dive into a detailed review of the mind-blowing Jurassic World Exhibition with awe-inspiring dinosaurs, jaw-dropping displays, and unforgettable up-close encounters of the prehistoric kind. Whether you’re a dinosaur enthusiast, a Jurassic World fan, or just someone looking for an unforgettable adventure, discover just what to expect – and 5 things you should know before you go.

We creep into the Exhibition, careful not to disturb any carnivores as our eyes adjust to the dark. Distinctive, familiar music heralds us. Blue (the Velociraptor) appears in the corner and our LDA begs for a photo.

Like any zoo or amusement park, our first official stop is a photo op, not with dinosaurs but with a green screen. If this is the quality of dinosaurs we can expect, it will be an expensive disappointment.

Soon, we’re ushered onto the ferry and asked to view a brief safety video. This is not Disneyland; the boat does not move. However, anticipation builds as we prepare to step foot on Isla Nublar.

The ferry docks to a view of the iconic gates, looming above us. A Brachiosaurus stretches to greet us. We have arrived.

As a school holiday surprise, we took our LDA to visit the new Jurassic World Exhibition. She bounced from foot to foot and flitted from exhibit to exhibit, admiring the dinosaurs and reminding us not to feed them.

It will make them sick, they shouldn’t eat human food. Or humans,” the latter an afterthought.

While we were there for the dinosaurs, fans of the movie will love the exhibition too. Fully immersive and carefully curated, the Jurassic World Exhibition is a slice of magic worth the steep entry price.

The long and short of: The Jurassic World Exhibition

Official name: Jurassic World Exhibition
Location: ODYSSEUM, Corintostraße 1, 51103 Köln (Kalk)
Opening times: 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday; 10 am to 8 pm Saturday and Sunday, public holidays, and school holidays and bridging days in NRW
Cost: From EUR 23.50 for children (3+ years) and EUR 29.50 for adults (16 and above). Family and group tickets are available, with special prices for seniors and students.
Corona: No restrictions at present, but check online for the latest information
What you need to know: All information is available in German and English and the staff spoke both languages too.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. We may earn a small commission if you use these links to make a purchase. Thank you! Please read our full disclosure for more information.

Welcome to Jurassic World: Brachiosaurus stretches to greet you as you pass through the iconic gates from the first movie.

A note of clarification

We visited the Jurassic World Exhibition at the Odysseum in Cologne, Germany. At the time of writing, the Exhibition can also be seen in San Diego, Atlanta, and Toronto. We assume the other sites are substantially similar, but there may be differences. Where there are, our comments relate to the Cologne Exhibition.

We paid for our tickets – no freebies this time – though we went early (only three days after it opened). Though I’m not above going again for a free ticket, I’m not sure I want to pay the full price twice.

Loading the unruly dinosaurs: Stigimoloch on a truck at the Jurassic Park Exhibition.

What you can expect from the Jurassic World Exhibition

The Jurassic World Exhibition immerses you in the world of the park. You are at Jurassic World, visiting like a tourist (before the Indominus Rex broke out), taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the lab and some of the dinosaur enclosures.

Careful use of lighting makes the dinosaurs look and seem realistic. The baby dinosaurs are some of the more realistic puppets I have seen (and I have seen a few). And the sets, particularly the lab, could be right out for the film.

Ingenious events, such as the ferry ride or live dinosaur feedings, add variety and give you the feeling you’re at the park.

As an added advantage, these events effectively broke up and controlled any crowds. We did not feel hemmed in or that there were too many people for us to see any part of the Exhibition. And post-COVID, a system that prevents crowds from forming is a welcome relief.

At no stage did we feel rushed or forced to move into the next part of the Exhibition before we were ready. At the same time, different events in closed-off sections meant we wanted to move between areas to see what excitement was in store for us.

The Jurassic World Exhibition is an experience totally unlike any other museum or park you can visit. The special effects are first-rate, as expected. If you enjoyed the films or just love dinosaurs, you need to visit!

Fossil T-Rex skull at the Jurassic World Exhibition.

What the Jurassic World Exhibition is not

Although it does a good job of masquerading as one, Jurassic World Exhibition is not a real theme park.

There are no real rides (e.g., the Gyrosphere is a photo opportunity and does not move). There are no dino dogs or food stands (you’ll have to make your own dinosaur-themed food when you get home). There is only one gift shop after you leave the whole Exhibition and not after each ride (though there are many “gifts” available online).

But it does come close to the real park.

The Jurassic World Exhibition pays homage to the film but is not an exhibition about the film. There are no details about the special effects. No interviews with actors or directors. No information about how or where it was filmed or how the dinosaurs were selected. If it’s what you are looking for, this is not the exhibition for you.

The Exhibition is also only about Jurassic World (the fourth movie in the franchise) and not Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom or Jurassic World: Dominion.

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5 tips for getting the most out of your Jurassic World experience

It’s so much to take in, but the Exhibition is done in a fun way that still manages to be informative. Still, there are a few tips to make your visit even more enjoyable.

1. Go early

We went only a few days after the Jurassic World Exhibition opened and we booked tickets for the first time slot of the day. Our advantage: staff were still happy and enthusiastic; a few were even as bouncy as our LDA.

I can imagine certain positions might get a little tiresome after a while: the ranger looking after the Velociraptors was trying to distract our LDA and a couple of other kids who were peppering her with questions while waiting for the Velociraptor feeding. I can imagine it would get very old, very quickly.

Go early in the day when your kids are fresh and the dinosaurs and staff are too.

Patting a baby Ankylosaurus, with a park ranger, at the Jurassic World Exhbition.

2. Do it all

There is much to see and read (in German and English). Some of the less spectacular exhibits are strangely enjoyable. Many are mesmerised by the Brachiosaurus and the noises of the Stigimoloch in the next bay but don’t stop to use the telescopes and find all the dinosaurs.

You may feel some exhibits are designed especially for children (okay, the height of the excavation site and size of the tools suggests maybe that exhibit does target younger visitors), but adults will find many strangely satisfying too (like the dinosaur poo).

Take your time, read everything, and try all the exhibits you can and you’ll find the hidden gems.

Checking the consistency of the dinosaur poop in the lab at the Jurassic World Exhibition

3. Make arrangements for small children

Equal parts fear and fascination gripped our LDA as she watched the Indominous Rex feed from the safety of my shadow.

Small children do not understand that the mechatronic dinosaurs of the Jurassic World Exhibition are not real. Honestly, they’re very lifelike. Even our LDA likes to think the dinosaurs were real, and she’s 7 years old.

An imposing dinosaur feeding can be quite scary for younger children. Our LDA was caught up in the moment and did not know whether she wanted to flee or stay and watch.

If you have a small child who is likely to react (badly) to dinosaur feedings, plan your response. Can you skip the event or do you have other children who need your presence? Are you visiting with another adult? Can you alternate who sees an exhibit if one of your children needs to sit something out?

Make arrangements in advance for any small children who might not appreciate all the exhibits. Talk to the rangers: they will have ideas of what you can do to ensure the best visit for all.

4. Take advantage of any discounts

I won’t sugarcoat it: the Jurassic World Exhibition is expensive. While the prices are on par with larger zoos (and not even close to the prices of some amusement parks), you probably won’t spend a whole day at the Jurassic World Exhibition. We were there for about one and a half hours.

If you find any discount coupons or can take advantage of family or group pricing, you definitely should do so!

Indominous Rex during a feeding display, Jurassic World Exhibition

5. Take a camera

You won’t want to miss the numerous photo opportunities throughout the Jurassic World Exhibition. In the Gyrosphere. Patting baby dinosaurs. Gazing in wonder at the dinosaurs.

Take a camera, or at least a phone with a good camera. Just don’t use the flash, it scares the dinosaurs.

Why not let your little dinosaur fan loose with a (instant print) camera, to practice their photography skills? You might find the perspective interesting.

BTW, you can purchase the green screen photos (taken before you boarded the ferry) at the gift shop. And various photos of dinosaurs, looking appropriately awe-inspiring, replace the green screen.

The Jurassic World logo at the Jurassic World Exhibition

Jurassic World Exhibition: not just for dinosaur fans

Disgusting, thrilling, cute, realistic, and informative. If I had to choose one word to describe the Jurassic World Exhibition, it would be immersive.

From the moment we boarded the ferry, we were transported to the fantastic world otherwise only revealed in the movies. Dinos roared. Eyes sparkled. And we learned close up why we need to respect these prehistoric beasts.

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Jurassic World Exhibition: Not just for dino fans. Pin with 4 images from the exhibition: Brachiosaurus, Indominous Rex, Jurassic World logo and patting a baby Ankylosaurus

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