Dinosaur show a trip back in time

SunDome spectators travel to prehistoric era at Arena Spectacular

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Seven-year-old Destiny Crowder found only one drawback to "Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular."

The life-size, life-like lizards roaming the Yakima Valley SunDome floor: Great. The backdrop of enormous teeth: Impressive. An allosaurus that leaned over the rail to growl at her: Awesome.

"I want to pet the dinosaurs," said Crowder, who pointed, "oohed" and "aahed" Thursday night as she watched the opening performance with her family and friends. Seven more shows over the next three days will follow.

Alas for her, the dinosaurs don't get close enough to touch at the $20 million show, which uses animatronics and puppetry to bring to life 15 full-size dinosaurs. (No flash photography is allowed, either.)

A packed crowd saw a 200 million-year saga of dinosaurs, with climatic and tectonic changes, compressed into about 90 minutes and narrated by "Huxley," the paleontologist. A baby dinosaur hatches out of an egg. Brachiosaurus cuddle with each other. A stegosaurus grazes on inflatable and well-lit ferns.

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