Welcome the Dragons (恐龙)!

On the eve of the Chinese Dragon New Year, we went “dragon-watching” at the Singapore Science Center. With over 50 live-size animatronic exhibits, the “Dinosaurs Live Exhibition” is the largest robotic Dinosaurs show in the world.

Despite our jumping shots at the entrance, I rated this show 3.5-star. It wasn’t as “live” as what the poster promised. The only impressive part was the massive size of these prehistoric creatures. The 3,500 sqm jungle was small – we covered the entire show in less than 30 minutes. Within a glance, you can almost see 50% of the exhibition. It left us little to explore and discover. The canvas backdrops were badly installed and looked cheap and untidy. The dinosaurs weren’t as “animatic and lively” as I expected. Some movements were rather static and slow. The sound effects helped a lot to compensate the “cartoonish” expressions but the “rainbow lightings” were too overwhelming. Other than the typical information boards (and rubber stamps) that were placed beside the exhibits, there was little interactive engagement about these creatures. I was expecting more 3D and digital content – so the children can interact and navigate to know more about these magnificent prehistoric creatures.

To improve the show experience, Science Center should consider changing this to a guided tour. Amplifying the “adventure experience” with experienced guide leading the audience into the jungle with stories. The space should be darkened and be lighted up at every new visit. There should be more partitions (and vegetations, volcanoes etc) to isolate the exhibits so it allows more immersion and exploration within each space. Replace the wooden platform walkway with pebbles and dirt-roads. Remove the railing and let the vegetations/rocks be the natural barriers. The dinosaurs should be motion-activated and be more involved with its human visitors.

This shows size doesn’t matter when it comes to a good experience. Let’s hope the organizers can put in more thoughts and efforts to bring back the magic of a good show. Or at least, leave a lasting impression for the visitors.

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