Giant Animatronic Dinosaurs and Bugs Take Over Philadelphia Zoo Starting April 1st

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events

 Gigantic dinosaurs and larger-than-life insects are taking over Philadelphia Zoo (3400 W. Girard Avenue) in a brand new immersive, multi-sensory experience! Staying Power: Be Distinct or Go Extinct will open on April 1st and feature 25 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and super-sized animatronic insects that will help visitors discover the physical traits, behaviors and special skills that allowed insects to survive long after the dinosaurs went extinct. Visitors will take a journey back through the ages from modern times back to 100 million years ago, as Staying Power unveils the adaptations needed to survive on the earth, and how we have the power to make changes to save the planet—and ourselves. Highlights will include the 60-foot-long roaring and moving Giganotosaurus, a carnivore believed to be even larger than the famous T-rex, and 15-foot-tall peacock jumping spider that demonstrates its remarkable mating dance. Guests will also marvel at the Spinosaurs, a dinosaur from the late cretaceous period that was equally at home living on land and in water as it growls at passersby, and at a hive of super-sized honeybees that buzz and dance to communicate– you might even catch the scent of their honey!

Staying Power officially opens to the public Saturday, April 1 and to Philadelphia Zoo members Thursday, March 30.  Tickets for Staying Power are a standard Zoo admission ticket plus $6 for the special experience (adults and children ages 2+).  Members enjoy free admission to the Zoo with advance reservations and a special discount for Staying Power. Philadelphia Zoo is open daily this spring, from 9:30am – 5:00pm. For tickets and more information, visit:

“We are very excited to welcome guests to the Zoo to experience Staying Power – a tailor-made adventure immersing guests in the fascinating world of dinosaurs and insects, highlighting what it means to be adaptable and survive,” said Philadelphia Zoo Chief Marketing and Experience Officer Amy Shearer. “Staying Power is a dynamic experience that will put guests side-by-side with some of the biggest and smallest animals to walk the Earth, and challenge guests to look at the adaptations that we have as humans to make a difference for the future of our planet.”

To enter Staying Power, guests will walk through an Earth-themed portal and embark on Dinosaur Trail, a pathway that winds among dinosaurs that roar, move their tail, or even bend over to look them directly in the eye! Then, about mid-way through their journey, passing through a giant magnifying glass, guests enter a super-sized landscape of giant insects that hiss, buzz, click and wave their antennae and move their legs inside the Insect Garden. Guests will also witness the life cycle of monarch butterflies and learn about the threats they face; they’ll see giant honeybees working in a hive and learn their essential role in, and discover the simple changes we can make in our own habitats to help insects survive!

Scientists think there are about 5.5 million insect species on the planet—about 75-80% of all animals on Earth. Their incredibly strong exoskeletons, ability to camouflage and power to fly are just a few of the adaptations that give them Staying Power. Unfortunately, due to factors like habitat destruction, intense agriculture practices and pesticide use, insects are now showing evidence of rapid decline. Sadly, because there are so many insect species, and so few humans studying them, researchers don’t yet know how serious the problem is. What is known is that the populations at the bottom of the food chain have a direct impact on the survival of everyone else. Fortunately, there are ways that everyone can help to prevent this potential crisis.

All the animals and plants that presently share the world are here because they have Staying Power. Each person on earth has the power to change the conditions for life in this world. Actions  taken or not taken will either improve or reduce the odds for survival of every living being, including humans. So, given that everyone still has a choice, the exhibit encourages everyone to use this superpower for good.

Highlights of Staying Power will include:


* The entry is through an Earth-themed portal with an overarching asteroid entering the atmosphere— visitors see what dealt the dinosaurs their extinction and why!

* The first dinosaur encountered is Giganotosaurus—the biggest known meat-eater among the dinosaurs.

* Further on visitors find a group of Velociraptors—6-foot long, highly intelligent hunters with giant claws!

* A Parasaurolophus rises above the vegetation it feasts upon — a giant of vegetarian efficiency! It even grinds up twigs and pine needles with its hundreds of flat teeth.

* An aquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus, was amazingly buoyant for weighing 13-22 tons (more than two to three male African elephants!)

* A bird-like dinosaur, Gallimimus, has similarities to (really big) ostriches and emus.

* No dinosaur trail is complete without T-rex on a tear!


* From the land of the dinosaurs, visitors “shrink” and pass through a giant magnifying glass into a garden of macro views of insects that live among the world today.

* The hiss of a hissing cockroach greets visitors as they enter, with clues given right away about why this bug is so big!

* Visitors discover a stink bug whose humble appearance does not take away from its powerful skills—at stinking.

* A flower beetle reveals the truly spectacular ways in which insects hide in plain sight.

* A flame skimmer dragonfly showcases the amazing aerial abilities of this speedy insect.

* A screaming katydid takes visitors by surprise with its vocalizations!

* The final message of Staying Power is focused on the delicate Monarch Butterfly, that astounding traveler that migrates on the wing from all over North America to the mountain forests of Mexico every year. Visitors learn that they are disappearing but also that there are many things that can be done to help them hold onto their staying power.

Along with Staying Power, the special edition dinosaur Zoo Key returns! The beloved Zoo Key is back for the 2023 season. Guests can use the Dino Zoo Key (or even one from their childhood!) to unlock untold stories inside of Staying Power and around the Zoo. Learn about the animals directly from the zookeeper’s who care for them each and every day. Zoo Key Storybook Boxes are located across our 42-acre campus and include stories about animals like the Zoo’s adorable sloth bear cubs, Ankole cattle, hippos, penguins and flamingos to name a few. Guests can purchase Zoo Keys at any retail location.

While at the Zoo, visitors can also grab something to eat at the newly enhanced dining destination the Watering Hole – located right next to Staying Power. Dino-themed main dishes include the Bronto Burger (triple cheeseburger with Sriracha ketchup), Triceratops Trio (pulled chicken, pulled pork and BBQ beef slider trio), and the childhood-favorite Dino Nuggets. For dessert, visitors can indulge in a Chocolate “Dirt” Parfait (chocolate cake, whipped cream and gummy worms) or a dinosaur-themed cupcake. For snacking on the go, visitors can purchase a bag of Jurassic Trails (house-made trail mix with granola, mixed nuts, raisins and M&Ms) or Raptor Corn (cheese-flavored popcorn mixed with “dinosaur claws” and pretzel sticks).

Staying Power opens to the public Saturday, April 1 and to Philadelphia Zoo members Thursday, March 30.  Tickets are the cost of General Zoo Admission, $25 for ages 12+ and $20 for ages 2-11, children under 2 are free, plus entrance for Staying Power $6 (adults and children ages 2+).  Members enjoy free admission to the Zoo with advance reservation and save on STAYING POWER tickets. The Zoo is open daily 9:30am -5:00pm. Last entry to Staying Power is 4:00pm.

Staying Power was created in partnership with Dino Don Inc., the world’s leading supplier of robotic insects and dinosaurs and the only maker of full-sized dinosaurs. The hand-made animatronics are uniquely created under direct scientific supervision. The company’s founder, “Dino” Don Lessem is a world-renowned authority on dinosaurs and was the dinosaur advisor to Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. He has also authored 40 books on the subject.

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