Today In Disney History ~ August 13th
T-Rex is a Prehistoric themed restaurant that includes a gift shop, along with animatronic dinosaurs that move and roar. T-Rex has differently-themed restaurant sections, such as prehistoric insects (which includes enlarged animatronic insects), ice age (which includes ice caves and animatronic mammoths), and under the sea (complete with jellyfish ceiling and large aquarium). In the dinosaur-themed area, a gift shop allows customers to “Build-A-Dino”, which is provided by Build-A-Bear Workshop, who works in partnership with T-Rex.
T-Rex is owned by Landry’s Restaurants, which started back in 1980 in Katy, Texas. Landry’s went private in 2010 when Tilman Fertitta, the CEO of Landry’s and a large shareholder, made an offer to buy all shares. Landry’s is no longer traded on the NYSE.
The first T-Rex restaurant opened in Kansas City, followed by the opening of another at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World, on October 17, 2008. (It appears to have been themed around The Rite of Spring segment of Fantasia.) It features Tyrannosaurus rex, Apatosaurus, Triceratops, mammoths, Stegosaurus, Parasaurolophus, and multiple pterosaurs, sea jellies, large insect models, alongside a Pachycephalosaurus, 13-foot wide octopus, and 2 fish tanks. There is a 2-min. meteor shower with various sized asteroids, and the ice cave turns from a blue or purple-pink color to orange to give the feeling it is melting, and all animals hoot, roar, and go berserk. T-Rex has a fossil dig in which kids can uncover a T-Rex or find their own fossils to keep and/or split a geode open. They have interactive touch screens that have games, toon clips, and things to learn about several of the creatures at the restaurant. Outside there is an Argentinosaurus skeleton and on the other side a parasaurolophus sits in a pond fed by a waterfall with some plants by it. The restaurant looks like a forest with snowy mountains in the middle.
TMSM Today in Graphic by Sherry Rinaldi DeHart