Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blackgang Chine: Part 2: The old Triassic Club

In addition to its vintage 'Dinosaurland', Blackgang Chine has one other major Mesozoic-themed attraction. Much like the giant, brightly-coloured fibreglass mushrooms (occasionally with faces) that dot the hillside in various areas of the park, it is quite delightfully unhinged. Step right this way!

The Triassic Club was first 'discovered' in 1994, following a major landslide that necessitated the relocation of several major attractions (including a replica cowboy town). As is usual at Blackgang, the premise is explained by way of a pleasingly silly rhyme.

Lots of people have drawn dinosaurs in rather gentlemanly outfits, presumably because it's a vision that never ceases to be hilarious. Blackgang went one better, and stocked the Triassic Club with full-size robot beasts decked out in formal finery. Guests are greeted by Wallace, the butler, who complains witheringly about the master's demanding nature. He also requests that you kindly weigh yourself on a set of scales that denote which course of the feast you are most suited to becoming.

Once weighed, it's time to move on to the next room where the master awaits! He introduces himself as Darwin the Allosaurus - "whom some have the cheek to call the 'other lizard'" - and intones in a louche, aristocratic manner that his guests "sssmell sssscrumptioussss". Requesting that the starter come forward, he nevertheless rejects the notion of eating any vegetarians, explaining that they tend to stick in his teeth.

At a nearby piano - and apparently enjoying a hearty ale - is Oscar, whose wide-eyed, stern facial expression is just priceless. When realising that his drawling, salivating monologue isn't winning his guests over to the idea of becoming lunch, Darwin laments that he'll have to sing for his supper again. And so Oscar strikes a chord...

(You might have to turn your volume up a bit, sorry!)



I've always enjoyed this attraction. Except when I was a small child, when the idea of a leering, toothy dinosaur speaking in a haughty aristocratic accent scared the hell out of me. Granted, the animatronics are hardly Disney-calibre, but then it wasn't made on that kind of budget (and it's getting old). One final thing worth mentioning - before a refurb a couple of years back Darwin had a different soundtrack that was actually far creepier. Happily, someone's uploaded it for posterity! Enjoy!

5 comments:

  1. I suppose I ought to be thankful that I'd be ill-qualified to provide so much as a snack for Darwin. I weigh little and am near enough to being vegetarian.

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    1. If I were there, im sure I would be the main course, as my body is way over its weight limit.

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  2. Alas, Niroot -- being a vegetarian just means that you're "grass fed . . . "

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  3. This bought back crazy childhood memories, thanks so much!

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  4. This reminds me a lot of the Lindworms, a race of Zamonia.

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