A young boy roars at a dinosaur at the Jurassic Empire drive-thru in the parking lot of Everett Mall. The event continues through Sunday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A young boy roars at a dinosaur at the Jurassic Empire drive-thru in the parking lot of Everett Mall. The event continues through Sunday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

At this Jurassic parking lot, dinosaurs and their fans roar

A drive-thru attraction at the Everett Mall has young kids baring their teeth at full-sized dinos.

EVERETT — Social distancing has gone to the dinosaurs.

Jurassic Empire has caged over 30 of the prehistoric creatures in a fenced parking lot by Everett Mall, near where Sears was in a past epoch.

It’s a drive-thru for the Homo sapiens, who must stay in cars.

Travel at 5 mph is slow enough to allow for hanging out the window or the sunroof. Orange traffic cones keep vehicles in lanes and the dinos from getting their gnarly toes run over.

The dinosaurs roar and show teeth.

The kids roar and show teeth.

Parents take photos.

The attraction ends this weekend and heads to Bellingham.

Large animatronic dinosaurs move and make noises as cars drive by at the Jurassic Empire drive-thru in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Large animatronic dinosaurs move and make noises as cars drive by at the Jurassic Empire drive-thru in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Jurassic Empire, based in Michigan, has six crews that roam the Earth with truckloads of extinct reptiles.

“They are robots,” said the company’s assistant manager, David Jones. “They are made out of rubber, Styrofoam and metal.”

The traveling show changed from walk-thru to drive-thru for COVID reasons. Several other dino entrepreneurs offer similar saurus safaris.

Events are often staged in parking lots, sharing space with the trappings of modern civilization. A tree-chomping torvosaurus looms by the Snohomish County ballot drop box.

Children gawk at the dinosaurs at the Jurassic Empire drive-thru in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Children gawk at the dinosaurs at the Jurassic Empire drive-thru in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Admission is by car, not head, so fill up the seats. The cost is $59 on weekdays and $69 on weekends for up to seven people for the tour lasting about 20 minutes or so, depending on traffic flow. (It’s free to stand outside the fence and watch.)

Stuffed dino toys at the entrance are $20 to $30. Good luck trying to get by that enticement.

Tami Abel of Everett bought several toys for her 2-year-old son and 4-year-old niece.

She said the animatronic experience was worth the price of admission.

“They had a blast,” Abel said. “They liked being able to see them up close.”

A boy reaches out to try to touch a dinosaur tail at the Jurassic Empire drive-thru in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A boy reaches out to try to touch a dinosaur tail at the Jurassic Empire drive-thru in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Social media have plenty of complaints about the price and the quality of the exhibit.

But remember, these reviews are written by paying adults.

The event is geared to kids under 6 who are enthralled by a T. rex inches from the car window, even if it sounds like a sick cow.

It changed the way Abel views the abandoned concrete patch by the mall.

“It will always be the dinosaur parking lot to us,” she said.

Hours are 3 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. More at jurassicempire.com.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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