Dumbo the Flying Elephant
One of the most treasured traditions at any of the Disney parks is the Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride. This attraction is located in all five Disney parks around the world, and no child wants to miss it on their Disney stay. However, despite the simple nature of this ride, it used to be the toughest ticket around. Lines could get longer than an hour for this short ride. Things are better now, as a massive upgrade has made the experience better for everyone. Let’s examine the history of this ride, and then we’ll provide some touring tips on how to best fit this attraction into your Magic Kingdom touring plan.
History of Dumbo the Flying Elephant
The original ride opened just 3 months after the opening of Disneyland in 1955! Originally, the designers wanted the elephants to be pink, but Walt Disney objected, as he didn’t want a hallucination serving as the basis for the ride, and so the elephants took on their present-day color.
The Magic Kingdom version of this ride was part of the opening-day lineup, opening on October 1, 1971. The ride had ten elephants, and in 1993 this was updated to 16 elephants. The elephants only held ONE set of passengers, so the load times were among the slowest in the entire park. This led to very long lines. For years, Dumbo was the best place to start your touring day, as if you didn’t get there early, you were guaranteed to wait.
Dumbo Gets a New Home in New Fantasyland
In 2012, the Dumbo ride was moved to the Storybook Circus area of New Fantasyland. Now the ride has TWO carousels, which dramatically reduces the wait time! The new ride also includes the water fountains that have been a part of the Disneyland attraction for many years! At night, however, they light up with different colors, which is a unique Magic Kingdom experience!
Another new aspect of the Dumbo ride is the waiting area for children. Now, when the wait gets long, your kids can go and play in a play area themed to the Dumbo fire rescue scene from the movie. This can keep the kids happy when the lines are long!
Tips for Touring Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Due to the expansion of this ride, it is no longer necessary to make this ride a priority in the mornings. I’d switch your priorities to Peter Pan’s Flight and the new Ariel ride, Under the Sea. I still typically attack this ride in the mornings though, as all of Fantasyland becomes a madhouse in the early afternoon.
The one thing that separates this ride from many others is the play area. If your kids are tired of waiting in lines and roaming the park, this isn’t a bad place to sit down and let the kids play. So while you may detest wait times of 30 minutes to an hour, your kids will have a blast in the play area. So Dumbo becomes one of our top things to do when the park is full and busy, as the kids can play while you wait.
Another good time to ride Dumbo is late at night, as Fantasyland clears out in the late evenings. It’s fun for the kids to see the multi-colored water fountain at night as well, so don’t forget to try this at least once on your vacation!
By: Ryan Shade