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December 20, 2013

Magic Kingdom - Fantasyland - Dumbo the Flying Elephant


Everyone knows about it, and it's a rather simple attraction. I like to consider Dumbo the Flying Elephant to be a necessary evil. Okay, that may be a bit harsh... but in fairness, it is unimaginative, cliche and reliably slow to load. I think it's a stroke of minor brilliance that WDW opted to add a twin ride adjacent to the first, but I also feel fooled due to their attempts to tout this "change" as a new attraction. No matter what they do, it's still just a redundant rotational ride. It earns respect from me for its heritage only, and nothing more.



Based on Disney's 1941 animated feature Dumbo, the ride of the same name offer guests a whimsical twirl from within vehicles designed to look like replicas of the famous flying elephant. Each of the two ride hubs feature sixteen "elephants" attached to metal arms that extend from a central spinning axis. Joysticks within each ride vehicle allow guests to control the height of their vehicle, offering raising and lowering options throughout your 90 second ride. I kind of like the up and down, bounce effect, but this seems to annoy most of my ride partners. 

This opening day attraction remained generally untouched until it was recently moved to the Storybook Circus section created by the Fantasyland expansion. As part of this project, a second ride was added to mimic the first. (Almost... the individual ride hubs rotate in opposite directions.) Additionally, interactive queue elements were installed, including a recreation of the movie's firehouse circus stunt scene under the "Big Top". Here, guests receive pagers made to look like circus tickets. There are bleachers where parents can wait while the little ones play among slides, nets and puzzles. Yes, it's a nice air conditioned way to await your ride - Brilliant! Just enjoy the break until Timothy Mouse summons your party for your adventure!


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