Looking Back (and to the Future): Dumbo The Flying Elephant

The Dumbo Ride is one of the most iconic attractions at Disney World. Chances are you may not wait in the long lines anymore (unless you have kids) but you still have a soft spot for the flying elephant ride.

History

The Dumbo ride first appeared at Disneyland California in 1955. When the attraction was originally being planned and built it featured ten ride vehicles that weren't intended to represent ten Dumbos but the alcohol-induced pink elephants scene from the Disney film. The working title for the attraction was "10 Pink Elephants on Parade." Obviously Walt Disney objected, not wanting guests to ride an attraction based on hallucination. The elephants were then painted the gray they are today.

Dumbo at the Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom's Dumbo ride was open for the park's opening day on October 1, 1971. The Magic Kingdom's version of Dumbo differed from Disneyland's in that it did not feature a central water feature. This was due to the fact that the utilidoor tunnel system under Magic Kingdom prevented the installation of water pipes necessary for the water feature. In addition to Disneyland California, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland's Dumbo rides both have a central water feature.

Looking to the Future

The Dumbo ride at the Magic Kingdom is getting a makeover! Actually I think makeover is kind of an understatement. Its moving to the new Fantasyland expansion and there will be not one but two Dumbo The Flying Elephant attractions in order to help make the lines more manageable.

The new setup of Dumbo will mean that guests will see elephants flying towards them from the other attraction. This means that one of the Dumbos will fly clockwise.

A new interactive queue will also be a part of the Dumbo revamp. Guests will be invited to play carnival games and enjoy entertainment all while waiting in the air-conditioned circus tent.

Rendering of The Storybook Circus Rendering of The Storybook Circus

Guests can expect to experience the new Fantasyland expansion sometime in 2012 but don't worry Disney will keep the original Dumbo up and running so that there will be at least one Dumbo ride working during the expansion and move.

Is Dumbo still a must-do for you? What do you think of the new plans for Dumbo?

UPDATE: Hey folks! Dueling Dumbos is up and fully running in the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland! Check out the fantastic updates and interactive play place queue in Storybook Circus.

Photo credit Disney.

Poppet wrote on Thu, 08/25/2011 - 13:11:

This ride is very special to me. My Father and I always rode this together. He has passed away but my daughter always makes sure that she and I ride this in his memory each time we come. I always think of him when I see this ride. It is always a "Must Do". The new Storybook Circus looks amazing! We cannot wait for this to open.

gidget wrote on Thu, 08/25/2011 - 14:22:

Anonymous's picture

"Magic Kingdom's Dumbo ride was open for the park's opening day on October 1, 1971. The Magic Kingdom's version of Dumbo differed from Disneyland's in that it did not feature a central water feature. This was due to the fact that the utilidoor tunnel system under Magic Kingdom prevented the installation of water pipes necessary for the water feature. In addition to Disneyland California, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland's Dumbo rides both have a central water feature."

actually, the dumbo ride at disneyland did not have a water feature, either, until the 1990s update. so the magic kingdom version only differed in this respect after 1990. the other parks' versions now all have water features, but in 1971, neither did.

vnmoran wrote on Thu, 08/25/2011 - 14:35:

Anonymous's picture

I've been going to Disney world since 1977, when I was 2 years old.
Every year My Mother would watch all of ride the rides as we would have a good time with our dad. But there was one ride that she would always ride and that Was Dumbo. 2 years ago it was time for our family trip once again. My parents and my family all went together. We walked by Dumbo and my daughter (who is afraid of heights at the time) did not want to go on it. My mom looked disappointed. Looking at my mom I saw the little girl inside of her wanting to ride her favorite ride. I looked at her and said come on Mom, I will ride it with you! :-) And with that, I rode Dumbo with my Mom. Two Adults having the best time! I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life. To be able to bring Magic to my mom who so often brought magic to me when I was growing up. Love you mom and thank you!
So yes it is a must ride, ride. I can't wait to see how they improve on it.

JoAnn C wrote on Thu, 08/25/2011 - 22:41:

JoAnn C's picture

I rode it when I was younger but not when I visited last year. I think I need to ride it this year.

JeffC wrote on Fri, 08/26/2011 - 01:18:

JeffC's picture

Would you believe we have yet to ride Dumbo?

Chelsea wrote on Mon, 03/31/2014 - 05:53:

Anonymous's picture

Gidget is correct the original Dumbo ride at Disneyland did not have a water feature, I know this because my Grandfather laid the cement for the floor of the ride. Great memories!

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