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Magic Monday: Dumbo the Flying Elephant

 

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

The sign above Dumbo

For as long as I can remember Dumbo has been flying high above Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom. This iconic flying pachyderm has been as much an icon of the parks as Cinderella’s Castle.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Cleared for take-off

Truth be told, I have never been much of a Dumbo fan. Every time I say that I fear someone will come and take my mouse ears. I always found the line long and hot for a slow-loading ride that seemed to be over as soon as it starts. The one thing that I always loved about Dumbo was the view of Fantasyland as you soared high above. The central location of Dumbo always gave a birds-eye view of Fantasyland.

So on out most recent visit, the heart of Fantasyland felt odd to me without Dumbo watching over it from above. I knew he was moving and on paper maps I applauded the decision. Fantasyland had started feeling cramped. However the reality of not seeing Dumbo behind the castle was shocking, if not disturbing, to me.

Dumbo’s new location is over in the Storybook Circus section of Fantasyland. And our favorite flying elephant has definitely gotten some upgrades since the last time I saw him. Let’s start with this doozy – you’re not seeing double – there are two sets of pachyderms gracing the skies above Storybook Circus. Each set of gleaming elephants are sparkly and new but retain the same styling we are all familiar with. The second notable change is the addition of FastPass. Yes, Dumbo is now a FastPass ride! The FastPass kiosks for Dumbo are located near Mickey’s PhilharMagic. This is an addition most Disney veterans have been clamoring about for a long time. The third change is in the standby queue. Since we used FastPasses this is information that I gathered from other riders and Cast Members. The standby queue now has a pager system much like what you see at a lot of restaurants. The pager works in the new indoor playground attached to Dumbo. When the pager goes off you get in line and with a minimal wait will be up and flying with Dumbo. The pager system is not always in operation. The day we were there they were not using the pagers; it was approximately a 20 minute standby. And I never got a definitive answer on when or how they will be utilizing the pager system; it could be something that they are still working out.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

The indoor area of the Dumbo queue

Disney fixed most of the complaints I had about Dumbo – namely, the long, hot lines! The queue now weaves in and out of an air-conditioned building. But in all of its new glory Dumbo also lost my favorite part of the ride – the views. Since Dumbo now has a building connected to it about half of my view as we went around was of the side of the building – not very scenic! And for right now with so many of the construction walls still up Storybook Circus (and thus Dumbo) feel like a separate part of the park rather than part of Fantasyland. Since there is still much to be done (and unveiled) in the new Fantasyland there is still plenty of reason to think this is a temporary problem. For now, you can use your elephant in the sky to get a glimpse of what’s behind the walls and see the progress on the new Fantasyland expansion!

Dumbo will probably be frequented more often by my family thanks to the introduction of FastPass and the second set of elephants but iconic or not, it still isn’t my favorite – and I definitely miss the old views!

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

A view of the famous flying pachyderms

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