Dumbo the Flying Elephant is a beloved classic attraction located in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Based on the 1941 Disney animated film, this ride allows guests to soar through the air on the adorable flying elephant from the movie. First opening at Disneyland in 1955, versions of Dumbo were later added to all Disney parks worldwide. The Magic Kingdom opened with this attraction in 1971.
Dumbo has a special place in many guests’ hearts and is often one of the first rides visited by young children during their Disney trip. This review will provide a comprehensive guide to Dumbo the Flying Elephant, covering all the key details riders would want to know. That includes ride information and logistics, history and design, the experience of riding, and tips for guests. The goal is to give readers an informative, engaging, and useful article to help them better plan their Disney World vacation.
Ride Information and Logistics
Average Wait Time: The average wait time for Dumbo is typically less than 20 minutes. During peak seasons or busy times of day, the wait may extend up to 30–45 minutes at most.
Height Requirement: There is no height requirement for Dumbo the Flying Elephant, making it suitable for guests of all ages.
Single Rider Line: There is no single rider line offered. All guests must wait in the standby or Lightning Lane queue.
Ride Duration: Each ride lasts approximately 90 seconds as Dumbo goes round in a circle.
Genie+ and Lightning Lane Access: Dumbo is one of the attractions included with Genie+ and also has a separate Lightning Lane entrance for those purchasing that add-on. This allows guests to bypass the regular line.
Disability Access Service (DAS): Guests needing accommodations through DAS will receive a return time to come back and board.
Location: Dumbo the Flying Elephant is located in Fantasyland’s Storybook Circus area, adjacent to The Barnstormer rollercoaster and the Fantasyland train station.
Early Entry Access: As a Fantasyland attraction, Dumbo is included as part of early theme park entry offered to eligible Disney World resort guests. Arriving early is a good way to experience lower wait times.
Best Times to Ride: The best times to ride Dumbo with lower waits are during the parades or fireworks shows later in the day, when crowds disperse across the park. First thing in the morning or late at night are also good times.
History and Design
The original Dumbo ride first opened at Disneyland on August 16, 1955, almost a month after the park opened. The design originally included 10 different vehicles that were intended to represent the pink elephants from Dumbo’s drunken hallucination scene. However, Walt Disney decided the pink pachyderms might encourage kids to drink and had the vehicles changed to Dumbos instead.
When Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, the ride was modeled after Disneyland’s but did not initially include the Timothy Mouse figure. Timothy and Dumbo’s signature hats were both added in 1972. Over the years, the Florida version saw updates, including new lighting packages and interactive elements added to the queue. As part of the New Fantasyland expansion around 2012, Dumbo was relocated from the middle of Fantasyland to the Storybook Circus area. This allowed the addition of an identical second Dumbo ride placed next to the original, doubling capacity.
The two carousels spin in opposite directions – one clockwise and the other counterclockwise. The redesign brought several enhancements. The vibrant circus colors and theming transport riders into Dumbo’s world. Fiber optic lights surrounding the ride sync to music and change colors at night when Dumbo “takes flight.” The attraction sits inside a circus tent structure, and the interactive queue includes a big top play area for kids. Water features like fountains and bubble machines add whimsy.
The Dumbo ride experience begins even before boarding the attraction. Those waiting in standby enter a circus-themed, air-conditioned tent queue filled with interactive playground elements. Kids can burn energy as parents relax while they wait. When your turn comes up, guests are loaded in groups to walk out and choose their Dumbo vehicle. Each colorfully-painted pachyderm seats two riders who share a small seatbelt. A joystick in the middle allows you to control the elephant’s height as the ride takes flight.
As upbeat circus music plays, Dumbo vehicles are lifted into the air and gently spun round in a circle. Fly your elephant up and down using the joystick to see Fantasyland and Cinderella Castle from new heights. The ride lasts about 90 seconds, but the views make it feel longer. At night, the fountains, lights, and reflections surrounding Dumbo add even more magic. It’s worth a second ride to see the attraction transformed by the sparkling, colorful illumination after dark.
Tips for Riders
Use Genie+ or purchase individual Lightning Lane access to bypass the standby wait if you want to maximize ride time rather than play in the queue.
Nighttime is an excellent time to ride Dumbo to see the lights. Try to ride once during the day and once at night for a different experience.
Request vehicle #1 or #10 for a unique viewpoint during the ride that allows you to see the other Dumbos.
Keep an eye out for hidden Mickeys formed by the ride’s water jets and fountains as you soar around the attraction.
Let little ones wear a Dumbo hat or play with the “magic feather” wand from the gift shop to fully engage their imagination and story during the ride.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant brings the timeless story of the 1941 film to life, allowing Disney guests to hop aboard their own flying elephant and let their spirits soar. It’s a quintessential Disney ride filled with nostalgia, whimsy, and delight, perfect for all ages. With two carousels now available and ride enhancements like interactive queues, lively music, and dazzling new lighting, Dumbo manages to keep this classic attraction feeling fresh and relevant for new generations of Disney visitors. This review covered all the key details riders need to know to make the most of their own Dumbo flight.
The Barnstormer – This small rollercoaster ride featuring Goofy as a stunt pilot is directly adjacent to Dumbo within the Storybook Circus area.
Mad Tea Party – The classic spinning teacup ride is a short walk from Dumbo, also located in Fantasyland.
Prince Charming Regal Carousel – This carousel featuring ornately decorated horses is a close neighbor of Dumbo’s in Fantasyland.
Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid – The dark ride based on The Little Mermaid is under 5 minutes walk from Dumbo’s location.
Dumbo The Flying Elephant Ride Review | Disney World
The Final Word
Take flight with your family aboard Dumbo's whimsical elephants and see Fantasyland from above as you pilot up and down. This sweet, spinning ride is perfect for making memories with little ones who will delight in controlling Dumbo's soaring height themselves.