Dumbo the Flying Elephant is one of Disneyland’s most iconic and beloved attractions. Based on the 1941 animated film, this gentle spinning ride in Fantasyland has been delighting families and children since opening day in 1955. In this review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Dumbo the Flying Elephant. You’ll learn all about the ride experience, including the interactive queue, ride vehicles, and charming details. We’ll share tips on the best times to ride to minimize wait times, as well as information on height requirements, rider switch, and disability access.
Height Requirement: Dumbo is a family friendly ride. There is no height requirement.
Average Wait Time: Dumbo can experience relatively long wait times during peak hours, particularly in the middle of the day. On average, you may expect to wait anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the time of day and season.
Single Rider: There is no single rider on Dumbo.
Rider Switch: Is available for this ride. Ask a Disney employee before boarding.
Disability Access Service (DAS): Disneyland provides the Disability Access Service (DAS) for guests with disabilities. This service offers accommodations, such as alternate entrances or return times, to make the park experience more accessible. Wheelchair Access: Enter through the standard queue. A transfer access vehicle is available. Guests must transfer from their wheelchair or Electric Conveyance Vehicle by themselves or with assistance by members of their party to experience this attraction.
Location: Dumbo the Flying Elephant is located in the back corner of Fantasyland, nestled between the Storybook Land Canal Boats and Casey Jr. Circus Train attractions. The brightly colored ride vehicles are easily visible from walkways in the area.
History and Design
Dumbo the Flying Elephant was one of the original attractions when Disneyland first opened in 1955. However, the ride was not ready for opening day due to problems with the prototype vehicles. It officially opened just over a month later on August 16, 1955. The ride was originally designed with 10 vehicles, intended to represent the “pink elephants” scene from the Dumbo film. However, it’s rumored Walt Disney changed the color to gray to avoid potential controversy over kids riding an attraction referencing an alcohol-induced hallucination. Over the years, the ride has gone through several enhancements:
1983 – Relocated farther into Fantasyland with some design changes
1990 – Ride mechanism replaced with new 16-vehicle system
2005 – One vehicle painted gold for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary
The current ride vehicles are vibrantly colored with decorative patterns, representing circus elephants. The ornate central water feature includes lighting effects at night. The queue and loading area are themed like a circus, with decorative tents and props. An elevated mall area behind the ride provides a great view of the vehicles in flight for photos.
The Dumbo ride experience begins by walking through the circus-themed queue, which winds through decorative tents and props. Upbeat circus music fills the air. Groups are loaded 6 vehicles at a time onto one of the two revolving ride platforms. Cast members help guests step down into the 8-10 person ride vehicles. A single large seatbelt secures all riders. Once secured, riders can use the joystick in the center to control the elevation of their vehicle.
The ride lasts about 90 seconds as the platforms rotate counterclockwise. Fountains in the middle water feature shoot streams of water that vehicles fly through. At night, the fountains are illuminated with colorful lighting effects that coordinate with the music. It’s a joyful, smooth ride that allows guests to control just how thrilling they want to make it.
Best Times to Ride
Due to its popularity with families, Dumbo generally has long standby waits most of the day. These tips can help minimize your wait:
Arrive early and ride right at park opening
Ride during parades or right after firework shows
Visit during lower crowd times of year
Get in line right before closing
Mornings and evenings typically have the shortest waits. Avoid midday hours when crowds peak. Visiting on less busy days also means shorter lines.
Tips for Riding
Let little ones sit on the inside of the vehicle so they can reach the joystick
Keep your vehicle low to the ground if kids are scared of heights
For memory-making photos, ride at night when the fountains are lit up
The ride will close for fireworks but open up about 15 minutes after
Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Disneyland is a beloved classic that embodies the magic and charm of Disney. Its rich history, imaginative design, and enchanting ride experience make it a must-visit attraction for visitors of all ages. With no height requirements, it’s a ride that families can enjoy together, and the rider switch service ensures that even the youngest guests can take part in the fun.
While wait times can be a concern during peak hours, the ride’s simplicity and the interactive aspect of controlling Dumbo’s flight height make it worth the wait. Plus, the delightful queue and nostalgic organ music contribute to the overall experience, creating cherished memories for all who take to the skies with the world’s most famous flying elephant.
Dumbo The Flying Elephant Ride Review
The Final Word
Dumbo the Flying Elephant remains a classic ride, making it a must-experience attraction in the magical world of Disneyland. So, make sure to add this amazing ride to your Disney itinerary and prepare to take flight with Dumbo in the heart of Fantasyland.