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Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Dumbo the Elephant Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
Land Fantasyland
Theme Dumbo
Opening date October 1, 1971
Dumbo the Flying Elephant is an aerial carousel-style ride located at Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. It opened on October 1, 1971.

Summary

Based on the character from the 1941 animated feature, the sixteen ride vehicles each resemble Dumbo and are mounted on articulated armatures connected to a rotating hub. The passengers ride in the "Dumbos" and can maneuver them up and down with a joystick that operates a hydraulic ram. The ride itself rotates counterclockwise at a constant rate.

History

Magic Kingdom's original 1971 version of this attraction was designed differently than its 1955 Disneyland counterpart. On opening day, it soft-opened without, not only Timothy and his disco ball, but the elephants' hats as well. The hats and disco ball were eventually added after a couple of months, but the Timothy Mouse figure wasn't added for about two years.

The ride was later updated with the sixteen vehicles and the new ride mechanism in 1993. However, it did not include a central water feature like its Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland counterparts; the utilidors running directly below the attraction prevented the installation of water pipes necessary for the water features to operate. Also for this version, as well as its Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland counterparts, Timothy's hot air balloon had red and white stripes, rather than rainbow stripes for the Disneyland version. In 1997, the attraction's queue was covered to provide shade and decorated with topiaries.

For nostalgic visitors, a replica of Magic Kingdom's 1971 version currently exists at Tokyo Disneyland, being the only park to still feature ten flying elephants and Timothy spinning on a disco ball. It is also the only other park, aside from Disneyland, to have Timothy holding a whip.

Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland is underwent a large expansion and renovation that began in 2011. The New Fantasyland was constructed in phases with the first half of the storybook circus open by mid 2012, a section dedicated to The Little Mermaid, a section dedictated to Beauty and the Beast, and the second half of storybook circus were opened by December 6th 2012, some additional attractions opened in 2013, and the final phase was the opening of the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, which soft opened in Mid-May 2014, and officially opened on May 28th. Some elements of Mickey's Toontown Fair were demolished and others were re-themed to a new Storybook Circus area. An expanded Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride was built in this new location with an interactive queue.

Storybook Circus began soft openings on March 12, 2012, including one of the new Dumbo carousels. The southern end of Storybook Circus had a delayed opening on March 21, 2012. During the soft openings, it was revealed that the new attraction received the water features that have been included with the attraction in many other Disney Parks around the world. However, unlike the other versions, an additional effect occurs at night when the fountain lights change colors, an effect that was picked up from the Disneyland version, but with more colors. The Dumbo vehicles, which are richly detailed and vibrantly colored, now spin clockwise from the original version, which was reconstructed next to the new one, that soft-opened on June 22. The two rides therefore counter-rotate from each other. The attraction also features a new soundtrack and artwork panels at the bottom of the carousels that tell the story of Dumbo, like the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel attraction. However, a new central hub was introduced that lacks the hot air balloon with Timothy Mouse and the magic feather. This figure has been moved to above the attraction's marquee. A signature feature of this version is an indoor queue themed to the Bigtop from the film. Inside guests receive ticket-themed pagers where they can wait until prompted, and small children can play in the play area themed to Dumbo's fire rescue stunt scene.

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