Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride review

Guide to Guests with Disabilities at Disney World
Dumbo Flying-2” by Henry Mestre licensed under CC BY 2.0

Going to Disney means taking part in one of the most special moments of childhood. Even if you don’t have children yourself, you must know the impact of Disney on the lives of kids. It’s unavoidable when you go to Disney!

There is magic all around when you travel to the happiest place on Earth. With that being said, there are certain rides that truly make a child’s Disney experience a memorable one—Dumbo the Flying Elephant is one of those rides.

If you’ve got kids, you have to take them on this classic ride. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss out on.

The History

Dumbo the Flying Elephant comes from the 1941 animated film called Dumbo. That much may be obvious, but the history of the ride may be lost on younger kids who haven’t seen the movie. If you’ve never shown your children Dumbo, you’ll definitely want to dedicate some time to watching the film. You can even watch it on your way to the parks!

Whether you’re driving or flying, you can load up the film on your phone or tablet device and let your kids watch it on the way to Disney. It’s a great way to keep your kids occupied during travel, and they’ll better understand the history behind this classic Disney ride.

Originally, the ride was built in 1971. It closed for a brief period in 2012 to freshen up the attraction and keep things running smoothly. However, the Flying Elephant ride at Disneyland California was founded in 1955 shortly after the park opened to the public. This doesn’t change the ride at all, but it’s interesting to think such an iconic ride at Disney World opened in Disneyland first.

Crazy stuff!

The Ride

This is one of the best Disney World rides for toddlers. It’s easy to see why, too. The ride itself doesn’t consist of much; two people pick an elephant—each one has its own color for its hat and other accessories—and you dip your elephant up and down at a leisurely pace for about 5 minutes. It’s absolutely perfect for kids in every way.

The ride isn’t too fast, it doesn’t go too high, and the elephants are incredibly cute. For little ones, this combination is perfect. Older kids (about 7 to 9) will probably enjoy it, too. You can choose how high and how low your elephant flies, so there’s an opportunity to customize your experience, which tends to be a big draw for slightly older kids. When you start getting into the tween and teen ages, though, they start to lose interest.

The ride is easy enough to operate. When you get in your elephant, you buckle up, then wait for it to start. Once it gets going, you’ll notice a little joystick for moving your elephant up and down. You travel through the air in a circle, bobbing around to your heart’s content. Your elephant is entirely independent of the other elephants, so you could never touch your joystick and not be affected by any of the elephants around you. You’re all just spinning around in the air to your own rhythm.

The Wait

Like most of the top Disney World attractions, you can usually expect a little bit of a wait for this classic ride. Luckily, it isn’t as long some of the other rides, but the wait can reach up to 45 minutes. In general, though, you can expect to wait around 20 to 30 minutes. Not too bad for one of the original Disney World attractions.

Although, 2019 may bring in some larger crowds for this attraction. There is a new Dumbo film slated for release in March of 2019. Judging by the success of the recent remakes Disney’s released—Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Jungle Book, to name a few—some new crowds can be expected to flock to the ride in excitement for the new film.

The increase in crowds may do some unexpected things to the wait times, but it’s too early to tell how much the ride will be impacted by the film’s release. If you’re traveling to the parks around the film’s release, you may want to be conscious of the larger crowds.

Ride Requirements and FastPass+

As far as rides at Disney World go, Dumbo the Flying Elephant is pretty standard when it comes to restrictions. Here are the requirements you need to know about:

You must transfer from a wheelchair or ECV if you use one. You can still enjoy the ride, but you must be moved into the elephant!

Children under 7 years of age must be accompanied by someone over the age of 14. This is the standard rule for rides and attractions at Disney.

There is no height requirement! As long as your child has someone to ride with if they’re under 7, they’re okay to ride—another reason why this attraction works perfectly for little kids.

FastPass+ is offered, if you choose to use one of your tickets for Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Depending on the crowds after the release of the new film, you may want to get a FastPass+ for this one if you have little kids. If you’re going any other time or if you don’t have small children, then you can skip out on a FastPass+ for this one.

If you’re an adult looking to relive your childhood, you don’t have to worry about age requirements, either. Luckily, Disney does not put a limit on how old you have to be in order to take part in the magic.

This list reflects most of the rides at Disney World, so you can expect to have similar requirements for any attraction you want to ride. Most have height requirements, though, so keep that in mind!

Here’s some more information on the FastPass+ options for Magic Kingdom if you aren’t sure about booking a ticket for Dumbo the Flying Elephant. For starters, you only get three tickets, so you want to choose your rides wisely. That’s why you may want to skip out on Dumbo the Flying Elephant for your FastPass+ tickets.

There are rides at Magic Kingdom that need the FastPass+ in order to keep the wait under an hour. The rides you want FastPass+ tickets for will probably be The Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain, or Space Mountain. Of course, you can only choose three rides, but these are the rides you’ll want to choose from. Even though Dumbo the Flying Elephant will be one of your favorite family-friendly rides, you don’t need a FastPass+ for it.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant: An Essential

It’s safe to say you don’t want to miss this ride if you can help it, especially if you have kids. The ride doesn’t have any uncomfortable elements; it’s the perfect ride to get on when you’re looking for 5 minutes of relaxation. Plus, you’ll be flying above Fantasyland which has a plethora of colored buildings and interesting attractions to view. You can see the crowds in the park, too.

Other than the view, you’ll love the memories you make with your kids by riding this ride. If you’re traveling with more than one adult, have someone take a picture of you and your child riding in the elephant. It’s a great memory to keep with you throughout the years. Then one day, when your kids have children themselves, they can take their kids to Dumbo the Flying Elephant and retake the picture.

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