Sunday, July 14, 2013

Disneyland Review: Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: You can fly!  On an elephant!  And control him!
Cons: A long wait for a relatively short, basic ride
The Bottom Line
Long wait rewarded
With a chance to control your
Flying elephant

Your Child's Imagination Will Soar on Dumbo

While I say there is no ride in Disneyland I won’t go on, there are some I don’t make a point of going on.  One of those is Dumbo the Flying Elephant.  Yet I’ve wound up on it several times this year, and I’m reminded why it is so popular with little kids.

Naturally, this attraction is located in Fantasyland.  It’s at the back of the main area behind Kind Arthur’s Carousel and to the left of the big whale entrance to Storybook Land Canals.

Really, this ride is a glorified merry-go-round.  About a dozen large plastic vehicles are attached to a pole in the center.  These ride vehicles are molded to look just like the baby Dumbo.  One to two people are allowed to sit in each Dumbo.  There is a seat belt to help hold you in place, although they do require the adults to sit on the outside.

Once the ride begins, you find yourself going around in a circle.  But here’s the catch.  There is a lever in your Dumbo that allows you to control how high you fly.  Push up on the lever and your Dumbo will soar.  Press down, and you’ll head back to the ground.  If you leave it alone, you’ll find yourself staying at your current lever.  Before the ride ends, all the Dumbos rise to their peak before coming in for a landing.

The reason I pretty much gave up on this ride is that the line can be very long.  It does seem to be coming down, however.  It’s been in the 30 minute range when I’ve been there recently, including when I rode it with my niece on Labor Day itself.  The ride lasts roughly two minutes, so it’s not worth a very long wait.

But I’m glad I’ve been going back on it recently because it really is fun.  Even as an adult, I’ve been enjoying that feeling of flying.  You get a nice view of Fantasyland from the top.

And my niece absolutely loved it.  She was grinning from ear to ear the entire time we were on the ride.  She was a little short to really control Dumbo, so I got to help with that.  There is something purely magical about controlling your own flight – something we don’t get to do on a regular basis.  And sometimes it takes a little kid to really recapture that.  It sure happened for me.

Will I be making a point of riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant every time I’m in the park?  Probably not.  The lines are too long for that.  But I will certainly consider riding it more often.

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