I thought I would write my first “Attraction Reaction” to Tater’s first-ever Walt Disney World ride – Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Dumbo, based on the beloved Disney movie of the same name, is a slow moving spinner ride which proves that, yes, elephants can fly. Each individual Dumbo has a handle inside that allows you to fly higher or lower, and each Dumbo fits two people, or two adults and an infant/toddler on a lap, or one adult and two small children. Dumbo is located in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland, and carnival organ music appropriately plays in the background. FastPass+ is available.
For those of you who haven’t been on Dumbo for a while (or ever), I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there are now two side-by-side identical Dumbo rides. The bad news is that it remains as popular – and busy – as ever.
To help with its popularity/crowds, Disney has added an (*air-conditioned) indoor playground to allow kids to play while they wait. This area features slides and climbing nets, as well as a toddler play area. While the rest of the playground looks impressive, the toddler area is a smaller circular area in the center of the room with some toys. I know Tater would be more interested in the “big kid” areas, and I would have some concerns about him being run over by larger kids or being too small to play on some parts. With a toddler (or an infant), I would try to avoid the indoor playground, but it is a great place for slightly older kids to get out some energy.
So here is how it is *supposed* to work. The total wait time listed outside of the attraction includes the play time. You wait in the first line, and when you get inside, you are handed a pager. Your child goes and plays until your pager goes off, you return it, and then you get into another shorter line to get on the ride.
Here’s how I have seen it work. Outside of peak hours, usually when the posted wait time is 20 min. or less, you may have the option to play or to just go straight into one of two lines to get on the ride.
We once made the mistake once of trying to ride Dumbo around 1:45 p.m. on busy day when the listed wait time was 45 min. After 10 minutes, we slowly made it inside the building with the playground, but then the line completely stopped for another 20 minutes. Every several minutes, they were only letting one additional group at a time into the play area. This ended up being a long wait to even be able to get in to play/wait. After 30 minutes and being nowhere close to the play area, we were able to bribe Tater with a Mickey ice cream bar and got out of line, promising we would ride Dumbo on the next trip.
Pros: Unless your child has a fear of heights, there is absolutely nothing scary about this ride. It is a fun, classic ride loved by all ages. Unlike some other theme parks, your infant/toddler can sit on your lap with the lap band covering you both. The addition of a second set of Dumbos also helps with the crowds.
Considerations: The wait can get reach 45+ min. during peak hours (late morning through mid-afternoon), which can be difficult for a toddler.
Tips: Don’t get caught in the crowds, but don’t waste a FastPass+ here either. It doesn’t have to be your first or second ride, but still try to go in the first two hours after park opening. Then you may be able to skip the playground (if you have an infant or toddler) and get right on the ride. Also, if you only have one child and two adults, split up into two Dumbos so the person in the front Dumbo can take photos of the child/other adult.
Kids Rating: out of 5. When we ask Tater what rides he wants to go on at Disney, he always answers “Dumbo!” first. And he always wants to ride in the yellow Dumbo.