Any one who has ever been to Disney World has almost certainly seen the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride. In fact, we’d wager most people even make the time to hop on board this whimsical attraction. Considering the significance of this ride to so many Disney-goers, we figured it might be fun to dive into some Dumbo ride trivia. Here goes nothing…
1. It Has Five Siblings
The Dumbo ride is a Disney parks classic. In fact, it’s such an important aspect of Disney culture that a version of the ride can be found in six different Disney parks (including Magic Kingdom itself), meaning you can ride it even when you roam from home. Wondering where you should plan to go? If you’re hoping to ride a version of Dumbo, you’ll want to hit up one of the following:
- Walt Disney World Resort
- Disneyland in California
- Tokyo Disneyland
- Hong Kong Disneyland
- Shanghai Disneyland
- Disneyland Paris
2. Double the Fun
When Dumbo the Flying Elephant opened in Disney World, it stood on its own as a single set of elephants, just like its siblings. This was fine for many decades, but in recent years some updates became necessary. Therefore, during the New Fantasyland expansion in 2011 the ride was moved and doubled. The attraction now has two sets of flying elephants, meaning it can seat twice as many visitors and significantly cuts wait times down.
3. Innovative Queue
Another update the ride received during the New Fantasyland expansion was the addition of an innovative queue. This queue actually sends guests onto an amazing, circus-themed playground to wait their turn to ride. Obviously, the young children love this, and their parents don’t mind a chance to sit down in air conditioning too much either. This was the first queue of its kind, but we certainly hope to see more like it in the near future.
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4. Pink Elephants on Parade
When the original Dumbo ride was still being developed for Disneyland in Anaheim, the elephants were set to be pink in order to represent the “pink elephants on parade” scene in the Dumbo movie. When Walt saw the pink elephants, he didn’t care for them and insisted that all elephants be made gray to look like Dumbo himself. This is the color the pachyderms remain to this day, and we couldn’t imagine it any other way.
5. Flapping Ears
Dumbo loves opening days and was present for the opening of Magic Kingdom in Florida. Unfortunately, he wasn’t so lucky in Disneyland. While Mr. Disney had planned to have the ride up and running for opening day in July 1955, the folks working on the ride couldn’t quite get one detail right. You see, the ears on the original elephants were meant to flap, but since it was proving to be quite difficult to accomplish, Walt decided to drop the idea and go ahead and open the ride in August of 1955.
6. Going in a New Direction
Remember how we mentioned Magic Kingdom having two sets of Dumbos? Well, if you look closely, you might notice that the two sets move in opposite directions. The ride on the right is actually the original, and moves counter clockwise just like every other version in the world. The set on the left, however, moves clockwise. It’s the only Dumbo ride that moves this direction, proving once again that Dumbo loves going against the grain.
7. Refusal to Ride
In 1957, President Harry Truman refused to ride Dumbo. His reason? Elephants are the mascot of the Republican Party. While this might sound like a silly reason, we can see how a photo of the president riding an elephant might be used against him.
8. Most Expensive Seat in the House
Ever wondered what it would take to have a Disney-style ride installed at your house? Considering the fact that only a few years ago a Dumbo ride vehicle was sold on eBay for just under $30,000, we’d say it’s probably a pretty big investment. But hey, if you have an extra thirty-grand lying around, you could at least have an adorable elephant seat to use in place of a couch.
Clearly, your newfound Dumbo the Flying Elephant knowledge isn’t going to help you pass that upcoming test or secure you a job. Still, we feel these fun facts are well worth knowing. After all, who doesn’t love to hear a bit of Disney trivia at a party? For this reason, we recommend holding onto your Dumbo ride facts, sharing them whenever possible, and spreading Disney magic wherever you go.