Permanent Magic Kingdom Expansion Will Change Iconic Dumbo Ride

Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Credit: Disney

Dumbo The Flying Elephant has become one of the most iconic attractions inside of Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort.

Dumbo The Flying Elephant is an iconic attraction at Disney theme parks worldwide, including the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Its history dates back to the park’s opening day on October 1, 1971. Inspired by the 1941 animated film Dumbo, the ride allows guests to soar high above Fantasyland aboard flying elephant vehicles.

A family riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant at the Magic Kingdom.

Credit: Disney

The original Dumbo ride at the Magic Kingdom was designed by Disney Imagineer and Disney Legend Bob Gurr. It quickly became a beloved classic, capturing the hearts of visitors of all ages with its whimsical charm and timeless appeal. Over the years, the attraction has undergone several updates and renovations to enhance the guest experience while preserving its nostalgic charm.

In 2012, Magic Kingdom Park underwent a major expansion and renovation of Fantasyland, which included the addition of a second Dumbo carousel to help accommodate the high demand for the popular ride. This expansion also introduced a new interactive queue area themed around the circus, allowing guests to play and explore while waiting for their turn to ride. The addition of the second carousel doubled the ride’s capacity and reduced wait times, further enhancing the guest experience. Today, Dumbo The Flying Elephant remains one of the Magic Kingdom’s most beloved and enduring attractions, enchanting generations of visitors with its simple yet magical joy.

A Ferry boat taking guests from TTC to Magic Kingdom via a Disney transportation service.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Now, as Disney World plans an expansion in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom, we have new updates to share on the status of the attraction. According to permits filed by Disney World, there will soon begin work described as “general conditions” for Dumbo the Flying Elephant, particularly in the ride queue. While there has been no confirmation on what this change will look like, it likely has to do with the new expansion attraction coming to the area, titled “Smellephants on Parade.”

In mid-March, Walt Disney Imagineering filed a construction permit for the installation of show sets at an address corresponding to Storybook Circus in the Magic Kingdom. Additionally, Disney has cleared out some planters in the area, hinting at the possibility of new elements taking shape. While details are scarce, these are the first steps in introducing the new attraction to Fantasyland.

Smellephants on Parade concept art

Credit: Disney

“Smellephants on Parade” is unlikely to match the scale or innovation of recent groundbreaking attractions like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge or Pandora – The World of Avatar. Some fans may be anticipating a fully-fledged ride experience, but it’s essential to manage expectations. “Smellephants on Parade” is more likely to resemble smaller, seasonal attractions rather than a major E-ticket ride.

What’s the latest on the massive expansion at Magic Kingdom?

While this attraction will be coming to Fantasyland, many Disney park fans are wondering what might be joining the theme park in the future. With TRON Lightcycle / Run finished in Tomorrowland and no significant work on the immediate horizon for Liberty Square, Main Street, U.S.A., or Adventureland, all eyes have turned to Frontierland.

Frontierland at Magic Kingdom

Credit: Allen Castillo. Flickr

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which will replace Splash Mountain, will open later this summer. The Princess and the Frog-themed attraction is being built at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Once this attraction and Country Bear Musical Jamboree are both open, plans will be much more expansive than anything we’ve seen before at Magic Kingdom.

Many rumors have been tossed out pertaining to what might “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” in the future, but it’s important to note that Disney has not confirmed the project is even moving forward, at least not as of yet. The latest reports indicate that Disney might be eyeing a “Wild, West” themed land, which could include an attraction dedicated to the beloved Toy Story character Woody. Of course, the only IPs that Disney has actually teased include Encanto, Coco, and Disney Villains.

What do you think the future will hold for Magic Kingdom as a theme park? Let us know in the comments!

This post originally appeared on Inside the Magic

About Andrew Boardwine

A frequent visitor of Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, Andrew will likely be found freefalling on Twilight Zone Tower of Terror or enjoying Pirates of the Caribbean. Over at Universal, he'll be taking in the thrills of the Jurassic World Velocicoaster and Revenge of the Mummy

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