August 1955 – present
Dumbo the Flying Elephant was the first aerial carousel designed for the park. It was scheduled to debut on Opening Day in 1955, but the complicated design combined with the difficulty of maneuvering the heavy fiberglass elephants delayed its start, which finally occurred a month later. Since its opening, guests of all ages have stopped by to take a flight above Fantasyland, and since its final major refurbishment in 1990, Dumbo has had very few long-term closures compared to similar rides in the park.
- Single Rider Line – no
- Fast Pass – no
- Height Requirement – none
- Duration – 1:30
Passengers hop onto Dumbo’s for a short flight above Fantasyland. Each elephant comes with its own joystick, allowing riders to adjust the height at which they fly. Visitors flying with Dumbo have scenic views of the King Arthur Carrousel, the rear of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, The Storybook Land Canal Boats, and the top of the Matterhorn. Each time you visit Dumbo, you’ll find something new to appreciate along the way.
MY RATING – ★★★☆☆
Even as a “big kid”, riding Dumbo is entertaining. You get a panoramic view of Fantasyland, and the music is cheerful and fun. I only give this ride three stars because the line can be extremely long for such a short ride. For families with little ones, riding Dumbo is a must, but for the rest of us, it’s only worth waiting if the line is under 30 minutes. In addition, Dumbo’s Tomorrowland counterpart, the Astro Orbitor, goes much higher and offers better views of its surrounding area. Nevertheless, Dumbo is a great option for families with little kids that aren’t ready for the major coasters; the grownups will have their chance to see the higher points of Disneyland from the back of a flying elephant.
When I go to the park, I check on the line for Dumbo whenever I happen to be in Fantasyland, and then decide if I feel up to waiting. For families that consider it a must, the best time to visit is either during the parades, around lunchtime, or around sunset. Lines go down during peak meal times, and Fantasyland attendance diminishes somewhat during parades. Although I haven’t noticed any shorter lines during sunset, I recommend this time just because the views from Dumbo are especially cool as the sky changes in the evening.
On days with iffy weather, ride Dumbo sooner rather than later. I’ve been to the park on days that sprinkled in the morning, but were clear all afternoon, and the ride remained closed “due to weather” throughout the day.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant is actually the second ride based on the movie Dumbo; the first is the Casey Jr. Circus Train.
In 2005, Disneyland donated one of the elephants to the National Museum of American History, in celebration of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.
This ride has been moved, refurbished, and changed several times during its lifetime. It used to sit near the path from Fantasyland to Frontierland, and Dumbo’s ears originally flapped as the cars rotated.
There is a stationary elephant next to the ride, which is a great spot to take photos of small children.