Aloha my wonderful merfolk!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like I have made the most of my holiday to a Disney park without having a go on Dumbo the Flying Elephant. It’s a pinnacle point to a Disney park and is a popular ride amongst park goers, but why? Why is Dumbo the Flying Elephant such a popular ride and why is it in all six Disney parks across the globe?
The first Dumbo the Flying Elephant opened on August 16th 1955 in Fantasyland of the original Disney park; Disneyland in Anaheim California. This opened one month after the parks grand opening.
Originally, this ride was to be called 10 Pink Elephants on Parade and was to represent the scene in Dumbo where the titular character gets drunk and hallucinates. Walt Disney hated this idea and did not want anything in his park to be based off hallucination and so, the elephants went from being painted pink, to being painted grey. In 1990, the ride was updated to feature 16 rainbow coloured
Walt Disney World
The second Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride is in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. This version of the ride opened October 1st 1971. This version was designed differently to the version in Disneyland in Anaheim, California. this version of the ride does not have water features and the Timothy Mouse in the middle stands on a hot water balloon of red and white stripes, rather than rainbow stripes. In 1997, the queue line was given a canopy to help cover from direct sunlight. Dumbo the Flying Elephant was moved and rebuilt in the new-Fantasyland area of Magic Kingdom, being given its central water features which light up and change colour at night.
Dumbo opened at Tokyo Disneyland on April 15th 1983. It is the only park to have the original version of Dumbo the Flying Elephant with only 10 flying elephants. Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are the only Disney parks that are not wholly or part owned by the Walt Disney Company.
Disneyland Paris is the only Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride that I have been on. It was available to ride on the opening day of Parc Disneyland on April 12th 1992. It is located in Fantasyland just beyond Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Every holiday I love the go on this ride and look over Fantasyland as I do so.
(photo credit goes to my lovely friend Hoodsie)
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland opened on September 12th 2005 and Dumbo the Flying Elephant was part of the original opening day. Hong Kong Disneyland was built to include Chinese culture and customs as well as adhere to the rules of Feng Shui; even to the point a bend was put in a walkway so that good qi energy would not flow into the South China Sea. Dumbo the Flying Elephant is again situated in Fantasyland.
Shangai Disneyland is the newest Disney park to open. It opened it’s gates for the first time on June 16th 2016. Unlike the other five Disney parks situated across the globe, in Shanghai Disneyland Dumbo the Flying Elephant is situated in the Gardens of Imagination and not Fantasyland.
So why is Dumbo the Flying Elephant so popular? I believe it’s a popular ride because it is one of the originals. It is a ride that Walt had say in; he decided the colours and decided he wanted the ride to be in his park in Anaheim. It’s a classic. It’s a ride that people associate with Disneyland, no matter what park you visit. The queues in Disneyland Paris alone are usually about 40 minutes long during peak times of the day, and that’s at off-peak season. It’s from a film that can speak to everyone; it doesn’t matter where you are from you know the story of the little elephant who learned to fly. It’s not of a particular culture. It’s not a stereotypical girls or boys story. It can speak to everyone and that is why I think the ride is so popular. It is a ride for everyone.
a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below