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Dumbo the Flying Elephant

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Dumbo the Flying Elephant is a carousel-style ride located in Fantasyland at five Disney parks around the world and located in Gardens of Imagination at Shanghai Disneyland. The original attraction opened at Disneyland in October of 1955, three months after the park opened. The four other versions of the attraction were opening day attractions at their respective parks.

One elephant from the ride is in the collection of the National Museum of American History, donated in 2005, on the occasion of Disneyland's 50th anniversary.

Premise

  • Hop atop Dumbo and take off into the air on a joyful journey amid the jubilant sounds of carnival music. Based on Disney’s 1941 animated classic Dumbo, Dumbo the Flying Elephant invites you to accompany everybody’s favorite circus elephant as he discovers his unique ability to fly.
  • Dumbo’s faithful friend Timothy Q. Mouse greets you from the arched entry, directing the action with help from his “magic” feather. As a jovial band organ melody begins, Dumbo gracefully lifts off from the ground and magically begins to fly around and around.
  • During your aerial adventure, you can direct Dumbo to soar skyward or fly low by moving the handle inside the Dumbo-themed gondola. Feel the wind in your face as you take in the sweeping views of Storybook Circus below.

Attraction

Based on the character from the 1941 animated feature, the sixteen ride vehicles are each shaped like Dumbo and are mounted on articulated armatures connected to a rotating hub. The passengers ride in the "Dumbos" and can maneuver them up and down with a joystick which operates a hydraulic ram. The ride itself rotates counterclockwise at a constant rate.

A figure of Timothy Q. Mouse rides atop the central hub. The figure originally held a training whip and stood on a mirrored disco ball. With the exception of Tokyo Disneyland, he currently stands on a hot air balloon and holds the "magic feather". Starting in 2012, Magic Kingdom's Timothy currently spins with his magic feather on top of the attraction's marquee.

Each of the parks, with the exception of Disneyland Paris, have an extra Dumbo vehicle located outside of the attraction to be used by guests for better photo opportunities. Tokyo Disneyland's photo spot differs from its three counterparts; the character is shown in his regular outfit from the original film, with a pink saddle blanket and Timothy Mouse in his hat.

History

Disneyland

The attraction was originally built with ten ride vehicles which were intended to represent not the "one and only" Dumbo, but the alcohol-induced "pink elephants" scene from the film. In fact, the working title of the attraction was "10 Pink Elephants On Parade" and the elephants were painted pink on installation. Walt Disney changed his mind, realizing he may look like he was encouraging kids to drink alcohol, and had the elephants painted grey to look like Dumbo.

A circa 1915 band organ occasionally provides background music. This powerful instrument is capable of being heard more than a mile away. Naturally, it is operated at only a fraction of its potential.

During his 1957 visit to Disneyland, Former United States President Harry S. Truman, a Democrat, refused to ride on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, due to the elephant being a Republican symbol.

During the 1970s, the attraction was planned to be expanded and renamed "Dumbo's Circusland" and was displayed in "Disneyland Presents a Preview of Coming Attractions", but was cancelled.

In 1983, as part of Fantasyland's major remodeling, the ride was moved to where Skull Rock used to be, allowing Dumbo's original location to be a shortcut to Frontierland. It was completely rebuilt with a kinetic toymaker-like design, although there were still ten elephants and Timothy still held the whip. In a featurette of the ride, as shown on the DVD release of the film's 70th anniversary, the head Disney Imagineer, Tony Baxter, even noted that the new ride looked like one of Geppetto's inventions.

In 1990, the attraction was updated with the sixteen vehicles originally intended for installation at Disneyland Paris after an incident during which a bracket support broke.

During the 1992 Disneyana convention, one of the original ride vehicles sold for US$16,000. Like other remaining 1955 attractions, one of Disneyland's Dumbos was painted gold in honor of the park's fiftieth anniversary in 2005. At the same time, Timothy's magic feather was replaced by the whip.

List of Band Organ Songs

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom's original 1971 version of this attraction was designed differently than its 1955 Disneyland counterpart. On opening day, it soft-opened without, not only Timothy and his disco ball, but the elephants' hats as well. The hats and disco ball were eventually added after a couple of months, but the Timothy Mouse figure wasn't added for about two years.

The ride was later updated with the sixteen vehicles and the new ride mechanism in 1993. However, it did not include a central water feature like its Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland counterparts; the utilidors running directly below the attraction prevented the installation of water pipes necessary for the water features to operate.[2] Also for this version, as well as its Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland counterparts, Timothy's hot air balloon had red and white stripes, rather than rainbow stripes for the Disneyland version. In 1997, the attraction's queue was covered to provide shade and decorated with topiaries.

For nostalgic visitors, a replica of Magic Kingdom's 1971 version currently exists at Tokyo Disneyland, being the only park to still feature ten flying elephants and Timothy spinning on a disco ball. It is also the only other park, aside from Disneyland, to have Timothy holding a whip.

Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland underwent a large expansion and renovation that began in 2011. "The New Fantasyland will be constructed in phases with most new experiences open by 2013."[3] Mickey's Toontown Fair closed permanently in February 2011 in order to make way for the expansion.[4] Some elements of Mickey's Toontown Fair were demolished and others were re-themed to a new Storybook Circus area. An expanded Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride was built in this new location with an interactive queue.

Storybook Circus began soft openings on March 12, 2012, including one of the new Dumbo carousels. The southern end of Storybook Circus had a delayed opening on March 21, 2012. During the soft openings, it was revealed that the new attraction received the water features that have been included with the attraction in many other Disney Parks around the world. However, unlike the other versions, an additional effect occurs at night when the fountain lights change colors, an effect that was picked up from the Disneyland version, but with more colors. The Dumbo vehicles, which are richly detailed and vibrantly colored, now spin clockwise from the original version, which was reconstructed next to the new one, that soft-opened on June 22. The two rides therefore counter-rotate from each other. The attraction also features a new soundtrack and artwork panels at the bottom of the carousels that tell the story of Dumbo, like the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel attraction. However, a new central hub was introduced that lacks the hot air balloon with Timothy Mouse and the magic feather. This figure has been moved to above the attraction's marquee. A signature feature of this version is an indoor queue themed to the big top from the film. Inside, guests receive ticket-themed pagers where they can wait until prompted, and small children can play in the play area themed to Dumbo's fire rescue stunt scene.

Disneyland Paris

At Disneyland Paris, Dumbo the Flying Elephant can be found in Fantasyland. The attraction is an identical double of the attractions of the same name at the other Disney Parks.

The sixteen ride vehicles are each shaped like Dumbo and are mounted on articulated armatures connected to a rotating hub. The passengers ride in the "Dumbos" and can maneuver them up and down with a joystick which operates a hydraulic ram. The ride itself rotates counterclockwise at a constant rate.

A figure of Timothy Q. Mouse rides atop the central hub. The figure originally held a training whip, but was later replaced with the "magic feather."

Shanghai Disneyland

Unlike the other Disney parks, this instalment of the ride is the only version that is not be placed at the park's Fantasyland. Instead, it is placed at Gardens of Imagination and features a dome which houses the attraction.

See also

References

  1. "Disneyland Shanghai to open 2016". 
  2. "Dumbo The Flying Elephant" Disney Reporter - Where the Magic Lives
  3. Smith, Thomas (18 January 2011). "Update on New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park".. Retrieved on 20 January 2011.
  4. Smith, Thomas (10 December 2010). "New Fantasyland Expansion Update".. Retrieved on 10 December 2010.


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Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightMickey's Storybook ExpressThe Lion King (musical)
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Dumbo Logo
Media
Films and Television: DumboMickey Mouse ClubDumbo's CircusHouse of MouseLive-action filmVideo

Books: Big Golden BookClassic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingDisney Read-AlongGolden Sound StoryLittle Golden Book

Disney Parks
Art of AnimationCasey Jr. Circus TrainCasey Jr. Splash 'n' Soak StationDisney Animation BuildingDumbo the Flying ElephantGames of the Boardwalk

Entertainment: AnimagiqueFantasmic!
Restaurants: Timothy's Treats
Shops: Casey Jr. Trinket Train
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Halloween: Happy Hallowishes

Characters
Original: DumboTimothy MouseMrs. JumboElephant MatriarchPrissyCattyGiddyRingmasterMr. StorkSmittyCasey JuniorPink ElephantsThe CrowsCircus AnimalsClowns

Dumbo's Circus: LionelFair DinkumQ.T.BarnabyLilliSebastianFlip & Flap

Songs
Look Out for Mr. StorkCasey, Jr.RoustaboutsBaby MineHit the Big BossPink Elephants on ParadeWhen I See an Elephant Fly
See Also
FloridaThe Magic Feather

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