Thursday, July 22, 2010

“Dumbo the Flying Elephant”No visit to Disney Theme Parks is complete without a ride on the charming, classic, big eared elephant, Dumbo! The classic Dumbo ride was inspired by Walt Disney’s 1941 animated feature, Dumbo.

The original Dumbo had hinged ears that were supposed to move up and down, but they could never get the mechanisms to work properly. So, Dumbo’s ears are now stationary, but the elephants do the flying anyway. Eventually, the ears became an integral part of dumbo as opposed to inoperative hinged appendages.
The elephants were and still are grey, just like in the movie with different color schemes for the accent colors. The original ride had ten elephants and each held two guests.

Dumbo was supposed to be one of the attractions ready for the invitation-only opening of Disneyland on July 17, 1955. (It opened to the public the following day.)
The first elephants arrived three weeks prior to opening day weighing 700 lbs each. The ride unfortunately was a mechanical failure, but was quickly reworked and managed to open on August 16, 1955.
In 1990 they made a magnificent sixteen elephant version of Dumbo that was to be brought to Disneyland Paris. They decided to take that one to Disneyland in California. It would have 60% more capacity than the original. They had plenty of time to build a new one for the Paris opening in 1992.
Disneyland Paris (aka Euro Disney) opened in 1992, and Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005. They both opened with sixteen-elephant rides. Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983 and still remains the only park with a ten-elephant ride, so if you are looking for nostalgia that’s the place to go!
Disney World in Florida opened a ten-elephant Dumbo ride in 1971, and updated to a sixteen-elephant version in 1993.
This past September, Disney announced that Fantasyland in Disney World was getting a makeover. The 2012 changes will include the Dumbo ride being relocated and expanded to double its current size.

The new area will be called Dumbo’s Circus and they will be adding a covered three ring circus that will contain indoor air-conditioning. There will be a Circus Tent with play area and interactive games. Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm Rollercoaster will remain, but will be renamed and rethemed with a circus overlay. There will be two new Dumbo ride carousels (aka The Dueling Dumbos). The new Dumbo area will encompass most of the existing Toon Town.
Dumbo is one of the few rides that can be found in all of the Magic Kingdom Parks around the world. Dumbo will always be a classic, making it one of the most popular rides in all of Disney Parks!

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