Dumbo the Flying Elephant

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    Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride at Disneyland California

    Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Disneyland California
    ©2016 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Dumbo the Flying Elephant is one of Disneyland's most classic rides and one of the best photo opportunities for parents. The ride is based on the 1941 animated film, Dumbo which is about a little elephant with big ears who could fly.

    Sixteen Dumbo-shaped cars move up and down as the riders control how high they fly with the push of a lever. When you take off, it's like that moment at the end of the film when Dumbo spreads his ears and - omigosh can you believe it - flies.

    Dumbo the Flying Elephant is a must-ride for children 5 years old and younger and why not? Who doesn't want to fly on an elephant? In fact, Dumbo is many preschoolers' favorite Disneyland ride. Normally impatient four-year-olds have been known to voluntarily wait 90 minutes in scorching mid-day sun just for their short flight.

    What You Need to Know About Dumbo

    We polled 121 of our readers to find out what they think about Dumbo. 79% of them said It's a must-do or ride it if you have time.

    • Location: Dumbo is in Fantasyland.
    • Rating: ★★★★
    • Restrictions: No height restrictions. Children under age 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older.
    • Ride Time: About 2 minutes
    • Recommended for: Small children and their parents. Also good for photographers who want to get a bird's-eye view of Fantasyland
    • Fun Factor: Medium
    • Wait Factor:  Medium. This ride doesn't have a FASTPASS. Lines tend to be shortest during the first couple of hours in the morning and again in the evening. 
    • Fear Factor: Low
    • Herky-Jerky Factor: Low
    • Nausea Factor: Low, unless you get dizzy easily
    • Seating:  Ride vehicles look like an elephant. Each one has one bench seat that's big enough for two adults or one adult and two children, although two adults might be more comfortable riding separately. You step slightly up to get in. 
    • Accessibility: You have to transfer into the ride vehicle from your wheelchair or ECV. Go to the exit and ask a Cast Member for help. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV
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    How to Have More Fun on Dumbo the Flying Elephant

    Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride Vehicle
    ©Betsy Malloy Photography
    • If you plan to take pictures of your little one on this ride, try to do it while they're low, just as the ride starts or stops. Or you can find a stationary Dumbo just behind the main attraction, which is ideal for getting that perfect shot.
    • If it's possible to split up, it's best to put only one child in each vehicle so they don't fight over the control stick.
    • In theory, the ride vehicle should fit one adult and two kids, but it's a really a tight fit. It might be better to give the kids an elephant to themselves if they're old enough.
    • Dumbo is great for the little onesFind more rides for your children.

    Next Disneyland Ride: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

    More About Disneyland Rides

    You can see all the Disneyland rides at a glance on the Disneyland Ride Sheet. If you want to browse through them starting with the best-rated, start with the Haunted Mansion and follow the navigation.

    While you're thinking about rides, you should also download Our Recommended Disneyland Apps (they're all free!) and Get Some Proven Tips to Minimize Your Disneyland Wait Time.

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    Fun Facts About Dumbo the Flying Elephant

    Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Disneyland
    ©Betsy Malloy Photography

    Dumbo the Flying Elephant opened in 1955, but was not ready for opening day. It was remodeled 1983.

    The original plan was to paint the elephants pink, to recall a scene in the film where Dumbo and his mouse pal Timothy accidentally drink a bucket full of champagne and their hallucinations are full of bright pink-colored elephants. So the story goes, Walt Disney objected to a ride based on a hallucination and ordered them painted elephant gray instead.

    The nearby ride Casey Jr Circus Train is also based on the Dumbo film.

    Democratic President Harry Truman refused to ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant because he didn't want to be seen with the symbol of Republican Party.

    In 2005, Disneyland donated an original Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride vehicle to the Smithsonian Institution in celebration of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.

    Is It Different than Dumbo in Florida?

    Florida has two Dumbo rides and California has only one, but they’re all pretty much the same.

    Next Disneyland Ride: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad