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Dumbo, The Flying Elephant (First and Second Versions)
Dumbo, The Flying Elephant
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First Version (1971-1993)
Dumbo was one of the original opening day attractions. It was originally a B ticket. As seen in the 1971 Grand Opening special, the Dumbo ride vehicles were missing hats, which gave the elephants a strange, bald look. The middle part of the spinner had a flat appearance and was missing the disco ball with a whip-wielding Timothy Mouse on top.
(Photo courtesy of Brotherdave.)
Just like the original Disneyland version, the ride had ten different elephant vehicles. This meant that the capacity per hour was limited, which led to long lines. The wait in the queue during hot summer days was often unbearable, even with the blue and white umbrellas for shade.
(Photo courtesy of Brotherdave.)
Second Version (1993-2012)
In 1993, the ride was remodeled with several changes. The new ride mechanism was more kinetic and featured elements such as spinning pinwheels with chipmunks, a wind-up key and dangling charms featuring Mr. Stork. Timothy Mouse now held Dumbo's magic feather and stood on top of a spinning hot air balloon.
The queue was also moved away from the carousel and relocated to the back of Fantasyland, where there was a covered waiting area and two holding areas that could alternate loading and increase hourly rider capacity. In a nod to the never-built Dumbo's Circus land designed for Disneyland in the 1970s, the light fixtures featured elephants based on concept art for that land.
The revamped attraction was based on the ride design for Disneyland Paris and included an additional six Dumbo vehicles for increased rider capacity per hour. California got a version of this ride design in 1990. The California version was originally built for France but was installed at Disneyland due to some issues with the older ride mechanism. A second ride was then constructed for Disneyland Paris.
The ride was later relocated in 2012 during the New Fantasyland construction to an area called Storybook Circus. There are now two different Dumbo spinners that move in opposite directions and an indoor interactive queue. Timothy Mouse is now located by a marquee that leads to the attractions. For those who miss the original Walt Disney World version of Dumbo, Tokyo Disneyland still has the 1970's-style version of the ride. Both the Disneyland and Disneyland Paris versions of Dumbo are very similar to the second Walt Disney World version.
Here is video of one of the two modern day Dumbo spinners. Be sure to subscribe to the Walt Dated World YouTube Channel for more Walt Disney World videos.
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See ya real soon!