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In Which I Ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant for the First Time


How does one visit Walt Disney World numerous times in 42 years and not have experienced a ride on Dumbo the Flying Elephant?   I must have walked by that attraction gazillions of time, watched the children laugh and scream with delight as they went round and round on Dumbo.  It never seemed like a ride that I would enjoy.  It’s for kids—and other daredevils not so intimidated by pachyderms that leave the Earth’s surface.

Maybe it was the buzz from a triple shot latté, but on my last visit to Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, I inexplicably found myself with a Fastpass waiting to take my first flight on Dumbo.  Of course, that brief wait time before you’re actually on the attraction gets one thinking about things.  What is the terminal velocity of a flying elephant?  Will anyone hear me scream in outer space?  I can do this.  I can do this.

Before I know it, my turn arrives.  I stepped into my chosen flying elephant and noticed two things—Dumbo shakes a bit and there’s a seat belt (??!!).  Somewhat nonplussed, I buckled myself in, white-knuckled the fiberglass, and prepared for flight.

Once in the air, and after I removed my hands from my eyes, I looked around at the colors and the people on the ride and on the ground.  There was not much time, but I pulled out my camera and captured a few in-flight images.  And I started singing in my head, “but I think I will have seen everything, when I see an elephant fly!”  Dumbo—I will be a frequent flyer.

A few Dumbo facts.  Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction is based on the 1941 Disney film Dumbo.  The attraction can be found in Fantasyland at six Disney parks around the world.  And here’s a pop quiz — do Dumbo carousels spin clockwise or counterclockwise?

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(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)

LookingforMagicLooking for Magic is Kathy @ Two Roads Photo.  As a librarian, walker of many miles, and Paper Bag Princess, Kathy dreams of having coffee with Belle at the castle and co-administering a fantasy book discussion group.  Her love of Walt Disney World goes back to the Talent Roundup days from the original Mickey Mouse Club.  Aside from the vintage memories, she currently visits Walt Disney World as often as possible to participate in race weekends, Food & Wine Festival, Flower & Garden Festival, and always to take photographs.  Kathy is honored to be a member of the WDW Radio Blog team and looks forward to sharing everything Disney with you! She can be contacted at imtxag85@aol.com.