Welcome back to Disneyland Paris at 25!
This time I’m crossing back over into Fantasyland and asking myself the question, “have you ever seen an elephant fly?”
Of course, I am referring to no other attraction but Dumbo The Flying Elephant.
Sat right at the heart of Fantasyland, it is atop an elevated platform surrounded by cascading waterfalls, green topiaries, and colourful marquees, then framed by the branches of weeping willows.
Dumbo is one of those attractions that is a ritual for the young and young at heart, finding the timeless enchantment of soaring high into the sky and helping many to realise that the problems that weigh us down will lift us up and up.
Each elephant (16 in total) is controlled by a small lever which moves guests up between 1.5 and 7 metres above the ground. At the 7 metres, you are high enough to see all the beauty of Fantasyland!
Although my own picture is not particularly great due to the grey sky, this is usually an incredibly bright, colourful, and beautiful attraction that never fails to attract the most ride-shy of guests.
What is fantastic about Dumbo, just like nearly every other attraction in Fantasyland is that it is accessible and suitable for everyone. This means that the queues are often very long, but it is well worth the wait because those 90 seconds on board boast spectacular views and a whole lot of fun.
As a bit of a wuss when it comes to aerial carousel attractions (due to the minor issue of heights) it surprised me that I never had any hesitation when it came to experiencing the magic of Dumbo. Ridden more during the first couple of trips to Disneyland Paris, it satisfied our want for a quiet, serene attraction that was just full of innocent joy. I loved it, my sister loved it, and it was the only aerial attraction that we experienced more than once!
The elephants on this attraction are the second set to be built for Disneyland Paris. The first set were diverted to Disneyland at Anaheim at the last minute as a replacement for their original attraction that was plagued with technical and mechanical faults.
For the original Disneyland version, the ears of each Dumbo were attached using hinges and given special mechanisms to allow them to move up and down. However they failed almost instantly and the ears remained stationary until the ride was rebuilt in 1983.
Original concepts had the ride based on the Pink Elephants on Parade sequence before Walt Disney threw out the idea claiming that he didn’t want an attraction based on an intoxicated hallucination.
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!