Attractions: Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Fantasyland (1955)
Casey Jr. Circus Train, Fantasyland (1956)
Eateries: Casey Jr. Churro Cart, Fantasyland (2013)
Ambiance: The Hub (Dumbo and Timothy Statuette), Main Street USA (1993)
Meetable Characters: None
Shows: Fantasmic! (Pink Elephants), Frontierland/New Orleans Square (1992)
Fireworks (a flying Dumbo), Fantasyland/Main Street USA (2009)
World of Color, Disney California Adventure, Paradise Pier (2010)
P.W. Gushes Over Dumbo
Plopped right down in the middle of Fantasyland's Bavarian village motif are the subtle hints of a 1940s era American Circus which boasts such attractions as Dumbo the Flying Elephant and the Casey Jr. Circus Train. Much like Pinocchio, Dumbo too has its own tiny land-within-a-land. One would think such an incongruous mash-up would be tacky or awkward but I find it decidedly charming. For the most part, Disneyland seems content to just feature their European based stories in Fantasyland but their inclusion of Dumbo's circus goes to show that such restrictions are folly and Sleeping Beauty's Castle gates should be opened to accommodate any and all of the Disney Classics (more on this in later posts!).
While Dumbo the Flying Elephant may seem like a mere carnival-style kiddie ride, it proves to be much, much more. Not only does it look spectacular with its toy-like gears and cogs, it also provides the best and only opportunity for both kids and adults alike to take in an “elephant's eye view” of Fantasyland in all of its storybook glory. Even as an adult, the crowds and congestion can make it difficult to truly take in all of the Land's detailed architecture. Unfortunately for me, I get so dizzy on the ride that I have to close my eyes and don't get to enjoy said spectacular views. On a happier note (pun INTENDED), I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the old circus band organ that sits directly behind the attraction and pumps out an assortment of ambient tunes.
With the grammatically awkward Casey Jr. Circus Train, guests get a chance to sit in a “Wild Animal” cage for a trip around Storybook Land's rolling hill-scape. While in the queue make sure to take note of the lampposts which draw allusions to the elephant pyramid stunt from Dumbo – great theming!
One elephant from Dumbo the Flying Elephant is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.
The attraction was originally conceived to give flight to Pink Elephants simulating Dumbo's drunken hallucination but changed to actual Dumbo elephants at the behest of Walt Disney shortly before the ride debuted.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant has undergone two makeovers: first during the 1983 Fantasyland remodel and then in 1990 when the attraction went from ten Dumbos to sixteen.
During his 1957 visit to Disneyland, Former United States President Harry S. Truman declined a ride on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, due to the elephant being a Republican symbol.
The Casey Jr. Circus Train was originally meant to be roller-coaster type attraction, but complications led to it developing into the gentler ride it is today.