Big Fun Under Dumbo’s Big Top

When the classic Magic Kingdom attraction Dumbo the Flying Elephant was revamped during the New Fantasyland expansion, it not only got a secondary ride mechanism. The renovation came complete with a  special surprise for some of the smallest park-goers — a way to enjoy the “world’s smallest elephant” in a whole new way.

Storybook Circus in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland is home to Dumbo the Flying Elephant

We wrote recently about the innovative, interactive queue that was implemented at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Well, Dumbo’s waiting area beats that queue, by a mile. Under Dumbo’s Big Top, your kids can actually run around and play while they wait to ride, while you can sit and recharge, all in air-conditioned comfort!

Don’t believe us? Read on to learn how it works!

How it Works

Entrance to the Dumbo Big Top waiting area

Upon entering the circus tent at Storybook Circus , you will see cute banners reminiscent of vintage circus posters featuring Timothy Mouse. The illustrations describe the pager system that is used to “virtually” hold your place in line.

The page “ticket” that will alert you when it’s your turn to ride! ©AllEars.Net

Before entering the play area, you’ll retrieve a “ticket,” which is actually a themed pager, for your ride from a cast member. This pager is set to go off by buzzing and lighting up, similar to ones used by restaurants for waiting patrons. There are plenty of benches around the perimeter of the tent for parents to relax on while their children burn off some energy, exploring the indoor play areas. Once your pager goes off, you gather everyone up to experience the ride. (And don’t worry, you don’t have to rush — take your time if you’d like to let the kids play for a few more minutes.)

Big Kid Areas

Burning building area is designed for older kids

Remember the scene in Dumbo where the clowns come out dressed as firemen, and Dumbo plunges from the burning building? The only plunging your kids will be doing is down the two slides featured in this adorable indoor playground. They can climb up the inside of the building before heading across rope netting to the drum head stairs (which feature a light and sound effect) at either end.


More slides in the Human Cannonball ©AllEars.Net

One of the two slides is labeled as “The Human Cannonball.” If smaller children are too scared to climb up to the top, this slide has a shorter set of stairs leading directly to it. The other slide, located at the fiery building, is themed to look like a doghouse for “Sport.”

Fun for Little Ones

Smaller children have their own area ©AllEars.Net

There is even an area for the tiniest travelers, those under 3 years old. Head to the center ring, where there is even more seating available so you can closely supervise your babies as they enjoy the scaled-down structures.

Don’t miss the faux fireworks — they have a hidden surprise!

As you’re roaming the area, look for the box of pretend fireworks. Don’t be afraid to pull the string. When you do, you will hear the thunder of fireworks explosions. Make sure to get down to a child’s perspective to see the tiny light display on the underside of one of the drumhead stairs.

Of course, you don’t HAVE to spend your wait-time in the play area. If you just came for the ride, or you have a FastPass+ time, you can certainly skip it altogether. You also can visit the playground without riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant at all. There are convenient exits directly from the play zone, making this a great place when you’re looking for a change of pace. Stop in if you or your family needs to take a short break and cool off.

Want to read more about Dumbo the Flying Elephant? Take a look at our archive pages, to see what the attraction originally looked like. Did you know that there’s a Dumbo in Disneyland?  You can even read about the attraction in Disneyland Paris’ Fantasyland.

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Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

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One Reply to “Big Fun Under Dumbo’s Big Top”

  1. This is actually a good idea. Waiting your turn doesn’t have to equal waiting in line, even if there are “distractions” to keep you occupied.