Monday, February 18, 2013

Dumbo's Surprise (hint: it's not about the ears)

Have you ever waited in a line that was so long you thought it would never end?

I have. And it was no picnic. It was wall-to-wall people. The scorching Florida sun was beating down on me and I was wrestling a very wiggly toddler.

This happened a few years ago at the Magic Kingdom - specifically, at the "Dumbo's Flight" attraction. The wait time was 90 minutes. The ride is so adorable! It makes me feel like a kid again. But man...that line....

I'm afraid to admit it, but in the past I've gone to great lengths to distract my young daughter from seeing the majestic flying elephants for fear she'd beg to go for a ride.

I would whistle. Skip. Put up the stroller shade. Bribe her with a cookie.

Not my finest parenting moment.
But I'm here to tell you that it's so different now! I was just there recently and it was an altogether different ballgame. Are you ready for this? There are now TWO DUMBO ATTRACTIONS!

(sorry to shout, but it's just that awesome)

With the opening of new Fantasyland - which is fabulous, by the way - the Dumbo ride was moved to an area called Storybook Circus And some brilliant Disney person suggested that there should be two pods of flying elephants to accommodate twice as many people.


And the best part? As you meander through the line, you enter an air-conditioned circus tent which doubles as an indoor play area. There are slides and ropes and things to climb kids loved it.


You can choose to bypass the play area and continue on with the line. Or - and this is the genius part - you can stop and get one of those 'your table is ready' buzzers for a timed visit to the play area. Your kids get to play and you get to watch them while resting on a comfy bench in the air conditioning. When the buzzer goes off, it's time to rejoin the line right where you left off.

Did I mention the air conditioning?

Our wait time was about 35 minutes, but it was the experience that made the whole ride worthwhile. 

This turned out to be a really magical Disney moment for me and my family. But I really shouldn't be surprised. This is what Disney does best! They create magical guest experiences. 

Oh sure, we'll always have lines to wait in. That's part of life, right? But it's nice to know that Disney is one place where waiting in line can sometimes be just as fun as the ride.

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