We visited the Magic Kingdom yesterday morning and were fortunate enough to get an opportunity to explore the new interior queue portion of Dumbo The Flying Elephant. When you approach Dumbo the left side is now the Fastpass Queue and the the right side is now the Standby. Fastpass machines are currently located over at Mickey’s Philharmagic, so plan for that as you head toward Dumbo. But keep in mind that Fastpass does not include access to the new indoor play area.
The queue was short when we entered the standby side, so we were given the option of just heading right on to the spinner or taking a break in the play area. We choose the play area and were given a restaurant style beeper at the podium. The cast member there has a control that says how many are in the play area at once (looked like a limit of 150 when we were there) and lets them monitor the average amount of wait time.
When you enter the queue there are circus style benches for adults to sit on while the kids run around and play. The center ring is for toddlers (2-5) and the outer play structures are for older kids (4 – 8). Many of the elements generate sound effects and the background music is periodically interrupted by announcements from Timothy Mouse.
We were in there for about 5 minutes when our beeper went off. As you might expect many parents were having trouble rounding up the kids to head out and get on the spinner. My son enjoyed the play area so much that after we got off Dumbo he wanted to go back and play some more.
I’m not sure I would count this among the ‘next-gen’ queues, like might be coming to Pirates of the Caribbean. But it is a great idea and a logical progression from the fastpass concept. Now that he standby queue is a captive audience, why not give them stuff to do in the queue that’s themed to the ride.
A few more photos of the indoor interactive play queue: