dumbo

Inside Dumbo Interactive Play Queue

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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.

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Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station Imports Watery Fun to Storybook Circus

Casey Jr Splash 'N' Soak Station

The Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station has officially opened at the Magic Kingdom and with it arrived a circus of fun to Storybook Circus. The Water Play area contains playful camels (what is it with Imagineering and spitting camels?), monkeys, elephants and giraffes who splash along with guests. Joining Dumbo, the Flying Elephant and Barnstormer featuring Goofy as the Great Goofini in Storybook Circus, Casey Jr. is the most recent phase to open in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland expansion.

I got to spend a few minutes watching my son run through the area and was impressed with the variety of methods for getting wet while exploring Casey Jr. During the hot months it will provide a great way to cool down and during the cold months it will still make a wonderful photo opportunity. There is a big problem with a lack of shade between Casey Jr and the Storybook Circus bathrooms. With the sun beating down it was pretty hot even with the play zone just a few feet away.

The astute observer may have caught that each car has a number on its back. Those numbers, 71, 82, 89, and 98 stand for the opening years of the four Walt Disney World parks. I haven’t yet noticed any Hidden Mickeys, but I thought that was a great tribute.

More photos of the water play area below the jump

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Dumbo Interactive Queue Preview from Storybook Circus

Yesterday I shared some of the changes to the exterior of the new twin-spinner Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction in Storybook Circus, today I’m excited to be sharing some photos of the interior of that attractions. Wait, you say. Why would a spinner have an interior? It’s all part of Imagineering’s plan to make waiting for the ride less painful.

Back when WDI first started talking about the new Dumbo queue they said rather than lining up in a switchbacks, it would be a place where kids could move freely and interact with various elements in the building. Parents would be able to wait comfortably while watching their kids run around. One’s place in line would be held virtually and an announcement would indicate when your boarding group was ready to head to the loading zone.

Looking at these pictures shared by Disney, that vision looks essentially intact. Perhaps it’s a bit more playground / obstacle course than I envisioned.

Also, Disney says that instead of an announcement to tell you when to grab your kid and head to a loading zone, some sort of paging device will be used. Disney has tested out, in theory, how this system will work during some experiments over at Rock-n-Roller Coaster. According to sources, results were mixed. So we’ll keep a close eye on how this is working out once it opens to guests.

Update: Video of the queue ‘in use’ by kids and some background on the project from an Imagineer.

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Video Tour of New Storybook Circus

Jeff and Denise from MouseSteps, two of the nicest people you’ll meet at Walt Disney World, take you on a narrated trip through the newly opened Storybook Circus. Along the way they point out a lot of the details and take you on board both… Read More »Video Tour of New Storybook Circus

Storybook Circus – Dumbo The Flying Elephant, More Details

Dumbo The Flying Elephant - Storybook Circus
A little tilt-shift fun. It’s really beautiful at night.

I’ve already posted my general overview of the soft-opened Storybook Circus area of New Fantasyland, but Disney is in the details and Storybook Circus has a lot of them. To capture more of that magic, I want to loop back and go into more depth with each attraction starting with Dumbo The Flying Elephant. So here’s another photo update of the newly re-imagineered classic.

Dumbo The Flying Elephant - Storybook Circus
The area isn’t even finished, but it already looks beautiful at night.

I also took a couple of videos:

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Storybook Circus Soft Opening Update

Storybook Circus - New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
A new poster lays out current and future attractions, stores, and dining coming to Storybook Circus. I love that Humphrey the Bear is there. I wonder if he’s replaced The Three Little Pigs who were featured on previous posters.

Took a few days of vacation last week, but returned just in time for the Magic Kingdom to do a soft opening of the first small portion of the New Fantasyland expansion on Tuesday. Storybook Circus opened half of the relocated Dumbo – The Flying Elephant. The Barnstormer returned with its new Great Goofini theme, and the Fantasyland Train Station returned with new restrooms and a tribute to Walt’s past.

This portion of Storybook Circus was not supposed to open until March 24th or so. But hotel occupancy forecasts that revised the Spring Break crowd expectations upwards forced Disney to race ahead and open the attractions 12 days early. I must say that every cast member was up to the task and very helpful. Details are obviously still being worked out in a few places, but signs of fore-thought were abundant too. All in all a great effort and result from Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom.

There are so many great details, I took a ton of photos and still didn’t capture but a fraction. You may have already seen a few in my post made live from the park yesterday. I’m not sure how many parts this post will have, but I know it will be more than one. So let’s get to it.

Here is a sort of overview of what I saw today, we’ll come back in and fill in the gaps in future posts.

Storybook Circus - New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
The first sign guests got that today would be different, was a new guidemap with an old image of Dumbo on the cover.

Storybook Circus - New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Inside, the map reflects the soft opened area of the New Fantasyland expansion. They even show only one side of Dumbo being open. However, #35 has a caveat.

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