Dumbo - Jewel of the Magic Kingdom?
My family and I watched Tim Burton's new remake of Dumbo yesterday. I have to admit I was pretty anxious taking a toddler and a "too cool for school" seven year old to see a movie that has always been a real tear jerker for me. (Seriously, if you can make it through "Baby of Mine" without shedding a tear you must have a heart of stone!) I'm happy to say, it was a success! There was something for everyone! Action, laughs, tears (ok, mostly me), and plenty of shots of the cute little guy in the picture above.
I was impressed by how well Burton captured the spirit of the original Dumbo and of the attraction at Walt Disney World while creating an entirely new storyline. Now, I can hear many of you saying, there's spirit in the Dumbo ride at Disney World?? Isn't that the ride where the elephant just goes up and spins? Oh my friends, there is so much more! Parents of young children, this attraction should be on your must-do list and here's why!
Spectacular Nighttime Views of Cinderella's Castle
You'll notice all my pictures of and from this attraction were taken at night. The reasons for this are two-fold: the lines are much shorter at night and this is an attraction that I do not recommend for FastPass+*. Most importantly, you can see some absolutely spectacular views of Cinderella's Castle or even fireworks. I'm a big believer in not joining the throngs that stand around waiting for fireworks. I believe they are most magical when you keep experiencing the park allowing them to happen above you, but to each their own! Spoiler alert: The second image is Tinkerbell as she "flies" over the crowds during the nighttime show.
*Stay tuned for future blog posts on my recommendations on how to structure your FastPass+ reservations.
Hidden Air-Conditioned Playground While You Wait in Line!
Parents of young children, against my better judgment, I'm going to fill you in on one of the best kept secrets at Walt Disney World. There is a hidden, air-conditioned playground so your kids can play while you wait out your ride time! This idea is PURE GENIUS, folks!
Here's how it works, assuming you do not have a FastPass+ (see my point above), you enter the regular line. In Disney-talk, it's called the "standby line". You will enter the large circus tent and approach the podium. You simply tell the friendly cast member that your family would like to play. They will enter your name and number of guests and much like any sit-down restaurant, they will give you a buzzer and an estimated return time. The beauty of this playground is that it has separate play areas for older kids to climb and run and a smaller section for the youngest of tots. There are benches around the toddler area where parents can sit, watch their kids run off excess energy, and simply take a breather. I've used that time to make dinner reservations, catch up on emails, and simply check in on the outside world. On a hot Florida day, the Dumbo playground can feel like Shangri-La!
The theming in this area really captures the circus scenes from both the original and new versions of Dumbo. In the image, you can see my toddler climbing on a fire truck with actual lights. My bigger kid loves the climbing structure that is made to look like the burning building scene from both films.
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