Sneak-Peek-Sunday: Dumbo’s Big Top Tent
Posted by The Modern Mouse Crew
If you’ve been following the construction of the New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World, I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of the brand new Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction in Storybook Circus. It looks amazing, has a fresh feel, and with the 2nd Dumbo opening soon, the attraction will be able to take on more guests. Along with the dueling Dumbos opening is Dumbo’s Big Top Tent which will represent the brand new queue area for Dumbo.
When the New Fantasyland was announced in 2009, one of the biggest additions was the transformation of the Dumbo attraction. The ride experience would stay the same, but the queue would radically change with the Big Top. Instead of waiting in a line, you would play games until it was your turn. Nobody really knew what this all meant until the recent announcement and explanation of the new Big Top Tent, and in fact the technology here is very simple. As you enter the Big Top Tent, you will be given a pager, much like a restaurant that has a waiting list, and when it is your time to board one of the flying elephant vehicles, you will be paged. In the meantime, you are more than free to play around in the tent, which mostly consists of jungle gym type of things (Slides, rope climbing, etc…). Parents can take a seat and watch their children or play along as well. This is a simple concept, and I am excited to go through this new experience myself, but I do see some bugs in the system happening.
Not to play devil’s advocate, but I can’t seem to think that this is going to run smoothly for Dumbo cast members. They now may have one of the hardest jobs in all of the Magic Kingdom. Not only do they have to make sure everyone is safe while playing in the Big Top, but they have to get guests onto the attraction in an orderly fashion when their pagers go off. I can easily see a parent having to drag their child from the tent to get on the flying elephants which could potentially keep the ride behind schedule if they take too long. What happens if the batteries on the pager run out and you’ve been waiting for far too long and never get called? What happens then? There are numerous possibilities that can turn this brand new queue idea into a ready made disaster area.
On the other hand, with some great staffing and training, this may be one of the best areas to go to get out of the sun, knowing that the cast members at Dumbo have everything under control. Maybe they have thought of all of the factors that could lead to a bad experience and will be fixing things before they ever happen. Maybe they change the batteries in the pagers daily. Maybe they call numerous people at once and if you don’t show, they just keep calling you until you board a ride vehicle. The only people that truly know are the cast members at Walt Disney World.
Regardless of all of the possibilities, I’m glad to see Disney Company put money towards a better guest experience and to spruce up a very classic attraction. I will be anxious to hear and see for myself when this attraction fully opens and guests make use of the Big Top area. I guess we will all have to wait and see.
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