Quick Hit: Dumbo’s New Queue   Leave a comment

Pictures of what lies within the yellow tents of Dumbo at Storybook Circus were revealed yesterday. The ‘queueless’ queue- now called a “Queue-Lounge”- which we were promised back in 2009 is…a playground. Yes, a dream land for kids to run around to their little baboon hearts content.

It’s incredibly good looking, that’s for sure! I quite like all of the refrences to the circus scene from the film, and REALLY like Dumbo flying above it all.
But….I don’t like it. Here’s why:

  • First off, it’s a huge play area (much like one you’d find in McDonalds, or Mission:Space). While I have no issue with a playground (they are a great idea for an interactive queue), this one irks me. The entire building contains this play pin. This is unlike the other interactive queues’ -such as Pooh- play areas. Pooh’s, for example, has a number of spaced out play areas, set off to the side.
  • Second, it’s indoors. I seriously appreciate an air conditioned/indoor queue. But here’s the thing: Sound is contained within the building. Every screaming kid in there will be amplified. It’s going to be miserable.
  • Third, I foresee some issues in kids wanting to remain playing and not wish to ride any longer. Parents may have trouble collecting their kids to go ride! The crowd flow will be most interesting to see. I’m sure Disney has a plan to prevent anything from going wrong though.

The new queue is a good idea, it just isn’t executed as well as I hoped. Playgrounds are a fine way to make an interactive queue, just not like this. This new queue will have nothing for parents, or those without kids, or even kids too big to play in the jungle gym to do. They seem to think that kids of all ages will want to join in the fun. I don’t know how, seeing as once you’re a certain size, you can’t play in a jungle gym like that.
Now. I understand that it’s Fantasyland, and that this is a children’s ride. But they shouldn’t be catering to just the kids. I know I sound like a cynical teenager, but it’s true. Everyone goes to these parks, and not all of them will particularly enjoy having to go in there. The older kid with the little brother will become rather irritated with being too big to play. The married couple on their honeymoon may find this queue to be too hectic. The high school group on a field trip is going to either hurt themselves in the play pin shouting “YOLO!”, or not want to go near that thing.
To those who can tolerate it, good for you! Go on in and enjoy.

Sure, Magic Kingdom lost two playgrounds in the expansion (still has one under Splash), but did they need to re-instate one via a queue?  And think about this: Would you go over, without your kids, to the playgrounds sit in it for awhile, kids screaming all over, for fun? No, that would be silly.

Personally, I do not see myself going in there more than once (but hey, you never know. It could be quieter than I expect). While yes, this is a serious improvement over the old queue, I just cannot fully justify it. The old queue may have been a rusty 2 foot wide switchback, this is a noisy play place. It’s incredibly disenchanting. I may never wish to ride Dumbo again if I have to wait in there. They made the queue look pretty, and moved it indoors, but it’s looking like a lateral move.

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