Here are five things to do in Walt Disney World if you love elephants.
1. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
When you think of elephants and Disney, of course you have to start with the most famous elephant of all: Dumbo! Isn’t he cute?
Yes, it’s OK to ride Dumbo without a child! I’ve done it many times! You just may not be able to do it right away, because Dumbo is about to close until mid-February because of the Fantasyland expansion. When the expansion is complete, the attraction will be doubled in capacity—that’s a lot of elephants!
2. Jungle Cruise
Elephants are among the many creatures seen on the Jungle Cruise. Elephants large and small bathe in the river. Expect a joke about how it’s OK to look… because they have their trunks on.
3. Kilimanjaro Safaris
Two elephants, Big Red and Little Red, are the stars of this attraction, although I feel like their story is less prominent than it used to be. (Maybe I just stopped paying attention after experiencing the attraction so many times. The live animals are what’s new and different each time; the poaching story doesn’t change.) Anyway, this attraction is your chance to see both real and animatronic elephants in Walt Disney World.
4. Festival of the Lion King
In this show, each section of the audience is represented by an animal, and one of them is an elephant! Get there early and ask a cast member if it’s possible for you to be seated in the elephant section. You’ll have an opportunity to practice your elephant calls.
5. The Tree of Life
The icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is The Tree of Life, a giant artificial tree carved with hundreds of animals. There are a few elephants on there, so your task is to find them. Here are some photos to help you out. Happy searching!
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In the interest of completeness, I should mention that elephants also make brief appearances on video in Mickey’s PhilharMagic (in the Lion King segment) in Magic Kingdom and Circle of Life in The Land Pavilion. You can also spot a few outside of Rainforest Cafe. You can decide whether or not you want to include them in your day of elephant-themed touring. You’re going to spend the most time in Animal Kingdom on this day, so I suggest starting there. I like getting on the safari as soon as possible after opening. Check the Times Guide for performances of Festival of the Lion King, and spend as much time as you like searching The Tree of Life for your elephant friends. When you’re finished in Animal Kingdom, head to Magic Kingdom for Dumbo and Jungle Cruise.
Chime in if elephants are your favorite animal!