Walt Disney World Flying Spinner Roundup

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Spinner rides are sometimes pooh-poohed as being unworthy of Walt Disney World – flying spinners are a classic carnival ride; you can find similar attractions at rinky dink amusement parks across the country and the world. While it is true that you can find flying spinners in many locations, they are popular because they serve a purpose as a near perfect starter ride for children. Spinners can be colorful and amenable to fanciful themeing. They typically have a short duration (usually less than two minutes), compatible with a youngster’s attention span. The mild “takeoff” from ground level to flight and the centrifugal motion allow a child to become acclimated with the basic forces of thrill rides. Spinners may also give the rider some control over the attraction, forging a sense of mastery and accomplishment in the very young.

There are four flying spinner rides at Walt Disney World: three at Magic Kingdom and one at Animal Kingdom. Here’s what you need to know.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

  • Location: Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland, Storybook Circus
  • Ride vehicle: Dumbo, the Flying Elephant
  • Ride capacity per vehicle: 2-3 people. Standard capacity is two guests per elephant. Cast members may seat two adults plus one small child, or one adult plus two small children, but the fit will be tight. There is one row per elephant. Each of two carousels has 16 elephants.
  • Safety restraints: One fabric lap belt to be buckled over all guests in the vehicle.
  • Guest controls: There is a knob that any guest can pull/push to raise/lower the vehicle.
  • Notes: There is a toddler/preschool play area in the tent between the two spinners. There are small slides and climbing structures to entertain the kiddos while they wait for the ride. This area is currently closed due to COVID.

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

  • Location: Magic Kingdom, Adventureland
  • Ride vehicle: Flying carpet
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: 2-3  guests per row, depending on size. Two rows per vehicle, for a total of 4-6 guests per carpet. Two average-size adults or one adult plus two small children will fit comfortably in each row. Cast members may seat two adults and one child in a row, which can be tight.
  • Safety restraints: One fabric lap belt over all guests in each row.
  • Guest controls: There are control levers in both rows of each carpet. The knob in the front row controls the carpet’s height, the “scarab” in the rear controls the tilt. If you have kids in different rows, you may want to work out in advance which child does which.
  • Notes: There are two spitting camels at this ride, one above the main attraction signage, and one within the ride. These periodically expel a brief, but moderately forceful, stream of water. During particularly cold weather, cast members typically turn off the water feature. If you’re visiting during warm weather, be prepared to get slightly splashed.

 

Astro Orbiter

  • Location: Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland
  • Ride vehicle: Rocket ship
  • Ride capacity per vehicle: Typically 2. Cast members may load one adult plus two small children. Larger adults may want their own vehicle. There are 16 rockets on the carousel.
  • Safety restraints: One fabric lap belt for all the riders in each rocket.
  • Guest controls: There is a handle that the frontward guest can pull/push to raise/lower the rocket.
  • Notes: Guests are seated front to back, rather than side by side as on most spinners. The guest seated at the rear will have back support. The guest seated at the front has no back support other than his/her companion. This attraction is more physically challenging to board than its cousins, Dumbo and Aladdin’s Magic Carpets. This attraction moves at a substantially faster pace than Dumbo and Aladdin and its higher location (the ride base platform is one story above ground level, reached via an elevator) make this the scariest of the Disney World flying spinners.

TriceraTop Spin

  • Location: Animal Kingdom, DinoLand
  • Ride vehicle: Friendly dinosaur
  • Ride capacity per vehicle:  2-3  guests per row, depending on size. Two rows per vehicle, for a total of 4-6 guests per dino. Two average-size adults or one adult plus two small children will fit comfortably in each row. Cast members may seat two adults and one child in a row, which can be tight.
  • Safety restraints: One fabric lap belt over all guests in each row.
  • Guest controls: There are control levers in both rows of each dino. The knob in the front row controls the dino’s height, the knob in the rear controls the tilt. If you have kids in different rows, you may want to work out in advance which child does which.
  • Notes: TriceraTop Spin is located next to the Animal Kingdom Games of Chance. This basic carnival “win a prize” games are visually appealing to young children, but there is a fee to play. Be prepared with diversionary tactics if you want to avoid playing the games.

Do you enjoy the spinner rides at Walt Disney World? Let us know what you think in the comments.

 

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

2 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Flying Spinner Roundup

  • April 19, 2021 at 11:27 pm
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    Honestly, I love the spinners (except for Astro Orbiter, as I’ve never tried it). The Magic Carpets is my favorite, probably because of the camels. I know these are often derided as nothing special, that they are the same as at any local carnival, but (1) the themeing is much cooler and (2) I don’t HAVE a local carnival to go to on a regular basis to get jaded by these types of rides.

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  • April 20, 2021 at 12:37 am
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    I’ve always considered these rides as OK, except Astro Orbiter, for some reason that one seems like it’s in the way and uncomfortable, and has a forever line, so I despise it.
    Now I have a new fondness for them as a gateway ride for kids that gives them some of the first impressions of the theme park world, and the part about a sense of control rings so true, kids love to have control of things and make stuff move. I’ve always had a soft spot for the carousals in the Disney parks because of the nostalgia and ignored that they’re a similarly simple concept that can be found at any carnival, I guess now I have reasons to like them both.

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