Disney Girl Challenge: Mrs. Jumbo

Mrs. Jumbo HandDumbo is a movie my crybaby constitution cannot contemplate for too long – simply looking up reference photos of Dumbo’s mom, Mrs. Jumbo, put me to tears – so I thought I’d use this manicure, another entry in my ongoing Disney Girl Challenge, as a jumping off point for a funny story that’s rather beloved in my small family circle instead.

Starting when I was just two years old, my parents and I would go to Disney World in Orlando, Florida at least every second year, or more often if time and funds accommodated. Being so little, on that first trip we were pretty much confined to the “kiddie” rides (an easier feat than you’d think – the majority of Disney rides, particularly in the early ’80s when this occurred, are not of the turn-you-inside-out, thrill-type variety) which included a classic attraction that still operates in the Magic Kingdom to this day, Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant is and was a round-and-round ride; you board one of 15 or so individual Dumbos attached to a central spoke, and when the ride starts up, your Dumbo automatically goes round and round while you control, via a lever, your Dumbo going up and down.

That is, of course, provided you understand how the mechanics of a throttle work in the first place, which is an odd little blind spot in my life’s knowledge that I have never, ever managed to rectify (ask Mr. Finger Candy, who has watched me tank more aircraft in video games than either of us can count.) My lack of knowledge in this area occupies the same space as my inability to remember how to play a single card game, and any and all rules of football.

So there I am, in my Dumbo, all the other children gliding around 10 feet above me while I’m trapped on the ground, bouncing along in my puttered-out pachyderm. My parents stood to the side of the ride and shouted out not-so helpful instructions for a while before finally giving up and simply pretending I wasn’t their child – “Wow, whose idiot kid is that?! Certainly not ours!” Quality parenting, Mom and Dad!

Long story short, I never rode Dumbo the Flying Elephant again. Too embarrassing for all parties involved! Also not really my ride jam – even at three, I was all about the Haunted Mansion, and my parents knew it! So maybe they weren’t such bad parents after all. 😉

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