‘World’s Only Flying Elephant’ – Helicopter Returns Elephant to Jungle Cruise at Disneyland

Shannen Ace

Did you ever see an elephant fly? We have! And it wasn’t Dumbo. We spotted a helicopter lowering an elephant figure into the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park early Tuesday morning.

When I See An Elephant Fly (to Jungle Cruise)

A helicopter carries an African Elephant animatronic back to Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Park.

We spotted the helicopter from our hotel room window. The elephant was attached to the aircraft by a cable and was being carefully lowered into place.

In November 2023, one of the African elephants and Squirt the Indian elephant were removed from the attraction. This looks like it may be the African elephant returning.

A zoomed-in photo of the helicopter air-lifting the animatronic back to Disneyland.

We watched the creature hover over Disneyland Resort, just visible over the nearby Residence Inn, before descending out of sight. See it in our TikTok video:


Have you ever seen an Elephant fly? Well, now you have! 🐘 This morning a helicopter was spotted dropping an elephant animatronic in what we assume was the Jungle Cruise 🐯 What do you think about this? 🤔 #junglecruise #disneyland #dca #disneylandjunglecruise #disneyparks #california

♬ Dumbo’s Circus – Elephant Room

This isn’t the first time guests may have seen a Jungle Cruise elephant soaring over Disneyland. The figures are so large that they have to be lifted out by helicopter any time they need to be removed for maintenance.

The attraction has continued to operate normally while the figures are gone.

A very zoomed-in photo of a red helicopter carrying an African Elephant animatronic back to Jungle Cruise via cable.

Of course, Disneyland guests have also seen an elephant fly (almost) every day since August 16, 1955, when Dumbo the Flying Elephant first opened at the park.

Watch our POV video from the ride’s reopening in 2021 with cultural sensitivity changes and new scenes:

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