Built in August 1955, one month after the park's opening and based on the character from the 1941 animated feature, the sixteen ride vehicles are each shaped like Dumbo and are mounted on articulated armatures connected to a rotating hub. The passengers ride in the "Dumbos" and can maneuver them up and down with a joystick which operates a hydraulic ram. The ride itself rotates counterclockwise at a constant rate.
The attraction was originally built with ten ride vehicles which were intended to represent not the "one and only" Dumbo but the alcohol-induced "pink elephants" scene from the film. In fact, the working title of the attraction was "10 Pink Elephants On Parade" and the elephants were actually painted pink on installation. Walt Disney objected, not wishing Disneyland's patrons to ride vehicles themed to a hallucination and thereby ordered them painted gray. When Disneyland's Fantasyland was remodeled in 1983, the attraction was expanded to its present-day sixteen vehicles. Like other remaining 1955 attractions, one of Disneyland's Dumbos was painted gold in honor of that park's fiftieth anniversary in 2005.
A circa 1915 band organ occasionally provides background music. This powerful instrument is capable of being heard more than a mile away; it is quite naturally operated at only a fraction of its potential.