Location: Fantasyland, Disneyland
Opening Date: July 17, 1955
Height requirement: None
Who it’s for: Everyone! Who doesn’t love a carousel?!
Ride Length: 3 minutes
Fun Fact: Each of the horses has their own name! The attendant has a picture book and can tell you the name of your horse!
King Arthur’s Carousel is one of the opening day attractions at Disneyland Park in Anaheim. Believe it or not, this attraction is an acknowledgement to where Walt had the original idea for Disneyland. Walt took his daughters to the Griffith Park carousel in Los Angeles, and while sitting on a park bench watching his daughters, had the idea for Disneyland.
This particular carousel is one of the oldest attractions in the park. It was built in 1922 and lived in Pennsylvania for many years before Walt purchased it and moved it to California to become a part of Disneyland. This carousel is also unique because it features all horses, where as most carousels have a variety of different animals. Walt figured that since the horses were always the most popular, he should have all horses on his carousel.
There is also some extra special magic that happens on the carousel at Disneyland. Occasionally, you’ll be able to ride the carousel with characters like Mary Poppins and Bert, or even Belle and the Beast. The Pearly Band also boards the carousel a few times a day and plays a live soundtrack as they circle around with you. Keep an eye out and perhaps you will get luck with these extra magical experiences.
The Official Word
If you’re interested in the official spiel, here’s how Disney’s site describes the attraction:
Ride Like Fairytale Royalty
Make your way beneath a vibrant medieval tent in the castle courtyard and select one of 68 ornately carved, hand-painted horses—or take a seat in the fanciful chariot.
As classic Disney tunes play from the old-fashioned fairground organ, show off your horsemanship as your prancing pony glides up and down.
During the whimsical journey, relive the classic Disney animated fairytale Sleeping Beauty through a series of 9 hand-painted vignettes on the inner rounding board above the horses—and watch your own fairytale come to life!Official Disneyland Website
When Lizzie and I were dating we used to go to the park in the evening for dinner or dessert. We wouldn’t do many rides, but would always close out our date nights with a late-night ride on the carousel. There’s nothing quite as romantic to close out an evening.
And as we mentioned above, every horse has its own name. Over time you can get to know many of the names and you might even develop a favorite horse. My personal favorite horse is Screaming Eagle, which is located near the Sword in the Stone when the ride is stopped.
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