The King Arthur Carrousel is currently going through a makeover, recieving a new motor, custom crankshafts to make the horses go up and down, a new top coverning, and paint job including the platform. The work began after the start of 2002 and is expected to take a minimum of six weeks. This was told to me by a Fantasyland cast member during a visit to the park during summer of 2001. Also the concrete walkways around the carrousel are being redone.
REPORTED: Jeff Scott 28 FEB 02
The organ on the carrousel itself was a Wurlitzer model number 155 and was functional from it's Disneyland opening in 1955 untill Fantasyland's closing in the early 1980's. When it reopened the pipes were removed and a speaker was installed and connected to band organ at the Dumbo ride. Dumbo's band organ was custom made for the Dumbo ride and is adajacent to the King Arthur Carrousel. The organ plays the music for both Dumbo and the King Arthur Carrousel. When Fantasyland reopened in 1983 the custom Dumbo organ played live music. Years ago the music from the Dumbo organ for both Dumbo and the King Arthur Carrousel was recorded. Today, that organ does not play live anymore. I was informed a few years ago the whole organ itself was removed and is being restored by someone back east. During the night when the park was closed the whole front of the Wurlitzer was removed, and Disney engineers created a dummy front and put it in (what you see today). The restoration project should be close to completion by now. IÕm anxious to see the results for myself.
UPDATE: Jeff Scott 28 FEB 02
I am a carrousel/merry go round historian and I still feel that the Disneyland Dentzel is the most beautiful carousel IÕve ever seen, with the one at Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania right up there.
REPORTED: Jeff Scott 28 FEB 02
The King Arthur Carrousel is located at near the center of Disneyland for a reason. When Walt Disney's daughters were little girls he used to take them to Griffith Park every weekend to ride the Carrousel there. It's still there. While sitting on a park bench he first had his very real thoughts about having rides that adults could enjoy too. A place for every member of the family. It's no mistake that all those dreamed-of attractions surround the Carrousel, and is Disneyland as we know it today.
REPORTED: Tim Carter 28 APR 97
The placing of the King Arthur Carrousel was very strategic. It's place in the park is designed to draw guests into the park. Standing at the foot of the Main Street Train station and looking down Main Street you can seen the sparkling lights of the carrousel through the arch in Sleeping Beauty's Castle. You see this glittering display of lights and are, whether consiously, or subconsiously drawn toward them. This very much a part of the Disney magic.
UPDATE: H. Riley 04 APR 00
The King Arthur Carrousel is an original rather than a Disney adaptation. The Carrousel boasts 18 rows of 44 elaborately hand carved and painted horses each, 72 in all, no two alike, plus 13 spares. Its an 1875 Dentzel model that Disney purchased in Canada.
REPORTED: Troy Carrington 16 MAR 97
The horses on Disneyland carrousel are genuine antiques. They are all handmade, and all of them are over 100 years old. They were found at Coney Island neglected. All the horses where modified and had their legs replaced with ones that gave them the appearance of running. This was done by craftsmen at the time the park was under construction. The reason for the modification was that it was what Walt Disney wanted.
REPORTED: Rob Teitelbaum 19 MAR 96
CONFIRMED: Eric B 24 MAR 96
CONFIRMED: Scott Mingus 18 JUN 96
The horses on King Arthur's Carrousel are all over a hundred years old. There are seventy-some main horses with 13 spares (no two alike), and they all get a new coat of paint about every two years (it takes 40 hours to paint just one, so that's about how long it takes to complete the cycle.)
CONFIRMED: Meg 29 JUL 96
The horses on the King Arthur Carrousel are re-finished, not just repainted, on a rotating basis. In the paint shop behind Rivers of America, Maintenance on the 13 spare horses is always at a varying stage of completion for each horse (not sure why, could be that this craft really requires work by qualified craftsmen). At any given time in the Paint Shop, one horse may be totally stripped while another has the first coat, still another being dressed out with jewels, etc. By the way, I've been putting my kids on the Carrousel for over 20 years now (have 4 kids) and never once has Jingles been missing. Perhaps you went when Jingles was back stage for her annual maintenance :-)
UPDATE: John V 12 AUG 98
My father knows a lot about Carrousels and told me this while we were waiting for a ride. Despite what Disney says, not all of the horses are original. Perhaps they were when the park first opened, before they painted them all a glossy white. Several are fiberglass casts, and at least two actually have donkey heads attached to horse bodies (You can tell by the shape of the head and the ears, apparently.) Also, the actual machine is ununsual because it has four horses abreast instead of the ususual three. It's the same at only one other Carrousel I know of--the Carrousel at Griffith Park, (Glendale CA) the very place that Walt had the inspiration for Disneyland.
UPDATE: Star Girl 13 SEP 98
This is in response to an update on the Carrousel fun fact number 6 where someone says that Jingles is no longer on the Carrousel. I'm happy to report that Jingles is back, and has been for quite a while. If Jingles left it was probably to be fixed up briefly.
UPDATE: Sabrina 23 JUL 00
The Carrousel itself comes from the former Sunnyside Amusement park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The horses are from several diffrent carrousels as the one from Sunnyside was a merry-go-round and contained other animals. According to a letter I recived from Disney on the subject of the Carrousel they said that the animals and other things they removed are now used on the Cassy Junior Circus train.
CONFIRMED: Thomas McCarthy 03 DEC 00
The first horse purchased for this carrousel has a gold tooth. And each of the 72 horses was named by Disney designers.
At the rate of about 40 painting hours per horse, it takes a couple of years to get around to them all. Then the cycle starts again.
CONFIRMED: Katia 18 MAR 01
They touchup paint it every night.
UPDATE: Katie 28 JUN 01
The person in charge of polishing the brass poles spends six hours at the task every night.
would just like to confirm the brass polishing of the poles. I used to be a cast member at the Plaza Inn and Plaza Pavillion resturants. We had to polish the brass everynight and if it wasn't perfect we would have to redo it. Brass polishing is a job requirement for all cast members in any attraction that has brass. That is part of the Disney Magic.
REPORTED: Karen Denham 07 SEP 98
The most popular horse on the Carrousel is called Jingles. She has bells and flowers in her hair. The only one of her kind.
REPORTED: Eric B 04 APR 96
Did you know that the reason Jingles has all the bells is that years ago the attendant had to count the times the horses went around and jingles was the lead horse that they used to count.
CONFIRMED: Dave 22 AUG 96
I feel really sad to report this one, but on King Arthur's Carrousel, they removed Jingles the horse (I'd know, that was my favorite one, too)
UPDATE: Tiffany 23 MAY 98
A Cast Member once told me the story behind the scenes from Sleeping Beauty on King Arthur's Carrousel. The scenes were put up only for the opening of the New Fantasyland. However, they forgot to take the photos down.
REPORTED: anon 28 MAY 97
It takes about 2 hours before a song repeats! If anybody else was at the re-opening, (we played four nights a week for two weeks, marching out), can you remember if they raised the drawbridge every night? I think they did. But the first night was the most special since the old mouseketeers came out with us, leading the procession.
REPORTED: Shari London 15 MAR 97
Each brass rail in the Carrousel is hand polished each evening.
REPORTED: DrGallegos 20 OCT 97
In Fantasyland cast members polish the Carrousel horses every night. It takes about 6 hours.
REPORTED: Ashley 14 JUL 98