King Arthur Carrousel

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King Arthur Carrousel
King Arthur Carrousel.jpg
Disneyland
AreaFantasyland
StatusOperating
Opening dateJuly 17, 1955
May 23, 1983 (reopening)
Closing date1982 (Original)
General statistics
Attraction typeCarousel
ManufacturersDentzel Carousel Company (1922 Original)
Arrow Development (1955 Refurbishment)
DesignerWED Enterprises
ThemeKnights of the Round Table
MusicA central Fairground organ playing Disney themes and songs
Vehicle type68 various horses, 1 chariot bench, wheelchair grip
Riders per vehicle1
Duration2:18
Disabled access Wheelchair accessible

King Arthur Carrousel is a carousel attraction located in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The carousel was built in 1922 and operated at Sunnyside Beach Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, until the park closed. The ride was relocated to Disneyland in 1954, where it was refurbished and modified by Arrow Development, and opened with the park on July 17, 1955.[1]

History[edit]

King Arthur succeeded to the throne by pulling Excalibur from the Stone. A ceremony is held here to determine who in the realm shall reign as king for the day.

Inspired by the Griffith Park carousel, Walt Disney wanted something similar for his new theme park: a carousel consisting of all jumpers.[2][3] A park model Menagerie Carousel was purchased and moved to Disneyland in 1954. The carousel was built by William Dentzel[2] and had been operated at Sunnyside Beach Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, since 1922;[2] it had three courses of horses and other animals on a platform 72 feet (22 m) in diameter.

California, Anaheim, Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Park, Fantasyland, King Arthur Carrousel

Preparation[edit]

The attraction was refurbished and significantly altered by the Arrow Development Company of Mountain View, California in preparation for opening day.[4] It was widened to four courses to increase guest capacity. Of the carousel's 71 horses and one mule, most were carved in the Dentzel factory. To add the outermost course, several carved wooden horses were acquired from a Stein and Goldstein carousel, others from Coney Island's Looff carousel, and more carved horses from various other carousels from around North America.[2] Many horses arrived with crude repairs, such as newspaper-stuffed papier-mâché legs. Standers on the original three rows were converted to jumpers by removing the legs and carving new ones. Custom-built crankshafts were installed overhead to operate each horse as a jumper in motion. The original, ornately hand-carved, wooden chariot benches were removed, and the chariot woodwork was repurposed to decorate the "calliope" tenders and passenger cars of Casey Jr. Circus Train.[2] A Wurlitzer #157 Band Organ facade decorates the carousel, but does not operate. Motifs from Sleeping Beauty were also added to the carousel.

The carousel was placed in a prominent position in the middle of the castle courtyard, able to be viewed from Main Street through the castle gate, drawing guests into the realm of fantasy.[5]

Refurbishment[edit]

There were two refurbishments to the carousel: one in 1983 and one in 2003. In 1983, to make room for other attractions, the carousel was moved slightly backwards and received a completely new roof. The carousel was also repainted in orange, red, and blue, and the princess and jester rounding boards were repainted into 18k gold. In preparation for Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration, the Happiest Homecoming on Earth, King Arthur Carrousel closed for extensive renovations and reopened in February 2003. These renovations included an entirely rebuilt turntable platform, a new computerized operating console and system which halts the carousel each time at the same spot, removal of a row of four horses to accommodate a four-course-wide bench and wheelchair clamps with an access ramp for ADA compliance, which reduced the count of horses to 68.[2] In January 2010, the stirrups of each outer-course horse were replaced to include additional lower loops, increasing accessibility.

Horses[edit]

Jingles with her commemorative rider.[6]

Because of the overwhelming popularity of the carousel's single white horse, since 1975 all horses have been painted white.[citation needed] After a 2003 update, the carrousel was reduced to 68 horses and one chariot.[7] Each horse on the carousel has a name; a complete list is available at City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A.[6]

Jingles is the lead horse, and Walt's favorite, named for her very ornate carvings which include straps of jingle bells hanging from her breast collar, decorative quarter sheet behind the saddle, and fastened on the cantle. For Disneyland's 50th anniversary in 2005, Jingles was repainted gold from nose to tail, trimmed in 18k gold leaf set apart as a photo opportunity near the queue for Dumbo the Flying Elephant. When Jingles was reinstalled as lead horse after the Year of a Million Dreams campaign, major portions of Jingles were painted over in a new pastel color theme, except where the gold bells and trim show through, with a translucent treatment of the rosettes on Jingles' head. Decorative detail was painted on the quarter sheet representing the talking-parrot-handled umbrella from Mary Poppins. On the saddle flap, a decorative crest was added, with the monogram "JA", a bird perched on high button shoes, a silhouette of Mary in flight, and the number 50, representing the 50th anniversary of this original Disneyland attraction. Jingles was then ceremoniously dedicated to Julie Andrews on April 8, 2008, as "Honorary Ambassador", the title painted beneath the Hidden Mickey on her cantle.[6]

Sword in the Stone Ceremony[edit]

Inspired by the legend of Excalibur from The Sword in the Stone, Merlin used to host a ceremony nearby to determine which guest could pull the sword from the stone to become king for a day. The final ceremony was in 2006.

"By proclamation of Arthur, the right and true king, and lord of all the land, it is time to select a temporary ruler of the realm... to safeguard and protect the kingdom while good King Arthur is on vacation."

The statue with the sword still stands at the front of the carrousel. In January, 2020, a visitor reportedly pulled out the sword.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the Mickey Mouse episode "Potatoland", Mickey and Donald build a theme park called Potatoland to fulfill Goofy's lifelong dream to go to the park, even though it never existed. One of the attractions featured was a low-budget carousel, similar to the carrousels at Disney theme parks, with Mickey playing the organ, while Donald cranked the ride.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gurr, Bob (November 27, 2013). "DESIGN: Those Were The Times – No.23 1955 Arrow Development – Ed Morgan and Karl Bacon". MiceChat. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f King Arthur Carrousel | Fantasyland Attractions | Disneyland Park, official website.
  3. ^ King Arthur Carrousel Horses, Horses - Finding Mickey.com.
  4. ^ Gennawey, Sam (2014). The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney's Dream. Keen Communications. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-62809-012-3.
  5. ^ Strodder, Chris (2017). The Disneyland Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Santa Monica Press. p. 274. ISBN 978-1595800909.
  6. ^ a b c Jingles - King Arthur Carrousel Horses, Jingles - Finding Mickey.com.
  7. ^ "King Arthur Carrousel". Disneyland. Retrieved March 24, 2017.

External links[edit]

  • Disneyland.com - King Arthur Carrousel | Fantasyland Attractions | Disneyland Park
  • FindingMickey.com - Information about the King Arthur Carrousel, horse name checklist, names and photos of the King Arthur Carrousel horses

Coordinates: 33°48′48″N 117°55′08″W / 33.8134°N 117.919°W / 33.8134; -117.919