Sunday, June 26, 2016

King Arthur's Carrousel, January 1963

Disneyland's Carrousel is on the short list of attractions that have been at the park since opening day. It's a beauty, and even as an adult I sometimes like to take a spin. 

I have a trio of photos taken in early 1963 - so far this ride is strictly for the 5 and under set. OK, maybe that boy to our left is 7. I am going to be very tiresome (what else is new) and point out that this is from the days when the horses were painted in a variety of colors. which I like. Ultimately the ride is fun no matter what color your horse is, though!

"Let's get this show on the road! What are we waiting for? I guess I'll swing my legs impatiently and murmur some curse words under my breath so that Mom won't hear. I learned a good one from Dad yesterday when he was working on his car".

"Wave at the camera, Susan... we'll send a print to your grandparents!". Susie has been programmed to obey and does so dutifully. Oh, those childhood haircuts; Mom probably did it herself.


Nanook said...


Here's my 'thumbs-up' for more-colorful steeds-! Also of note - in the first image, our young towheaded guest is riding the lead horse, Jingles-! Very exciting. (I wonder if she's aware of that factoid-?)

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...


Does anyone know if the horse pictured are the exact same horses that are on the carousel today or if they have since been replaced with newer (fiberglass?) replicas? Or were these even the original wooden horses that were on the carousel in the early days of operation? I think I read that they were copied at some point, but I can't say for sure. I do remember reading that Walt had some of the original horses altered so they would all be "jumpers."

K. Martinez said...

These images bring back fond memories of working on the 1911 Loof carousel at the Boardwalk. Please stand on the inward side of the horse and no walking around while in motion! One ring at a time, please!

Nice set today! Thanks, Major.

Patrick Devlin said...

In the first shot our little rider is looking longingly at her eventual mount on the outside ring. You'll make it someday, honey. I never did like anything but horses on a carousel. Wonder where I got that idea? I think the Balboa Park carousel had rabbits or lions or rabbits chewing their own feet off, or something. Give my steed!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I’m sure that most people have no idea about the lead horse. I would avoid Jingles, he’s so full of himself. Instead I’ll ride the horse that is missing all its teeth, is swaybacked, and doesn’t leap because he’s too tired. That horse needs love!

TokyoMagic!, I don’t appreciate the use of dessert names on this family-friendly blog! ;-) Meanwhile, great minds think alike, because I have wondered if the horses on the Carrousel are the originals or if they are copies. Like you, I’d heard that they were all changed to be leapers. Among the Viewmaster photos from Rol and Jo Summit are some non-horse carousel animals that are supposedly ones that were removed from Disneyland’s ride, since Walt only wanted horses.

K. Martinez, rules, rules, rules! For instance, why can’t I bring my bowl of three-alarm chili on the Santa Cruz carousel? Also, I could have sworn that the Boardwalk carousel was “clothing optional”. I thought this was a free country, man!

Patrick Devlin, I didn’t even noticed that the girl had eventually switched horses (presumably so dad could get a better photo?). See my comment to TokyoMagic! about the non-horse animals. It’s amazing, I’ve seen carousel figures carved in the likeness of Teddy Roosevelt, Robert Baden-Powell (founder of the Boy Scouts), sea monsters, tigers, ostriches, giraffes… they’re pretty fun! Do you think a rabbit that chews his own foot off thinks that he tastes like chicken?

Debbie V. said...

Good memories.

Nanook said...

@ Major-

Whoa Nellie-! You are are in super-rare form today. Me likes-!

And according to a 2001 article in The "E" Ticket, it would appear all of the horses are original. (Who knows what's happened since then - it's quite possible all the steeds are now a composite of pot metal, balsa wood, Fuller's earth and Retsyn-!) Well, they do smell nice.

"While 72 horses remain in constant motion, the Park actually has a total of 85. This enables a continuous maintenance effort, with a "four on, four off" schedule, and explains why certain horses appear in differing locations over the years". Geez - and I always thought the re-positioning was the result of which horse was the winner of their weekly game of musical chairs-!

@ Ken-

Only ONE ring at a time-??!! Where's the fun in that-! Harrumph. The Santa Cruz Loof carrousel is still my favorite.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, have you posted those Viewmaster photos?

Nanook, thanks for that info! I need to get out my issues of "E" Ticket Magazine and reread them.

I still enjoy the Merry-Go-Round at Knott's with it's Rooster, Rabbit, Pig and the Cat with the dead bird in it's mouth (I think they have now painted that bird to look like a fish)!

Major Pepperidge said...

Debbie V, there’s just something about a beautiful carrousel. They never go out of style!

Nanook, 2001 seems like a long time ago (15 years IS a long time ago!) - I think that the E-ticket issue was one of the last. Maybe. It was fascinating to visit Rol Summit’s home, with his collection of vintage carrousel animals; one of them was full of ticket stubs, marbles, and other stuff that had managed to fall into the space around the pole. Also, when I visited the “Flying Horses” carousel on Martha’s Vinyard, I’d see kids managing to grab four or five rings each time they passed the little dispenser.

TokyoMagic!, no I have not shared those photos, they’re kind of dark and grainy. But I could dig them out and share them on an “anything goes saturday” I guess. And now that I’m thinking about it, I wish that I had all of my E-ticket issues on my iPad!

DrGoat said...

Still always take a ride on it after 50 years of going
to the park. Good memories indeed.

walterworld said...

Always enjoyed the KAC as a kid and also had the second, more nostalgic joy of watching my little kids (and also now my grand-kids) ride it...

I also had the joy of visiting my grandparents in Santa Cruz (great-granddad was smart settling there), and was able to experience the magic of the Loof Carousel, with the ring machine in all it's glory. My kids have enjoyed it too, but I haven't taken the grandkids out there yet...need to do!