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Caring for the Antique Horses on King Arthur Carrousel

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Director of Public Relations, Walt Disney Publishing

The preservation of the King Arthur Carrousel horses – each of which is a genuine antique, older than Disneyland itself – involves pulling horses off the Carrousel, replacing them with “alternates,” repairing them, sanding them, refinishing them and repainting them. It’s why they always look “new,” even though they’re decades old. Not only are they antiques, they’re probably among the most well-maintained antiques in the world, considering they have guests bouncing up and down on them for hours a day, every day of the year.

You might be surprised to learn that….

  • The original fleet of horses came from Canada.
  • All the Carrousel horses are made of wood.
  • There is one cast member whose sole responsibility is to take care of all 85 horses.
  • There are 72 horses on King Arthur Carrousel at a time.
  • Horses are rotated whenever they need maintenance.
  • In 2008 Jingles, a very special horse, was redesigned and decorated in the theme of “Mary Poppins” as a dedication to actress Julie Andrews.

A Disneyland Resort cast member, Rick Temple, tells us how King Arthur Carrousel is more than just an attraction – it’s a piece of history that he’s happy to preserve.

Comments

  • That is my dream job. Hey, do you need a helper?

  • Rick Temple – THANK YOU for putting so much love & pride into your work – it shows!!!! We LOVE riding the carrousel – definitely a family favorite. This is just another example of Walt’s creative genius. PS – I LOVE the Disney Parks Blog

  • Loved the carousel when I was there for the first time last year. My daughter wouldn’t ride any horse except Jingles everytime we got on (over a dozen times over the course of 3 days). We didn’t know it was such a special horse until a cast member told us. I’m sure we’ll be on the carousel a lot when we’re down there again next month.

  • haha i think i can see myself on there when they filmed this i was wondering what they were doing that day

  • What a great post! I carved a carousel horse as an advanced project in college, and it’s a ton of work. I’ve always wanted the job of taking care of the horses on King Arthur’s carousel, Mr. Temple has and does a great job.

  • As someone who works in museums, I cringed at the idea of sanding, repainting and refinishing genuine antique horses. But then I recognized that these antiques aren’t being kept as museum pieces but being kept for the continued enjoyment of children and adults alike for a century now. That’s okay in my books ^_^

    • 🙂 Thanks, that’s an interesting perspective

  • It’s good to see that the carousel has a good home and is well taken care of.

    • Glad you guys liked this. Have a great weekend.

  • Its really cool that the carrousel horses have lasted for so long.

    They look great.

  • Whenever we go to Disneyland, the Carousel is a ‘must’ ride. I always loved Jingles before now it has even more meaning. My girls all have their favorites, too. I’ve loved carousels all my life and even have a few statues of them around my home. A book I own of carousel art is a favorite, always accessible.

  • I’m sure my 5 year old will be riding Jingles a lot next week! This is her favorite ride.

  • jingles also has 3 hidden mickeys on it

  • I LOVE the carousel! It’s always our first ride when we are at Disneyland or Disney World! We usually ride it several times during our trip!

  • One of my 5 year old daughter’s favorite rides – I think she rides it almost every time we go. I’ll have to show her this video when she gets home from school today. She’ll love it!

  • Really cool! Jingles is now my fav too!

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