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Things You Might Not Know About King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland Park

Erin Glover

by , Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland Park

Although King Arthur Carrousel made its Disneyland Resort debut when the park opened in 1955, its history goes back much further. Just how old is the carrousel? Learn that and more below!

  • Walt Disney bought the 1875 Dentzel carrousel for $22,000 from Sunnyside Park in Toronto, Canada.
  • The handcrafted Dentzel carrousel was purchased from Sunnyside Amusement Park in Toronto, which opened in 1922. Some might believe that parts of the carrousel date back as early as 1875, but definitive records do not exist before 1922.
  • Since Walt Disney wanted only jumping horses for his carrousel – not the other animals which were part of the original – additional horses were added from another at Coney Island. Each horse on King Arthur Carrousel is a hand-carved antique.
  • About one in every five Disneyland park visitors takes a spin on King Arthur Carrousel.
  • The King Arthur Carrousel horses are touched up daily, and every year each horse undergoes a complete refurbishment. More than 30 colors are used on the horses – no two of which are painted alike. Learn more about how the horses are restored here.
  • There are a total of 72 leaping horses on King Arthur Carrousel. Walt Disney himself insisted that all horses would be leaping, so some of the original horses were reconfigured to the proper pose.

Comments

  • There were 72 horses until the wheelchair accessible bench was installed a few years ago and took out four horses, bringing the total to 68.

  • I’m surprised there was no mention of Jingles…

  • Always, always take a spin on the carrousel every trip to the park. It is an amazing piece of history restored for generations to enjoy. I always feel like I have stepped back in time. Thanks for the stats.

  • Also, the “lead” horse has my favorite hidden Mickey!!

  • I love the special Mary Poppins horse with a tribute to Julie Andrews! I think it is the most beautiful with all the gold bells!

  • I loved reading about the carrousel. Does anyone know why he wanted all leaping horses? Reading this deff makes me want to stop and take a closer look at the horse and the different colors they have!

  • I heard Cinderella’s horse is the only one that has a gold ribbon tied on it’s tail. It’s in the second row from the outside.

  • A while back, my girlfriend Samantha and I were looking at old Disneyland photos she had and there was one of her riding Jingles, taken way back in the early 1980s, when she was maybe 4 or 5. We recognized it was Jingles right away thanks to the bell strap on it, and decided to have a little fun. We took the photo with us to the park, hopped on the King Arthur Carrousel, found Jingles and had her recreate the photo, same pose and all. Made for such a great little Then & Now picture!

  • One of the horses has a gold tooth so Mrs. Disney could recognize her favorite horse

  • I’m from Toronto and never knew this.

  • Every horse has a different name. You can get the list of names from City Hall.

    There is 1 horse with a gold tooth. It was Walt’s wife, Lily’s favorite.

  • I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful woman named Isle who cared for the animals on the carousel at Walt Disney World. Anyone know if she’s still around?

  • Wow, thank you all for sharing the extra tidbits! I was going to ask about the names… I will definitely be stopping by City Hall on my next trip.

  • Erin – Wondering if you can help me figure something out. When I saw this post and the comment regarding the list of Carrousel horse names, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a copy of the list last time I was at the park. Unfortunately, I was looking over the list of names and things didn’t add up. I counted the names, and there’s only 63 of them on the list that’s available at City Hall. That said, wondering which of the following happened:

    – Five horses are currently removed and undergoing an unannounced refurbishment.
    – Five horses went unnamed.
    – Clerical error on the list of names.

    Also, the list at City Hall is done alphabetically, and I’m wondering if there’s any way of telling which horse is which, any identifying markers on the horse? The only one I know of is Jingles.

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