The King Arthur Carrousel is a classic attraction located in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Originally opening with the park in 1955, this antique carousel has been delighting guests for over 65 years. With its ornately decorated horses, whimsical music, and spinning motion, the King Arthur Carrousel offers a nostalgic ride experience for guests of all ages.
Average Wait Times: The King Arthur Carrousel is one of Disneyland’s more popular attractions, especially for families with young children. Wait times can vary throughout the day but typically range from 10 to 30 minutes.
Height Requirements: The King Arthur Carrousel is a family-friendly attraction with no height requirements, making it suitable for riders of all ages.
Single Rider: This attraction does not offer a single rider line, as it’s designed for families and groups to enjoy together.
Ride Duration: Rides typically last around 2 minutes.
Rider Switch: The Rider Switch option is available for guests with young children who are too small to ride or choose not to. One adult can wait with the child while the rest of the party rides, and then they can switch roles without waiting in line again.
Disability Access Service (DAS): Disneyland provides accommodations for guests with disabilities, and the DAS may be utilized for the King Arthur Carrousel. Visitors with disabilities should inquire about this service at Guest Relations to ensure they have a magical experience tailored to their needs.
Best Times to Ride: The best times to ride with minimal wait are usually early in the morning or during parades and fireworks shows when crowds are focused elsewhere.
History and Design
The carousel was built in 1922 by the Dentzel Carousel Company for Sunnyside Beach Park in Toronto, Canada. When Disneyland was being constructed, Walt Disney acquired the carousel and had it refurbished by Arrow Development. Walt Disney himself had a fondness for carousels, and this attraction was inspired by the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, where he used to take his daughters on weekends. The original menagerie of hand-carved horses and animals was modified to be an all-horse carousel, with custom crankshafts added to make each horse a jumper in motion. The carousel has 68 horses and 1 chariot bench arranged in 4 rows. No two horses are exactly alike, with unique faces and detailing on each one.
The horses are all painted white now, but were originally a mix of colors. The chariot was added to provide wheelchair accessibility. The ride platform is decorated with ornate rounding boards depicting scenes from the legend of King Arthur, creating a regal atmosphere. A faux Wurlitzer #157 Band Organ façade sits in the center, playing Disney music from an overhead sound system. The music ranges from organ covers of classic Disney songs to instrumental medleys, adding an old-timey feel.
The King Arthur Carrousel is located behind Sleeping Beauty Castle, visible when entering Fantasyland. The entrance is through a small castle archway, setting the stage for a royal experience. The line queue winds through a shaded area surrounded by intricately designed metalwork. Various scenes from King Arthur legends are depicted on plaques and signs throughout the queue, immersing guests in the theme. Once boarding, riders can choose from 68 jumping horses or a stationary chariot bench.
The horses feature intricately carved details like flowers, leaves, and jewels on their saddles and bridles. Each horse has a unique name, which can be discovered on a plaque on the saddle. As the ride operator starts the lift mechanism, the carousel slowly begins rotating clockwise and the music starts playing. The horses bob gently up and down, simulating a galloping motion as they circle around. Riders feel a sense of freedom and childlike joy as the scenery smoothly spins by.
Each 2-minute ride offers views of Sleeping Beauty Castle, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Casey Jr. Circus Train, and the “it’s a small world” façade. The beautifully painted rounding boards depict scenes of knights, dragons, and royalty. The ride evokes feelings of nostalgia and simple pleasures, appealing to all ages. Parents can create lasting memories riding alongside their children on this timeless attraction.
The King Arthur Carrousel is a beloved opening day attraction offering simple, nostalgic fun for all. Its antique horses and classic music create an utterly delightful ride experience. Though not a thrilling attraction, its family appeal and rich theming make it a Fantasyland favorite. This regal carousel has been bringing smiles to children and adults alike for over 60 years, creating timeless memories for Disneyland guests.
The King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland is a charming and timeless attraction that pays homage to Walt Disney's love for classic carousels and storytelling. Its rich history, intricate design, and enchanting architecture make it a must-visit for visitors of all ages.