July 1955 – present
Fantasyland – When entering through the castle, you will see the King Arthur Carrousel straight in front of you. It is the central point of the main square in Fantasyland.
Walt Disney knew from the start that he wanted a carousel in Disneyland, and he wanted to build one similar to the one his daughters loved in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park. So in preparation for Opening Day, Walt and his team searched for a carousel that was both charming and fitting with Fantasyland’s atmosphere.
The original platform and frame of the carousel was from a park in Toronto, Canada. Built in 1921, the original carousel featured train cars and circus animals alongside the horses, but the train cars were removed and used for the Casey Jr. Circus Train. Over the years, the carousel has had a few facelifts, including the addition of a wheelchair access bench and ramp, and depictions of Sleeping Beauty scenes in the interior. However, the King Arthur Carrousel remains one of the most iconic symbols in Fantasyland, and welcomes guests of all ages into the land of fairytales.
- Single Rider Line – no
- Fast Pass – no
- Height Requirement – none
- Duration – 2:20
The King Arthur Carrousel is a magical version of many other standard carrousels. Riders can choose either stationary horses or horses that slowly move up and down throughout the ride, and there are benches for disabled guests. As the enchanted organ plays Disney classics, guests spin around and around right in the heart of Fantasyland. With a final fanfare, guests offload and continue on their adventures in the park.
MY RATING – ★★★★☆
I think that the King Arthur Carrousel is one of the most under-appreciated rides in Disneyland. A lot of older guests skip over the carrousel and miss one of the first experiences Walt Disney envisioned for guests in Disneyland. Everyone should hop on the carousel during a visit, because no one is too old to be a kid again!
When you’re riding the carousel, don’t forget to look up and around you, and appreciate the interior design. The carrousel has incredible detail, with beautiful artwork and elaborately decorated horses. The décor and iconic presence in Fantasyland earn this ride four stars.
Sometimes guests skip over the King Arthur Carrousel because the line looks too long, but looks can be deceiving! The carousel has a capacity of over 100 per ride, so the line moves very fast. I recommend visiting the King Arthur Carrousel in between dark rides. It’s a nice change of pace, and its charm and history within the park makes it a great experience for guests of all ages.
Did you notice the word “carousel” is misspelled in the attraction’s name? The King Arthur Carrousel has had two “r”s since the 50s, though every other carousel at the resort is spelled correctly. No one knows why King Arthur is different, but the misspelling seems to have stuck!
One of the horses, Jingles, was dedicated to Julie Andrews when she became an honorary ambassador for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary. To this day, Jingles bears the initials “JA” and a silhouette of Mary Poppins, and has golden hooves.
The King Arthur Carrousel is the only ride in Fantasyland that still bears a strong resemblance to the land’s original Renaissance Fair décor.
Before the major Fantasyland refurbishment in the 1980’s, the King Arthur Carrousel sat even closer to the castle. It was moved back as Fantasyland expanded, to give guests more room.