Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

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Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Golencarousel.jpg
The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in Fantasyland
Magic Kingdom
Land Fantasyland
Attraction type Carousel
Opening date October 1, 1971
Vehicle capacity 1
Number of vehicles 90
Ride duration 2:00 minutes
Formally Known As Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel (1971-2010)
FastPass + No

The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is an attraction located in Fantasyland.

Attraction History

The history of the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel actually goes back to long before Walt Disney World opened. The carousel was built in 1917 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, for use in the Detroit Palace Garden Park [1]. Originally, the ride was named the "Liberty Carousel" and it was painted red, white and blue [2]. On the original canopy, images of Miss Liberty and other patriotic symbols could be seen. In 1928, the carousel was brought back to Philadelphia for repairs, and then sold to the Olympic Park, in Maplewood, New Jersey [2]. The carousel ran there for 39 years, until 1965 when the park closed [3].

Following the park's closure, The Walt Disney Company purchased the carousel for use in (the still unopened) Walt Disney World. After purchase, Disney Imagineers (including John Hench and Isle Voght) had to completely restore the carousel. They stripped and repainted the ride's horses, giving each horse a unique design. Disney also added a 23 karat gold leaf, silver, and bronze to each of the carousel's 90 horses [4]. According to Voght, "Disney purchased some antique horses that were made by two other well-known producers of carousels: the Dentzel Co. and the Parker Co" [2]. Imagineer John Hench also decided to have all of the horses on the carousel be white due to the fact that in Disneyland, guests always wanted to ride the the white "hero" horse. [3]. Furthermore, the canopy was rethemed, so that 18 scenes from the Disney movie Cinderella were included in the attraction [5].

The carousel opened as Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel on October 1, 1971 [6]. Although the attraction has not changed since opening day, on June 1, 2010 Disney announced that they were changing the name of the ride to the “Prince Charming Regal Carrousel” [7]. With the name change, Disney also released a new backstory for the attraction which says:

Following their fairy-tale romance and happily-ever-after wedding, Cinderella and Prince Charming took up residence in Cinderella’s Castle. With peace throughout the kingdom, Prince Charming had time to practice for jousting tournaments. In the countryside near the castle, he built a training device of carved horses, on which he could practice the art of ring-spearing, a tournament event in which a knight rides his horse full speed, lance in hand, toward a small ring hanging from a tree limb, with the object of spearing the ring. This event was known by various names throughout the lands, but generally came to be called “carrousel.”


The carrousel device drew the attention of the villagers, who wanted to take a turn on this amazing spinning contraption. So Prince Charming had a second carrousel constructed closer to the Castle, where everyone could take a spin on this wondrous invention. Instead of a working knight’s training device, however, this new carrousel is more befitting its regal location in the Castle Courtyard – its rustic training horses replaced with ornately decorated prancing steeds adorned with golden helmets and shields, flower garlands, feathers and other festoons. Prince Charming invites one and all to test their horsemanship skills and to enjoy their own happy ending. [8]

Attraction Plot

A close up of the carousel's canopy featuring some of the carousel's original figures,as well a scene from Cinderella. Photo Credit: HarshLight

The Price Charming Regal Carrousel is a two minute carousel ride. Guests can choose from 90 different horses, each with their own unique color pattern. While guests ride the carousel, classic Disney music plays on an organ. Songs that can be heard on The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel include:

  • Hakuna Matata (The Lion King)
  • High Ho (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
  • Feed the Birds (Mary Poppins)
  • Be Our Guests (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Chim Chim Cheree (Mary Poppins)
  • When You Wish Upon A Star (Pinocchio)

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • The Philadelphia Toboggan Company only made 87 carousels before stopping production in the 1930s [9]. The carousel that is today known as the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel was the 46th one that they made [10].
  • The horses that guest ride on are made of Maplewood [11].
  • Built in 1917, the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is the oldest attraction in the Magic Kingdom.
  • There are 2,325 lights on the Price Charming Regal Carrousel [12].
  • The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is almost 60 feet in diameter [13]
  • Some guests (and cast members) believe that Cinderella's horse is the number 37 horse, which is located in the second line (with the gold ribbon on its tail). Although some Disney merchandise seems to support this, the claim has never been confirmed by Disney [14].

References

  1. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2015/02/carrousel-horses-ready-for-the-day-at-magic-kingdom-park/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 https://www.mouseplanet.com/9271/The_Tale_of_Cinderellas_Golden_Carrousel
  3. 3.0 3.1 Secret stories of Walt Disney World: things you never knew you never knew Jim Korkis - Sam Gennawey
  4. http://www.wdwradio.com/2007/09/cinderellas-golden-carrousel/
  5. http://allears.net/tp/mk/carr.htm
  6. http://thisdayindisneyhistory.homestead.com/disneyworldgrandopening.html
  7. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010/05/carrousel-name-change-at-walt-disney-world/
  8. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010/05/carrousel-name-change-at-walt-disney-world/
  9. http://www.philadelphiatoboggancoastersinc.com/history.php
  10. http://www.philadelphiatoboggancoastersinc.com/carousels.php
  11. https://www.mouseplanet.com/guide/350/Walt-Disney-World/Magic-Kingdom/Fantasyland/Prince-Charming-Regal-Carrousel
  12. http://allears.net/tp/mk/carr.htm
  13. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2015/08/quiz-how-well-do-you-know-prince-charmings-royal-carrousel-at-magic-kingdom-park/
  14. http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/wdw/magickingdom/secrets/fl/Carrousel.html