Attractions Disney World History

Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel to Prince Charming Regal Carrousel: Backstory

Cinderella's Golden Carrousel to Prince Charming Regal Carrousel: Backstory



Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is a beautiful sight as you enter into new Fantasyland! How can you miss this beautiful, magical, massive wooden carrousel! Guests young and old are immediately drawn to the lights and sounds-from an old fashioned organ-of this attraction, but what do we really know about this attraction?!

The carrousel we see today was originally built in 1917. Created by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co., the carrousel was originally built for the Detroit Palace Garden Park before being moved to Olympic Park in Maplewood, New Jersey. The Philadelphia Toboggan Co. manufactured amusement park staples, such as wooden roller coasters, toboggans also known as roller coaster cars, and carousels. Labeled as a prestigious company, it should come as no surprise the carrousel is the largest carrousel in the world, measuring at 60-feet in diameter!

The carrousel, now known as “Liberty” at Olympic Park, was eventually purchased by Imagineers in 1967. However, the carrousel underwent extensive renovations before being introduced into the Magic Kingdom as Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel in 1971.

Imagineers wanted the carrousel to stand apart from other carrousels in the world, starting with the paintings featured on the attraction. While riding on the attraction, look above the wooden canopy lining the carrousel.  Guests will find 18 hand-painted artworks depicting memorable scenes from the animated classic, Cinderella, of course!
The horses gained an upgrade as well! Each horse is also hand-painted, but did you know the gold featured on these horses is real gold?! Yup, Imagineers went all out adding a thin layer of 23-karat gold leaf creating a gilded appearance. Plus, the silver and bronze adorning these horses are also real! Guests can enjoy these horses in all of their glory under the 2,300 shimmering lights surrounding the carrousel! Fun fact! No two horses are alike on The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel!

But how do Imagineers keep these horses looking so pristine every day? They can’t paint these overnight with the number of details that adorn each horse, can they? The answer is no, instead, they have spare horses that are being maintained behind the scenes so guests never know! Fun fact, the refurbishing of the 90 hand-carved horses is an ongoing process and takes about two years for all the horses to be completely repaired.

Speaking of horses, there is a frequent rumor that Cinderella’s horse is found on Prince Charming’s Carrousel. The horse being rumored as Cinderella’s is the beautiful horse with the golden bow tied to its tail, in fact, this is the only horse with a bow on its tail. However, there is no confirmation that this horse is actually Cinderella’s, but it’s still fun to believe!

In June of 2010, during the new Fantasyland renovations, Disney officially changed the name of the attraction from Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel to Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. Plus, with the new name came a new unique backstory!

The backstory is as follows:

“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 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 the 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.”

And they lived Happily Ever After!

Photo Source: Walt Disney World

Jessica Jones
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