Since it's the beginning of the month, let's talk for a second about the theme: Fairy Tale Month. I'm right smack dab in the middle of my Classic and Contemporary Fairy Tales class, and at the moment I'm doing a ton of work for it anyways, so what better theme to have than Fairy Tales!?! Plus it's February, so Fairy Tale February sounds pretty good!
First up let's take a look at one of the attractions inspired in part by one of the fairy tales I've already read this month: Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. And yes, Carrousel is spelled correctly according to the Walt Disney World website. I don't know why it's spelled that way, but it is.
What's On The Map:
Climb aboard a regal steed on this classic attraction. (The Disney Map). Climb aboard an ornate carousel horse and gallop through a whirling backdrop of color and sound. As an old-fashioned organ plays, parade up and down in a gentle counter-clockwise direction atop your majestic horse. Spin around and feel a cool breeze brush across your face as you behold a menagerie of classic Fantasyland attractions in the not-too-far-off distance (WDW Website).
A Brief History Lesson:
As the Birnbaum guide states, "Not everything in the Magic Kingdom is a Disney version of the real article." This particular carousel was actually discovered at Olympic Park in Maplewood, New Jersey, and was built in 1917. "That was the end of the golden century of carrousel building, which began around 1825. During the Disney refurbishing, many of the original horses were replaced with horses made of fiberglass" (Birnbaum Guide).
But that's not all there is to the story. As we all know, "Walt Disney came up with the idea for Disneyland park watching his daughters ride the merry-go-round at Griffith Park. Later, when Walt began turning his ideas of constructing a theme park into reality, a carousel became the cornerstone of his future design - and has remained that way ever since" (WDW Website).
"Built in 197, the Liberty Carrousel - as it was originally named - first called Belle Isle Park in Detroit home. Measuring 60 feet in diameter, the carousel was constructed by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. and is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Rediscovered in 1967 at Olympic Park in New Jersey, the historic carousel was acquired by Disney Imagineers - who performed an extensive renovation before introducing it to Magic Kingdom park in 1971, where it has continued to be a favorite for over 40 years" (WDW Website).
Only one today, but this is one of my all time favorite hidden things at Walt Disney World! Look for Cinderella's Horse on the Carrousel! You can spot it by finding the golden ribbon tied around it's tail. I'm not positive where it is (As sometimes it has been known to move), but keep your eye out. There's a similar tradition at Disneyland, only it's Mary Poppin's horse! I am also not positive that it is still classified as "Cinderella's Horse," but I assume it's still there. My books only go up to around 2007, and it's been refurbished since then (with the new name Prince Charming's Regal Carrousel). I hope it is though, and I'll know for sure soon enough!
I have to be honest: because of my motion sickness, I haven't been on the Carrousel for many, many years. Of course, that will change when I go down in March and need to get on it in order to film, but I used to go on it often enough back in the day. Once I knew of Cinderella's Horse, I always tried to find it. I would stand in the line watching the horses carefully as they went by, trying to spot the horse. And when I found it I would run to it as quickly as possible, just so I would be able to ride on the special horse. I mean, if someone else had already taken it I just picked a different one, but it's just really awesome to sit on it and be like "I'm riding one of the horses from Cinderella's Carriage!"
Have a magical day!