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December 20, 2013

Magic Kingdom - Fantasyland - Prince Charming Regal Carrousel


I'm still getting used to calling this one Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. When I worked this attraction, it was Cinderella's Golden Carrousel, and it was also my nemesis. That's right, kiddies... I have a fantastic little tale to share with you regarding this ride. Frankly, it still gives me chills. When I was training on the Carrousel, my trainer explained how "we like to enhance the 'show' by stepping on and off the carousel while it's running". Being a boundless klutz, this was a horrifying concept to me, but he demonstrated the whole thing with ease numerous times and insisted I would have no problems. Not wanting to upset the apple cart, I complied. I stepped on, a wee bit wobbly, but successfully. Stepping off, however... didn't go so smoothly. Somehow, forward momentum kept me going - straight into the torso-height wall surrounding the attraction. Cracked rib, it was! I was so embarrassed that I tried to deny the ache - until a respiratory infection set in. When a supervisor found me on the floor of a break room in tears, there was no more hiding it. Modified duty and medical care for me! Not a fun experience. I'm sure there's some PTSD in there. I haven't even considered riding a carousel since. 



My own personal traumas aside, the carousel does have an incredibly rich history worthy of appreciation. While it was an opening day attraction at the Magic Kingdom, this was not the start of the carousel's journey. Originally built by The Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1917, it was purchased by Walt Disney in 1967. Prior to the Magic Kingdom, the carousel was featured at Olympic Park in New Jersey, and known by the name "Liberty". Under Walt's ownership, the carousel was carefully restored with Cinderella theming. Each of the 90 horses is unique, with one even known to belong to Cinderella herself. (Look for the horse with the golden bow on its tail!) The horses are arranged by size, with the smallest on the inside of the ride circle. Disney classic tunes play in the form of a traditional organ, and 18 hand-painted scenes from Disney's Cinderella complete the spectacular theming on this two minute ride. 

In June, 2010, Cinderella's Golden Carrousel underwent a name change, and along with it came a new backstory. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel picks up on Cinderella's story where the movie left off. After their fairy-tale wedding, Cinderella and Prince Charming enjoyed bliss and peace throughout their kingdom. Prince Charming began jousting tournaments, and the Carrousel represents the device on which would-be jousters could train and hone their craft. Once the contraption drew the attention of the villagers at large, Prince Charming opted for a second carrousel, more regal than the first, in the hopes that all villagers could partake in the fun. Cute story, yes... but in the end, it is still just a carousel, no matter how lovely. And personally... I see it as a very formidable foe!

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