King Arthur Carrousel is a carousel attraction located in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The carousel was built in 1922 and operated at Sunnyside Beach Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, until the park closed. The ride was later relocated to Disneyland, where it was refurbished and modified by Arrow Development, and opened with the park on July 17, 1955.
Inspired by the Griffith Park carousel, Walt Disney wanted something similar for his new theme park: a carousel consisting of all jumpers. A park model Menagerie Carousel was purchased and moved to Disneyland in 1954. The carousel was built by William Dentzel and had been operated at Sunnyside Beach Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, since 1922; it had three courses of horses and other animals on a platform 72 feet (22 m) in diameter.
The attraction was refurbished and significantly altered by the Arrow Development Company of Mountain View, California in preparation for opening day. It was widened to four courses to increase guest capacity. Of the carousel's 71 horses and one mule, most were carved in the Dentzel factory. To add the outermost course, several carved wooden horses were acquired from a Stein and Goldstein carousel, others from Coney Island's Looff carousel, and more carved horses from various other carousels from around North America. Many horses arrived with crude repairs, such as newspaper-stuffed papier-mâché legs. Standers on the original three rows were converted to jumpers by removing the legs and carving new ones. Custom-built crankshafts were installed overhead to operate each horse as a jumper in motion. The original, ornately hand-carved, wooden chariot benches were removed, and the chariot woodwork was repurposed to decorate the "calliope" tenders and passenger cars of Casey Jr. Circus Train. A Wurlitzer #157 Band Organ face decorates the carousel, but does not operate. Motifs from Sleeping Beauty were also added to the carousel.
There were two refurbishments to the carousel: one in 1983 and one in 2003. In 1983, to make room for other attractions, the carousel was moved slightly backwards and added a completely new roof. They also repainted the whole entire carousel in orange, red, and blue colors. The princess and jester rounding boards were completely repainted into 18k gold. In preparation for Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration, the Happiest Homecoming on Earth, King Arthur Carrousel was closed for extensive renovations and reopened in February 2003. These renovations included an entirely rebuilt turntable platform, a new computerized operating console and system which halts the carousel each time at the same spot, removal of a row of four horses to accommodate a four-course-wide bench and wheelchair clamps with an access ramp for ADA compliance, which reduced the count of horses to 68. In January 2010, the stirrups of each outer-course horse were replaced to include additional lower loops, increasing accessibility.
Because of the overwhelming popularity of the carousel's single white horse, since 1975 all horses have been painted white. After a 2003 update, the carrousel was reduced to 68 horses and one chariot. Each horse on the carousel has a name; a complete list is available at City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A.
Jingles is the lead horse, and Walt's favorite, named for its very ornate carvings which include beautiful straps of jingle bells hanging from her saddle and cantle. For Disneyland's 50th anniversary in 2005, Jingles was repainted gold from nose to tail, trimmed in 18k gold leaf and set apart as a photo opportunity near the queue for Dumbo the Flying Elephant. When Jingles was reinstalled as lead horse after the Year of a Million Dreams campaign, major portions of Jingles were painted over, except where the gold bells and trim are showing through, with exceptionally striking translucent treatment of the rosettes on Jingles' head. Decoration detail was painted on the saddle blanket representing the talking parrot-handled umbrella from Mary Poppins, and in four quarters as a crest upon the kneepad - the monogram "JA", a robin perched upon high button shoes, the silhouette of Mary in flight and a number 50 representing the 50 Magical Years anniversary of this original Disneyland attraction featured on opening day - all showing through in gold with blue outline. Jingles was then ceremoniously dedicated to Julie Andrews on April 8, 2008 as "Honorary Ambassador", the title painted beneath the Hidden Mickey on her cantle.
Inspired by the legend of Excalibur from The Sword in the Stone, Merlin used to host a ceremony nearby to determine which guest could pull the sword from the stone to become king for a day. The final ceremony was in 2006.