Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Disney’s Cinderella’s Carousel

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Cinderella’s Carousel, also known as the Disney World carousel, is one of the top Magic Kingdom rides at Disney World. At one time or another, everyone has excitedly sat atop one of the ornately decorated carousel horses as they spun around Fantasyland. Here are some little known facts about the beloved ride.

The view while riding Disney's Cinderella Carousel
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Even though we all still refer to the carousel as “Cinderella’s Carousel,” that is actually not correct. An often overlooked Disney World secret is who actually owns the carousel.

In June 2010, as part of the Walt Disney World Fantasyland expansion, the carousel was renamed to “Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel.” To go with the name change, it was given an official backstory, which includes Prince Charming, a character we don’t hear much about.

A press release at the time, from the Disney Parks Blog, released the backstory for the ride which goes 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 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.”

Cinderella’s Carousel and Cinderella’s Story

On the wooden canopy of the carousel, there are 18 scenes painted. These scenes depict the story of Cinderella as described in the Disney movie. They are gloriously, and painstakingly hand painted, so be sure to take a look as you await the spinning of the carousel.

mirror decor on the carousel
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Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel was originally created by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for the Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Michigan in 1917. The carousel is number 46 of the 89 created by this company.

It also served time in Olympic Park in Irvington, New Jersey, before being purchased by the Walt Disney Company for Disney World. The organ and most of the horses on the carousel are original, although they have been heavy restored, and more horses were added to bring the number up to 90.

There’s Gold in Them Thar Horses

Cinderella's Carousel horse with elaborate saddle and armor
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Many of the horses contain real gold- gold leaf anyway. Silver and bronze leaf is also used on all the horses as accents in their tack and armor.

Disney World Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride behind text.

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You May Be Sitting on as Much as $100k!

The horses on the carousel are not only old, they’re priceless. Well, almost priceless. The horses are valued between twenty thousand and one hundred thousand each, depending on the horse.

The horses were originally hand carved by German and Italian craftsmen, add in the gold leaf accents and you’ll quickly see why they are so valuable.

During the carousel restoration, each original horse was stripped and repainted so no two horses were alike.

Originally, the horses were shades of brown, red, and black, but each noble steed was painted white, because white equines are considered the horse of the hero.

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The carousel was originally built with 72 horses. Upon Magic Kingdom’s opening, The Disney World carousel had 90 horses only. The additional horses were purchased from the well-known carousel manufacturers Dentzel Carousel Company and CW Parker Company. Occasionally, fiberglass horse replicas are used as stand-ins during the restoration of original wooden horses.

The chariots from the carousel was lost during its shipping and refurbishment prior to being installed in Magic Kingdom. This chariots were finally found in 1997, and added back to its rightful place on the carousel. Today there are 90 horses and a chariot.

It is worth noting, some publications claim 3 horses were removed to fit the chariot. But, Disney World’s website states that Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel contains “90 wood-carved ornate horses.”

Cinderella’s Carousel can fit so many horses, and riders, because it is about 60 feet in diameter, making it one of the largest carousel in North America!

Walt Disney was a true inspiration. He was the founding father of animation and theme parks. He changed theme parks from parks with just rides into true experiences, and put the word “theme” in theme park.

The idea for Disneyland snuck up on Walt Disney one quiet day while he was happily watching his daughters enjoy a merry-go-round at Griffith Park in Los Angelas, California.

With the carousel being the humble beginnings of the Disney theme park legacy, it is only fitting that a Carousel be prominently featured in each Disney headliner park.

Keeping the Horses in Tip-Top Shape

Carousel horse closeup of decor
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50-60 horses are refurbished every year. All horses are redone at least every two years to keep up with the wear and tear of hundred of riders a day. This means the horses seen during your trip could be different each time, or at least some of them.

Disney has many wooden horses in circulation, but often uses fiberglass replicas if too many wooden horses are in the refurbishment process. But, don’t fret, they’re all equally beautiful, and you probably won’t notice.

If you do want to check if your steed is the real deal, give it a little thump. If it sounds hollow, it is one of the fiberglass replicas.

Disney Carousels or Carrousels?

Decor of Carousel
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You may notice that Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel is spelled with two R’s. This spelling comes from the French language and is used because Disney’s adaption of Cinderella is based off the French version.

white carousel horse with green bridle on Cinderella's Carousel
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There are rumors that Cinderella’s personal horse is in the ranks among the carousel horses. Her horse is reportedly in the line of horses that are one in from the outside and contains a golden tail bow. But this fact is often disputed, despite being printed in many publications.

We have been to Disney World countless times, and have never seen this supposed horse with the gold tail bow. Rumors say it was removed during the 2010 Fantasyland refurbishment, if it was ever there.

That all being said, Disney never did confirm a story regarding this horse, so odds are it is a fan theory.

Fantasyland with a view of the carousel
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During the construction of Magic Kingdom, Walt’s brother Roy, realized the carousel was not centered perfectly on the breezeway through the castle. This threw off the view as you made your way into Fantasyland, and stuck out like a sore thumb to Roy and the imagineers.

The carousel was moved 8 inches into precise alignment, and it remains there today.

Cinderella’s Carousel By the Numbers

  • originally built in 1917
  • 90 horses
  • 60 feet in diameter
  • 2 minute ride length
  • moved 8 inches to be centered on the castle breezeway
  • 50-60 horses refurbished every year
  • 18 panels depicting scenes from Cinderella
  • 2300 lights
  • Horses valued between $20,000 to $100,000

More Disney World Secrets

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Mother daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S.

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.


Ali Patton

Ali is a travel blogger for Seconds to Go, where she shares her experiences traveling the U.S. with her co-blogger Mom, Kathleen. She is also an avid Disney travel enthusiast, and with multiple Disney World trips under her belt, is a knoweldgeable resource for all things related to Disney vacations. Ali can be found managing the Seconds to Go social media accounts as well as the famed Double Z Farm pages on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

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