(credit: Orange County Great Park)

(credit: Orange County Great Park)


Orange County carousels have been a family fun tradition for the better half of the last century. It was Walt Disney himself who decided to make Disneyland’s King Arthur Carousel the center hub of the park back in 1955; watching his daughters ride a similar one at Griffith Park proved inspirational. And we agree: there is something incredibly magical about the round and round whirl while riding a carousel with the ones you love. Nostalgia mixed with entertainment, these are some of Orange County’s best carousels and merry-go-rounds.
What are your favorite merry-go-rounds and carousels? Share in the comments below!
(credit: C.S./Yelp)

(credit: C.S./Yelp)


Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 220-5200
www.knotts.com

Built in 1902, the Merry-Go-Round at Knott’s Berry Farm is one of the world’s oldest working Dentzel carousels. Brought to the property in 1955, the carousel features 48 hand-carved animals including lions, tigers, camels, giraffes, ostriches, cats, pigs, zebras, and the ever-familiar horses. It is one of the world’s oldest working Dentzel Carousels as well and revolves to the strains of its antique band organ. Visit today and take part in a piece of history while having some fun!

(credit: Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort)

(credit: Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort)


King Arthur’s Carousel Disneyland
Disneyland
1313 Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-7277
www.disneyland.com

Featured in the telecast of Disneyland’s 1955 opening day, the park’s iconic King Arthur Carrousel is just one of original opening day attractions from the 50’s and features 85 antique, beautifully maintained horses as well as more than 3,000 shimmering lights that glimmer and shine once evening comes. To the theme of Knights of The Round Table, you’ll ride round and round to the sounds of an old-fashioned organ as the magical views of Fantasyland pass you by. This handcrafted Dentzel was originally built in 1922, and was inspired by the Griffith Park carousel in Los Angeles. Fun Fact: Each horse actually has its own name and because of the popularity of the carousel’s single white horse, all horses were painted white in 1975. A complete list of the names of the horses is available at City Hall on Main Street! “Jingles” is the lead horse and was Walt Disney’s favorite.

(credit: Katie Bodell)

(credit: Katie Bodell)


King Triton’s Carousel
Disney California Adventure
1313 Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-7277
www.disneyland.com

Located across the way from Disneyland in Disney California Adventure, King Triton’s Carousel switches up the horseback riding with an ocean-themed twist. Instead of horses, you’ll climb atop one of 56 beautifully sculpted creatures from under the sea including flying fish, sea horses, dolphins, sea lions, whales, sea otters and Garibaldi fish, all animals native to the California coast. Designed with glittering jewels and bright sashes, each hand-carved and painted animal is in a swimming position. You’ll rise and dip, spin around and around on your very own water creature while music plays.

(credit: Orange County Great Park)

(credit: Orange County Great Park)


Orange County Great Park
6990 Marine Way
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 724-6247
www.ocgp.org

A visit to the Orange County Great Park wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the Great Park Carousel, which features hand-painted artwork inspired by vintage orange crate labels as well as Orange County scenes. The two-minute rides are available for just $2/ride or you can snag and all day pass for only $3.

(credit: Maggie C./Yelp)

(credit: Maggie C./Yelp)


South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(800) 782–8888
www.southcoastplaza.com

Within the giant shopping mall that is South Coast Plaza is this small yet entertaining carousel which provides a great kid-friendly distraction from a day of high-end shopping and dining. The carousel is not massive or overly impressive, but the $1/ride tickets can’t be beat for weary little ones tired of the never-ending shopping experience.

(credit: Diana W./Yelp)

(credit: Diana W./Yelp)


Irvine Spectrum
71 Fortune Dr
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 753-5180
www.shopirvinespectrumcenter.com

Although the obvious Giant Ferris Wheel gets the most attention at The Spectrum, the Carousel at this outdoor mall is a beauty. After a day spent shopping, nothing beats a whirl on the carousel, especially in the evening under the lights of the center. Tickets can be purchased at guest services, across the court from the carousel.

What are your favorite merry-go-rounds and carousels? Share in the comments below!

Katie Bodell is the Blog Editor for Trekaroo, the largest family travel website in the U.S. She is also a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. See more on: Trekaroo | CheapOair | Google+ | Twitter.

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