-By Darlin’ Diva
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel holds a special place in my heart. Prominently located right behind Cinderella Castle, this often overlooked attraction is, to me, one not to be missed. Sure, you may be thinking it’s “just” a carrousel – the same kind that can be found all over the world and maybe even in your local mall, but this one is special. It’s in Magic Kingdom! And while the horses are gorgeous and the carrousel itself is beautifully made and exquisitely detailed, for me it’s not the attraction alone that makes it so special. It’s about the sights, sounds, and feelings riding this particular carrousel creates for every guest (and me in particular).
See, first of all, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel has a history even older than the nearly 45 years it’s been at Walt Disney World. I think about that while I’m waiting in line. Imagine – this particular carrousel will be 100 years old in 2017! I love knowing that in the heart of Fantasyland is an attraction that was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and began it’s career delighting children and adults alike as the “Liberty” Carrousel in Detroit’s Belle Isle Park. With a 60-foot diameter, this carrousel is one of the largest of its kind in the world and there are 90 one-of-a-kind horses aboard! (TIP: Between FastPasses? Looking for something to do? The standby line for the carrousel is usually as short as 15 minutes or less.)
Then there’s the carousel’s appeal. Open to guests of all ages and heights, families with children from babies to grandparents can be found in front, around and beside me while I’m riding. No, there’s nothing scary, nothing to shoot at, no thrilling turns and dips, but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of delighted faces all around me. I always take a minute to people-watch as the line moves forward and then….
I’m choosing the perfect horse! (Or not.) Usually, I do try to find the biggest, baddest and most beautiful horse I can. But, on the rare occasion I’m not feeling any equestrian urges, I try to grab a seat in the one and only chariot beneath the carrousel’s canopy. Every detail is completely magical – think about the creativity involved in fabricating 90 individual and unique horses fit for royalty! (TIP: The horses come in different sizes, so all ages can ride. It’s okay to stand along side your little one to help them stay seated if need be. The ride is smooth and easy.)
The music and motion carry us gently along. As we slowly begin turning counter-clockwise, one of the carrousel’s many songs plays and we’re off! It’s hard to decide what to watch – the 18 separate panels decorating the interior wall of the carousel OR the heart of Fantasyland passing by outside. The panel’s vignettes beautifully represent images from the story of Cinderella while the whole of Fantasyland is full of color, whimsy, and magic. The ride may be a short two minutes long, but that’s enough time to enjoy the cool breeze in the shade of the canopy – this is certainly no ordinary merry-go-round. Beautiful, classic, historic and located in the very heart of Magic Kingdom – next time you visit, step aboard and experience the magic!
Until next time!