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Carousel History

Historic Carousel Built Back in 1917

Built in 1917, the Carousel is the 44th of its kind built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. In 1974, the Carousel was purchased from Roger Williams Amusement Park in Rhode Island. Due to needed repairs, the ride did not open again until 1975 when Kings Dominion official opened to the public.

The Carousel is unique in that it has four rows of horses. The outside horses are stationary, while the three inside rows are “jumpers.” There are 66 horses in all, each costing approximately $10,000, and two cherub chariots. The two chariots are 5’4” high, 3’10½” wide and 7’10” long. The intricate carvings on each horse are only on the outside and include multicolored saddles with animal skins, torches, flags, bees, Indian beading, swords and flowers.

The Carousel structure includes 14 mirrors on its barrel, 1,800 lights and 20 oil paintings, which range from swans on a lake to a man and camel in the desert, and a dog pushing a little boy in a buggy. Dominant colors are white and red, with a gazebo on top and three trumpeters. The red designs on the barrel are actually the names of the people who first restored the Carousel!

The Carousel horses are currently undergoing a multi-year restoration process, where 15 horses each year will be repainted and refurbished. In 2014, for the 40th Celebration at Kings Dominion, one of the horses will be refurbished and renamed “Ruby”. This horse, which will be painted and adorned in ruby colors (the universal color for 40th anniversaries), will be the special 40th Celebration mascot for park guests to enjoy and be part of the magic.