Thursday, January 05, 2012

Traveling Thursdays: Balboa Park Carousel

Disneyland isn't the only place in Southern California with a carousel; less than two miles from mi casa is the Balboa Park Carousel.

From their website:

The 1910 Balboa Park Carousel, adjacent to the San Diego Zoo, is a menagerie of animals and all but two pairs are original with hand-carved European craftsmanship. Also original are the hand-painted murals surrounding the upper portion of the carousel and the military band music. This carousel is one of the few in the world still offering the brass ring game for everyone taking the 5-minute ride.

The Carousel was built by Herschell-Spillman, then shipped to Los Angeles in 1910 and placed at Luna Park. Four years later, it was moved to Coronado and, later, to Balboa Park in anticipation of the Panama-California Exposition, which began in 1915. The Carousel received the National Carousel Association’s first Historical Carousel Award and is only one of 19 wood-carved carousels remaining along the West Coast as well as one of only two carousels west of the Mississippi River to still offer the Brass Ring.

Adding the brass ring feature to King Arthur's Carrousel would be a nice "plussing" of that attraction. What's a brass ring for? For you youthful readers, a brass ring feature means riders on the outside animal figurines get a chance to grab rings from a swinging arm. If a rider get a brass one, he gets a prize, normally a free ride.

See more vintage & current Balboa Park photos on my Balboa Park web page.


Mr. Tiny said...

I love Balboa Park and I love that carousel! Usually I am not very competitive, but I am willing to sacrifice a finger (or two) to get the brass ring. Outta my way kids!!!

JG said...

I rode the carousel at the "Pike" park in Long Beach many years ago when that ride had a ring feature.

I got a steel ring, but no brass.

This is probably too dangerous now to resume at any new locations.

I wonder if Disneyland didn't have this feature since all the parks did have it back then, and Disneyland was supposed to be different?

Maybe a new carousel in DCA, over by that giant coaster, should have the ring feature. That whole area is supposed to mimic (more cleanly) those old parks that have now mostly disappeared.

Thank you Dave, I had forgotten this carousel in Balboa Park, although I rode it too, in the day.


Connie Moreno said...

Oh so lovely! I don't believe I've ever been there. You know, the carousel in DCA is a pretty little gem - maybe when I finally get rid of this stupid flu, I'll go shoot it.

TokyoMagic! said...

How nice that this Carousel has been on the property since the Exposition! I visited Balboa Park a couple years ago (hadn't been there since I was in fourth grade), but I can't seem to remember seeing the Carousel. Does it sit closer to the zoo entrance?

I think JG is right. The "ring" feature would probably be something that the Disney lawyers would never allow them to do. If someone was able to lose a finger on the loop of a rifle in Fort Wilderness.....just imagine if one of the carousel rings somehow got "stuck"!