Did you know that Walt Disney had a very important job each Saturday?
In the Disney household, Saturday was known as Daddy’s Day. When Walt’s daughters, Diane and Sharon, were young their father would often take them to a nearby park known as Griffith Park. The girls would ride on the park’s exquisite Merry-Go-Round, as Walt would sit upon a park bench watching them. It’s at that time that Walt said he began dreaming of a park where parents and their children could “have fun together.”
During a recent trip to California, I was thrilled to discover that this iconic Merry-Go-Round is still in operation today!
The Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, built in 1926, found its home in the park in 1937 and has been there ever since. Being a huge Disney fan, having my children ride on the carousel during our family vacation was something I planned into our itinerary long before we boarded the plane in Pennsylvania. However, all the planning I had done didn’t prepare me for the experience we had while visiting the park and ultimately taking a ride on this breathtaking attraction.
Beautifully settled within Park Center, walking the path leading up to the carousel felt as if our family was stepping back into another time. The fantastic trees engulfing the walkway, played a role as curtains concealing and then unveiling the park’s hidden gem of nostalgia.
Following the path to the right, a friendly clown greets visitors at its vintage ticket booth.
To ride one of the 68 hand-carved jumpers the fare is $2.00 per rider.
Honestly, it was a bit of a shocker to only pay that much, after getting accustomed to paying Disneyland prices. The cost alone made me feel like I stepped back into a different era!
The carousel boasts dramatically detailed horses with flowing free tails, two chariots and a Stinson 1650 Military Band Organ, rumored to be the largest carousel organ on the West Coast.
Attached to the carousel hung this simple plaque, reminding visitor of times that have passed and that Griffith Park’s carousel has positively stood the test of time.
Sincerely, it was the most magical ride I’ve ever ridden.