The Carousel


About 250,000 people take a ride on the Central Park Carousel every year. The famous ride has been very popular since 1871 when the original attraction opened. At first, the Carousel was not received positively; the park commissioners objected to having commercial enterprises in the park. However, since it was such a success, they eventually realized the potential value of the ride’s revenue. Since then, there have been four different models on the site, each of which has served as a pastime in Central Park.

A favorite of park-goers, the first Carousel remained in operation until 1924. It was powered by a mule and horse who walked in a hidden compartment underground below the attraction. The animals were trained to start and stop with a foot tap from the ride’s operator above ground.
The next two Carousels in the park were steam-powered and both destroyed by fire. In 1950, the Department of Parks and Recreation began to search for a replacement model and they found one abandoned in an old trolley terminal in Brooklyn’s Coney Island.



Tour details