The Dorothea Laub Balboa Park Carousel is an original menagerie carousel built in 1910 by Herschell-Spillman in North Tonawanda, New York. Located adjacent to the San Diego Zoo, the carousel features a variety of animal rides, all of which are original except the four miniature horses that were added in the 1970s. Also original are the hand-painted murals surrounding the upper portion of the carousel and the military band organ. This carousel is one of few in the world still offering the historic brass ring game on every turn. Riders on the outer ring can try their luck at grabbing the brass ring to win a free ride!
After being built in New York, the Carousel was first shipped to Los Angeles and then moved in 1915 to Coronado’s summer resort, Tent City. The Carousel was brought to Balboa Park in 1922. The Carousel’s first home in Balboa Park was near the Fleet Science Center, but it was moved north to its current location in 1968 to make room for the Bea Evenson Fountain.
The Carousel is owned and operated by Forever Balboa Park. In 2021, the carousel was designated a historical resource by the City of San Diego’s Historical Resources Board and was renamed the Dorothea Laub Balboa Park Carousel. Each year, on National Carousel Day, July 25, the carousel is open for free rides for all, celebrating the many memories and joy it inspires in all.
Tickets for the Carousel are $4.00/ride or 4 for $14.00
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