|Location||New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|Opened||(Carousel moved to current location) 1928|
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Carousel Gardens is a seasonally operated amusement park located in New Orleans, Louisiana at New Orleans City Park. It features many rides, including the Live Oak Ladybug Rollercoaster, a ferris wheel, a drop tower called the Coney Tower, and a miniature train that tours the park. It is also home to one of the oldest carousels in the US, also known as the "Flying Horses".
The park is open on the weekends and closed on holidays. Admission is $9/ person or ride, $18/ unlimited rides, and children under 3 years old are free. Season passes are also available which last for the year. In the park there are a few important rules guests are asked to follow. A few of the ones which are most emphasized are no pets or food are permitted, and to enter, wristbands are required.
There are "...16 charming, old fashioned rides..." available to families at Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, but each has a height requirement, and children will be measured. The Park is mainly for families and small children and like many other amusement parks, safety is number one in their policies.
|Tilt-A-Whirl||Children must be at least 46" to ride.|
|Bumper Cars||Children must be at least 48" to ride.|
|Ferris wheel||Children must be at least 48" to ride.|
|Scrambler||Children must be at least 48" to ride.|
|Train||Children must be at least 48" and the price of each ticket is $5/ ride|
|Wacky Shack||Children must be at least 42" to ride or accompanied by a parent.|
|Fun Slide||Children must be at least 42" to ride or accompanied by a parent.|
|Rockin' Tug||Children must be at least 42" to ride or accompanied by a parent.|
|Coney Tower||Children must be at least 42" to ride.|
|*Carousel||Children must be at least 42" or accompanied by an adult. The carousel is also known as the "Flying Horses' and is also the main attraction at the park.|
|Construction Zone||Children must be at least 36" to ride or accompanied by a parent.|
|Slime Buckets||Children must be at least 36" to ride or accompanied by a parent.|
|Monkey Jump||Children must be at least 36" to ride.|
|Red Barron||Children must be at least 36" to ride.|
|Umbrella cars||Children must be at least 36" to ride.|
|Lady Bug Rollercoaster||Children must be at least 52" to ride.|
|Music Express||Children must be at least 52" to ride.|
The park itself (City Park, which is where Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is located) has been running for about 150 years now. The famous carousel located in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park has been running for over 100 years. The antique carousel is the oldest ride in the park, otherwise known as the "Flying Horses", which has been around since 1906 is the main attraction and still uses the same motor. The carousel was moved to it's current location in 1928. This antique carousel is one out of 100 hand carved carousels left in the US and is the only one left in Louisiana. Some of the figurines on the rollercoaster have been around for even longer since they were created in 1885. On the carousel, there are 56 figurines altogether, 53 are animals and 2 are chariots. All of the figurines were carved and hand painted by two men by the names of Charles Looff and Charles Carmel. Charles Looff is the most famous of the two for creating the carousel figurines. Looff was an American Immigrant and a mast carver/ carousel builder. During his lifetime, Looff created over 5o carousels, amusement parks, rollercoasters and Ferris wheels. Charles Carmel was one of quite a few carousel builders who were inspired by and learned from Charles Looff. Carmel started off working with Looff, then moved on to work on his own. A few of the most distinctive things about his work are usually seen on the tongue and blanket of the horses, as well as the armor of the horses. The Looff figurines are older than the Caramel figurines and they contain faux gemstones. A few of the many things that make these figurines unique are the fact that a few of the animals have heads that move, all of the horses have real horse hair in their tails, and the lion figurines weigh about 500 pounds. A few movies, television shows, and commercials have been based around this historic carousel. One of the earliest listed movies shot at this location was in 2008/ 2009, called "Living Proof", along with many others including "Now You See Me" and "22 Jump Street" in 2013, all the way through 2014. Some well-known television shows which have been filmed at this carousel as well are "NCIS New Orleans" and "American Horror Story". A few commercials which have also filmed at this location are from Nike, Adidas, and Toyota.
Tami Curtis has been fascinated by the historic carousel located in this park for a while now. She says saw it as a work of art, or "a piece of Jewelry" and, a few years ago made it into a literal work of art. She started painting pictures of each horse and was able to sell the paintings while giving half of that money back to the park. She is appreciative of the old architecture, the uniqueness as well as the antiqueness, and the memories it can bring up for some people, or the emotional connection they can develop with the carousel and the park. She believes with this specific work of art, generations can be tied together between the new art and the old carousel.
Two things that guest may find appealing about Carousel Gardens Amusement Park are the season passes and that they offer venues to host birthday parties. With the wristband, guests are able to get unlimited rides in Carousel Gardens and the nearby Storyland Park. The passes last from 1 year to the date that they were purchased. The passes are valid during celebrations and they provide guests with 20% off boat and bike rentals as well.
Since Carousel Gardens is located in City Park it is one of the venues that the park offers parties to groups of 25-50 guests for 2 hours. The park provides all the necessary seating, supplies, etc. Each party gets two picnic tables, choice of pizza or sandwiches, plus muffins and ice cream, unlimited drinks (if the venue is indoors there are more options), plus coffee service, and all necessary paper products. There is also a free t-shirt included with each party. There are indoor and outdoor venues available. A few recommended venues are Storyland, City Putt, Parkview Terrace, Peristyle, Reunion Shelter, Shelter, #1, *Carousel Gardens, Botanical Garden, and Garden Study Center and Lath House. Activities differ for each venue and all safety rules still apply.
Aside from personal parties and birthdays, there are also celebration events the park puts on. These events and celebrations are for families, however some events cater to adults as well. These specific events are held close to holidays and other special occasions. The main one that is put on for families is the whole City Park (all the parks/ venues included along with Carousel Gardens) is Celebration in the Oaks.
The park has received a lot of feedback and many reviews from guests. On the bottom of the main page, there is a section called "Park Talk" and it gives reviews about City Park in general, but it is possible to keep scrolling through and find some comments specific to the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park as well. Many call City Park "worth seeing" or New Orleans "best kept secret" in an effort to describe how positive they feel about the park. Others call it "beautiful, magical" and "one of their favorite places to visit". There is plenty to do and people talk about wanting more time to visit, or the ability to come back again. People go on to talk about the antique "classy" carousel and how the park is a place to make memories with the whole family. The historical features of the park are also what draw a lot of guests in. There are many comments on things like the beauty of the old trees and the antique carousel itself. Multiple guests have enjoyed the parties there and others say it is "not only beautiful, but peaceful" and a great place to "get away from the city traffic". Other pages have mostly good things to say about the park too, some people comment on how some of things in the park are definitely for younger children (which was the extent of the negative comments), but say nevertheless, was a nice place to visit and to spend time with family.
An article was published in the NY Times by Amy Tara Koch which mentions Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. This article compares Carousel Gardens (along with other parks and locations) to a vacation spot such as Disney World. She gave her opinion about why she would prefer a park like this to a park like Disney and gave her opinion in the form of a review of each park. First of all, price is mentioned in the article and she says compared to somewhere like Disney, it is not so expensive. She also enjoys the historical and educational aspect of a vacation spot and with the park's "...century old hand painted, wooden carousel", the park has that historical aspect. She goes on to describe how to make a day of it based on other nearby activities and businesses.