Where it All Began

Over the weekend Patrick and I went to the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round. Now, normally I’m not one to go to a place just to ride a carousel, but the place has a very special meaning. Built in 1926, the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round is often described as the place where Walt Disney first thought up the idea for Disneyland.

In an interview (later shown as part of the The First Fifty Magical Years, viewable here), Walt described spending Saturdays with his two daughters where he would “sit on a bench, you know, eating peanuts” watching his two girls ride the merry-go-round and it is here that Walt thought to himself “there should be something built, some kind of amusement enterprise where the parents and the children could have fun together.” So, in a way, our visit was a pilgrimage of sorts to the place where Walt first dreamed up Disneyland.

The merry-go-round also houses one of the original benches that was at the merry-go-round during the time period Walt took his daughters. Although only visible when riding the carousel. Two other benches are on display, one at Disneyland, just inside the Opera House, and another at the Walt Disney Family Museum, which you can sit on.

When we arrived, I was personally shocked at the state of the carousel. Horses were lacking in color, and worn from the years, and even a portion of the carousel’s ceiling was missing. However the the carousel appears to be in mid-restoration, with some of the scenes around the top looking freshly painted, while others have completely faded, although I can find no articles mentioning restoration. There was one sled that had been fully restored, although with funds from the Walt Disney Family Foundation.

After Patrick and I took a short hike to the old LA Zoo, a place I have been dying to visit for sometime, which will be getting its own post, so look for that soon!

Blouse: Jet Rag, Los Angeles, California
Pink Jeans: Old Glory Antique Mall, Vancouver, Washington
Mocassins: Minnetonka
Purse: Found by my dad
Scarf: ???
Bangles: Here and there
Robin Hood Pin: Disneyland

12 thoughts on “Where it All Began

  1. This is one place I’d love to visit, some day! Have you made a trip to visit Walt’s garage at the Stanley Ranch Museum in Garden Grove? That’s where it really all began, back in 1923. 🙂

  2. Wow! Love the colors of your outfit, those capris are too cute and I love your wicker purse. I have such a soft spot for wicker handbags, I’d snaffle one like your in an instance!

    I do find it kind of sad that the carousel is in such a state of half-half restoration, but I imaging fully restoring something like that takes a hefty amount of cash. Maybe one day some will do it! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  3. I’ve always loved this story about Walt. The birth of Disneyland! You look so cute in that outfit. I’m totally stealing your scarf tying idea! 😉
    ~xoxo, CoriLynn

  4. What a lovely story, wouldn’t have expected that he got inspired by a “simple” merry-go-round.
    Lovely outfit, that purse is great and I always envy you for your cute Disney pins, you hardly find them in Europe (well, maybe I should search for them closer to Paris, were Disney World is located).

  5. I love Griffith Park. Back when I was in high school, we had no field, so we’d take the school bus to Griffith Park instead and run the abandoned zoo trail. I must admit that it was a lot of fun playing in the cages. Hahahah
    I once did a photo shoot in the cages as well. I never rid the carrousel, but my friends and I would hang out by it sometimes. Definitely a great place to be in and glad you enjoyed it. 🙂


  6. You are just too cute. I love the pink on you, very sweet.
    When I was growing up, my hair was a very similar color to yours (it’s darkened a bit over the years), and I was teased so much any time I wore pink because it “didn’t go”. I love pink now, but I’m always a little angry over how many years I missed out on wearing it because of some silly rules from mean, silly little girls.

  7. What a great bit of Disney history – and certainly an important one at that, too. I love learning more about the Magical Kingdom and the world of Disney in general through your blog and passion for it. I’m sure that when I finally (!) visit myself one day, I’ll feel a bit less like a newbie because of all the great facts and insider tips I’ve gleaned from you.

    This pink and white outfit is super-duper pretty!!! Like over-the-moon pretty, to be exact. You look seriously lovely in these shades and they seem like the perfect keep-you-cool outfit for a long day of visiting the park, to boot.

    ♥ Jessica

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