Disney Snubs History & Arts by Altering Beloved, Historic Magic Kingdom Icon

Seth Kubersky, Arts Journalist of the Orlando Weekly, recently posted a link to an article regarding Disney’s “snub” to history and art by altering an attraction that, not only has been a staple at Walt Disney World since its opening day in 1971, but is nearly 100 years old and has an historic past in its own right, including being the only WDW attraction Walt Disney saw before his death in 1966. Written by the person who worked on refurbishing the attraction in the mid-1990s to early 2000s, you can read the article if you click on

this link. It was was written by Cameron Meier, film critic for the Orlando Weekly, and recently posted on MeierMovies.com.

The article discusses, of course, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (previously known as, and, to be honest, what I’ll always think of as Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel), which was built in 1917 and 1918 and had its debut at Detroit’s Palace Garden Park in 1918. Although much of the carousel was changed/upgraded/added to in its preparation to be part of WDW in 1971, thanks to the writer’s hard work and perseverance while he worked the Disney, he was able to get one of the ride’s original “inner chariots” to be repaired, refurbished and installed circa 1999-2000. It remained on the carousel until this year, when it was recently removed in favor of a “bench-type” structure, which is more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). And he was, obviously, understanding but upset.

Sleigh-style chariot as it appeared in the early 2000s (Photo from www.meiermovies.com)
Photo Jun 03, 8 25 27 PM
Modern-day more-A.D.A.-compliant “bench type structure,” with significantly less attention to detail. Photo taken at WDW’s Magic Kingdom June 3, 2017

Personally, I’m torn. I worked in health care for 23 years and the plight of people who have physical, cognitive or psychological disabilities is very near and dear to my heart. On the other hand, I deeply respect history and the arts, both of which are (were?) represented in that chariot. And, of course, I know an awful lot of Disney fans who bristle when there are changes in the parks, especially regarding things that are “historic.” I guess I just wish Disney could make some sort of compromise, to allow both the historic chariot AND a more A.D.A.-compliant bench type structure to be on the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at the same time.

But that’s just me. What do you think?

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