The 1910 Balboa Park Carousel, adjacent to the San Diego Zoo, is a menagerie of animals and all but two pairs are original with hand-carved European craftsmanship. Also original are the hand-painted murals surrounding the upper portion of the carousel and the military band music. This carousel is one of the few in the world still offering the brass ring game for everyone taking the 5-minute ride.
The 1910 Herschell-Spillman menagerie carousel was made in New York, and shipped to Los Angeles, California. In 1915, the carousel was displayed at the summer resort called Tent City, in Coronado, and then moved up Balboa Park around 1922. It originally was placed at the east of Balboa Park, near the San Diego Natural History Museum. In 1968, the carousel was moved north, to its current location, to make way for construction of the Bea Evenson Fountain, and the building that now houses the Fleet Science Center.
In 2017, the Friends of Balboa Park purchased the historic carousel. As its new owner and operator, they will ensure that it remains an historic park landmark for many more years to come.
The Balboa Park Carousel is a Menagerie model, which means it has more than just horses for the figures. This carousel has a two-level platform, which plays host to 12 Jumping Horses, 15 Standing Horses, 25 Menagerie Animals (1 Camel, 2 Cats, 1 Deer, 2 Dogs, 1 Dragon, 2 Frogs, 2 Giraffes, 1 Goat, 1 Lion, 2 Mules, 2 Ostriches, 2 Pigs, 2 Roosters, 1 Stork, 1 Tiger, 2 Zebras), and 3 chariots.