Have you ever wondered how the park rides are maintained during the off season? The answer: with some serious TLC.
The Antique Carrousel, one of the Park’s classic family rides, was manufactured in 1928 by Philadelphia Toboggan Company. In 1972, Canada’s Wonderland purchased the Carrousel from Palisades Amusement Park and placed it into storage awaiting the construction of the new Park. On May 23, 1981, as the park opened its gates to the public for the first time, the “Antique Carrousel” was introduced and quickly became a family favourite featuring 64 original hand-carved horses.
Here’s a look behind-the-scenes at how our 90-year-old Antique Carrousel stays looking youthful year after year.
Meet Glen Shields, a 32-year Canada’s Wonderland veteran. During the off season, Glen carefully inspects each of the 24 stationary horses, 42 jumpers and two chariots to determine which ones need to be refreshed for the upcoming season.
The selected horses are then dismounted and brought to the warehouse where the restoration begins. Since each horse is made of wood, not fiber glass, they are sanded/grinded down, and then one by one are carefully hand painted using spray guns and air brushing techniques, while paying close attention to all the fine details of each horse from mane to hoof.
On average, it takes two to three weeks from start to finish to restore each horse to ensure the final product is a work of art.
The end result is a vibrant new horse that appears the way it would have almost a century ago when it was first manufactured.