CENTRAL PARK, Manhattan — The Central Park Carousel is back — and riders couldn’t be happier.
It’s been more than 18 months since these 57 hand carved horses and embellished chariots have been available for rides in the Heart of Central Park.
The pandemic shut it down, and 15 year old Kaylyn and her 14-year-old brother have been waiting to take a spin since March 2020.
“I used to come here when I was 5, 7 and 6 with my little brother, and it was really fun,” Kaylyn Comforme, riding a carousel horse, told PIX11 News.
Her mother agreed.
“It’s a memory fir them since they were in the womb,” Magdalena Rodriguez, Kaylyn’s mother, told PIX11 News.
On this opening day the new operators of the carousel, Central Amusement International, who also operate Luna Park in Coney Island, vowed to make this carousel accessible to all year round weather permitting.
The new operators took over from the Trump Organization, which lost its city contract earlier this year due to the former president’s alleged role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
But some of those at the carousel steered clear of politics.
“I am sure a lot of people are happy about that, but no comment from me,” Mimi Maher, whose three children were riding the carousel, told PIX11 News.
Central Park has had a carousel since 1871 and this current one dates back to 1908 — with an updated version opening in 1951. And all ages clearly enjoyed this day.
“I am a grandmother, and I knew to take a horse on the outside, because they move more,” Anita Gold, a grandmother getting off her horse, told PIX11 News.
Her grandson, Jasper, chose to ride in a chariot where the horses don’t move, instead.
The Central Park Carousel is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week — weather permitting — and a single ride is $3.50.