Set of Gallopers at Brighton Palace Pier
A double-decker Carousel at Pleasurewood Hills

A carousel (also known as a Merry-Go-Round, Gallopers, or Roundabout) is an amusement ride in which riders sit on seats mounted to a rotating circular platform. On some machines, these move up and down, while on others they are stationary.

The oldest existing Carousel is the Wilhelmsbader Karussell which was built in 1780. It stopped operating in the 1930s, however following restoration it was reopened in 2016.[1][2]


"Jumper" horse position, Knowsley Safari Park

All "traditional" horse carousel attractions consist of four different horse positions.

  • Standers - all four hooves on ride floor.
  • Prancers - two hooves on floor, typically front legs raised.
  • Jumpers - all four hooves off the ride floor.
  • Stargazers - horse head facing upwards.

Often, horse-carousels are paired with bench seating or chariots, and occasionally other animals. In fact, some feature no horses at all.


There are two widely recognised variants: the Carousel and the Gallopers, however, some machines don't fit in either category and the terms are often used interchangeably.

  • Carousel - consists of horses which do not move up and down, and rotate in an anticlockwise direction. Many carousels, however, also contain a combination of moving and nonmoving horses.
  • Gallopers - has horses which move up and down (or "gallop"), usually rotates in a clockwise direction, and has no non-moving horses.[3][4]


See also


  1. "Wiedereröffnung des historischen Karussells" (in Deutsch). 19 May 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  2. "Hanau Carousel". National Carousel Association. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  3. "The Jubilee Steam Gallopers". Carters Steam Fair. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  4. Gabrielle Brace Stevenson, Gabrielle Brace. "Carousel or gallopers what s the difference". Herefordshire Life Through a Lens. Retrieved 30 November 2020.