This Yesterland article is not about something that’s gone. It’s about something that should be gone—and probably will be gone some day. But not the whole thing. Please let me explain…


Read the full YESTERLAND article HERE: King Triton’s Carousel of the Sea.

When you are done reading, please leave your comments below.

  • DobbysCloset

    Mr. Weiss, I agree with you one hundred percent, and the photo you used of the two structures says it all. I suppose the majority of folks looking at the rooftops from higher vantage points on other rights are not concerned with their architecture.

    • DobbysCloset

      …from higher vantage points on other rides….not rights. Silly fingers…

    • Werner Weiss

      To me, the mismatch is just as apparent at ground level as when looking down from Mickey’s Fun Wheel. The way that King Triton’s Carousel of the Sea is still “packaged” just does not go with the plan to give Paradise of Paradise Pier a “Golden Age of Amusement Piers” look.

  • ChrisNJ

    What a great article. thank you. Appreciate how you reference classic parks. The photos also help the few of us who aren’t in the park as often as we’d like to be. GREAT.

  • SoCalFan

    I wish I could agree to this article 100x over and over again! You are spot on with this article. Paradise Pier has so much potential to be a truly great land that captures the romanticism of a seaside amusement park in the 1920s and that is an environment I would LOVE to visit! When Paradise Pier works, it WORKS…Paradise Gardens, TSMM, Midway Games, TLM, SSS, Paradise Park, the actual carousel and detailing (I love the organ!) like you pointed out, the popcorn lighting…but it still needs a big dose of something. I think I was most sad to see that we never got the pavilion for the carousel in the redo and all the old school landscaping (look like focus trees which have a history as pieces of landscape here in CA) in the redo…it was a perfect complement to the SSS structure.

    My hope is that some day soon we will see new dark ride attractions in both the Maliboomer graveyard and GSS areas. The cool thing with PP is you can dress up the facade to fit and have almost any attraction for dark ride on inside…dark rides of different themes were common in these old parks and is why TLM and TSMM work (also think how Crush and TSMM fit into American Waterfront at TDS).

    While I applaud the little things they tried to do to improve the land as a whole (the renovation of Ariels Grotto is great, the removal of Maliboomer, the light touch up of Midway shops, all the new voice spiels, new music, etc.), it just needs MORE. I hope one day we see new attractions, the pavilion for carousel, new queue for Screamin, new queue for Fun Wheel, and just a bring up of the land to be on par with TSMM and Paradise Gardens.

    • DobbysCloset

      I would love to see a “Lovers’ Retreat” dark ride like the olden days…when a mere smooch in public was scandalous folks could ride the Honeymoon Canal Boats into a dark space and…on the other hand, I don’t think modern folks could handle it, but whoever got to watch the security cameras would have the best CM stories…

  • SoCalFan

    And let me say that the one of the best things they have done on the pier was the end of summer party they did last Memorial Day weekend. The wandering sideshow acts and vintage beachwear characters were PERFECT! Paradise Pier needs that type of roving entertainment all the time. It adds such nice depth to the land.

  • mark

    I agree with you, Werner, but do you really think this will ever happen? Seems the suits are happy with the new attendance numbers, and may leave the park as is for awhile.

    • Werner Weiss

      Yes, I think Paradise Pier, Hollywood Land, and Condor Flats will all get the improvements they need. It just won’t happen as quickly as I would like. Disney’s investment in Buena Vista Street and Cars Land is paying off. Paradise Pier could absorb and delight far more guests. That would be good business.

      • DobbysCloset

        Fortunately for me I think that it will happen quickly enough to suit my personal schedule so I am really happy to look through your optimistic lenses!

  • tooncity

    This is still just a half day park. A hodgepodge of stuff that doesn’t work with each other. It’s unpleasant at the subconscious level, which makes people NOT want to linger. DCA is just a park most people will only visit once every 20 years, just like Knott’s or Magic Mountain. I’ve been twice and I have NO need to go back again. At $400 a day for a family of four, I can spend my money elsewhere and get more for it.

    • Werner Weiss

      My opinion of DCA is more positive than that. Buena Vista Street and Cars Land rank among the best things Dsiney has ever put in a park. I would not call DCA “unpleasant at the subconscious level,” but I agree that guests experience the shortcomings of DCA at the subconscious level. A guest does not need to be student of early 20th century architecture to sense that Paradise Pier does not add up to what it should.

    • DobbysCloset

      I have to disagree. When I lived in Southern California my family visited one of those three parks every couple weeks. Millions of folks do the same, which is why, elsewhere, there are arguments over AP users. I agree that $400 for a family of four’s entry pass is obscene — it should be half that or less, and the balance would get spent on souvenirs and food. And I personally find it odd that even though I have only ever made one visit to DCA, I find myself wanting to return as much as I want to go “home” to DL.

  • Disneykin Kid

    They should put a full sculpture of King Triton in, but they probably don’t have the space. Also the best thing about the Santa Cruz carrousel (I don’t know if they still have it) is (was) the brass rings that you throw into the clown’s mouth. But it probably won’t happen here, probably too many people would keep the rings as souvenirs.

    They really need a haunted house – a corny but fun version would be good, maybe based on ‘Lonesome Ghosts’ – or put in Mystic Manor.

    They also need a freak show – maybe a ride – where a girl turns into a gorilla and the like.

    And along the boardwalk put a creepy figure like the Laughing Sal from SF’s Playland at the Beach. I think they originally tried to do something similar with the giant clown whose eyes moved as you walk, but this wasn’t effective. Paradise Pier needs more edginess to it.

    • DobbysCloset

      Walt Disney is the opposite of edginess.

  • fifthrider

    Thanks again for another great article, Werner. I always felt something was out of place but was too caught up in being there to back away and see it with proper perspective. Now I see it, the architecture of the carousel belongs in a cartoon, not a representation of a park. I go to Belmont Park all the time and although it’s been heavily updated, it still feels more “old beach park” than DCA’s 2001 launch ever did. Seaport Village’s carousel would have been a better reference point for them.

    Speaking of Seaport Village, it just occurred to me that there’s an established Disney partnership that wasn’t used at DCA that probably could have been. There’s a famous painter named Robert Wyland who is known for his giant multi-story murals of whales and ocean life. He has a gallery in Seaport Village ( and in other places worldwide ), but more importantly already has an established partnership with Walt Disney Studios.

    If you’re not familiar with him, do yourself a favor and google images for “Wyland” and “Disney” and see what I mean. Knowing that this guy has done murals at so many beachside parks ( His mural at Belmont park is awesome ) it almost seems too easy to pass up on having him do the mural on the long curved wall by the restrooms, or anywhere else for that matter. Nothing against the King Triton mural seen in that pic above but it feels like the suits went for the concept of “Just put something in there but don’t spend a lot on it” as opposed to putting in something fitting with a known, proven Disney partner.

    How disappointing to think of what could have been.

  • soletrain

    great read! DCA is almost 1/2 way done!

    • DobbysCloset

      Thank you for your comment. My glass is half full! Always prefer that perspective…

  • dazyhill

    I love the carousel, but I would love to see one with animals that are from or mimic the style from the heyday of waterfront piers. Something along the designs of Loof , Dentzal, or the Philadelphia Toboggan company. All of these companies I believe had sea animals (mostly mythical) in their vast design offerings.

  • Ravjay12

    The carousel is one of the most important historical attractions of any amusement park. I’m surprised that this carousel wasn’t the first thing to get redone. It’s a shame because the model design looks fantastic. They spent 100s of millions of dollars on the most overated ride ever, and they couldn’t spend a few bucks to finish up their eyesores on the pier.

  • buzzyfan

    I think they should keep the sea creatures, but re theme the ride to a generic “under the sea” theme.