Carousel Gardens, New Orleans


Alexander: Sometimes work brings me within reach of some unexpected roller coasters. Some may be more notable (Schwarzkopf in Moscow) than others, but hey; a credit’s a credit.

This time, work roulette has landed me in one of the county’s most notable cultural centers: New Orleans! While this vibrant city once played host to an amazing major amusement park or two, these days a charming kiddie park is what makes up NOLA’s roller coaster presence.

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The setting for Carousel Gardens (located inside of New Orleans City Park) is pretty hard to beat.

The foliage and architecture here are exactly how I’d imagined based on my visits to Disneyland’s beloved New Orleans Square. My expectations were high based on the significant theme parks owing inspiration to this region (Disney and Great America parks, most notably).

The brand new Zierer Ladybug coaster is Carousel Gardens’ newest star.

There was a more traditional Zierer Tivoli ladybug coaster here previously; the new coaster, a Force Two model, opened in 2015.

Selfie with some of my crew members! It was so nice of them to let me make this detour on our way to the French Quarter.

Of course, Carousel Gardens’ bread and butter is their beautiful vintage carousel.

Numerous hand-carved horses (and even a gator or two) call New Orleans City Park home.

If the myriad of designations is any indication, the city of NOLA is very grateful and proud of their resilient carousel.

The flowering trees and lunch gardens are worth a visit to Carousel Gardens.

A variety of other rides also reside in Carousel Gardens.

Large rides are about $4 apiece, and admission to the park itself is also just $4.

The handful of family attractions seem popular and well cared for.

One of the park’s oldest attractions is their Storybook Land.

Storybook Land areas in parks are always cute, but this one has the added benefit of an impressive tree canopy.

There’s plenty of little details in Storybook Land.

The variety of tropical plants really adds to the fairytale feel.

Flat rides old and new see lots of love from the locals (and, today, a couple flight attendants).

At first I thought this was a gator slide, but upon closer inspection it’s actually a fire-breathing dragon, and his plume of fire is the slide!

Bye-bye Carousel Gardens! You are so cute! Anyone who happens to be in the area should give this place a visit for sure.

Alright, back to our regularly scheduled French Quarter activities.

Nothing says NOLA like beads and a bra hanging from a tree surrounded by classy architectural elements.

We found great seafood (and French Onion soup!), walked around the different streets (but avoided Burbon Street because it’s repulsive), and had beinets at Cafe du Monde (taste like a basic funnel cake; overrated but a fun experience nonetheless).  A great whirlwind tour of a great city!

That’s all for our mini NOLA adventure. Join us next time for lovely little park that I’ve not visited in 18 years! I’m excited to see what’s changed. :}

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