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April 1st - October 31st
Weekly Schedule


on Monday

Additional Fee $3 per person


Located in Junction Plaza 

Weather dependent

The Zoo's 36-foot Endangered Species Carousel, which opened in 2006, is very popular with families with young children. With lights and sound playing traditional old-time carousel music, it's a ride into the past. Our unique ride-figure is the polar bear, which was fabricated specifically for the NC Zoo. Each animal figure is hand painted fiberglass with glass eyes. Our carousel was manufactured by The Chance Morgan Ride Company.



    Parents are required to stand next to a small child at no cost. A ticket is required for the child. Ride figures include zebras, bears, sea lions, elephants, gorillas and other animals. For smaller children, there is also a spinning tub shaped like a bird's nest. The ride is ADA compliant and includes a swan bench seat that accommodates wheelchairs. The carousel has a weight limit of 170 lbs per animal.

    For your Health and Safety the following measures are in place

    • Hand Sanitizer is available
    • Carousel Animals are cleaned and disinfected daily.
    • No Strollers or Wagons are permitted in line or on the carousel, a stroller parking area is available near the exit.
    Who can ride the carousel?

    Guests must be 42" or above to ride.  Children Under 42" must be accompanied by a standing adult 16 years of age or older.  Anyone under 170 pounds may ride the moving animals. If you are over 170 pounds you may ride the Giraffe, The Eagle, the swan bench or the bird nest.

    Are there any other restrictions to ride the Carousel?

    Individuals under 16 may not stand on the carousel, there is no tandem riding allowed, parents may not stand and hold a child, parents may not stand with infants in a pouch or sling.

    Do Adults have to pay to ride if standing next to the animal for a child?

    No, parents or other adults 16 and over may stand with children for free. 

    How long is the ride?

    Each ride is approximately 2 minutes.

    Is the Carousel Wheelchair Accessible?

    Yes, the Carousel can accommodate a single wheelchair per ride. 

    Does the Carousel close if it is raining?

    Yes, there are occasions if there is heavy rain that causes the deck of the carousel to become slippery and unsafe it will be closed until the deck can be dried and safe to walk on.


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