• Attractions Status Update

    Kidzone, Garden Friends and Gorilla Playgrounds are open.

    Carousel, Treehouse Trek and Acacia Station Giraffe Deck are open.

    Air Hike and Butterfly Garden are closed at this time.

Weekly Schedule

10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Additional Fee $3 per person

NC Zoo Carousel Logo

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

  • Capacity is limited to 50%
  • Face coverings are required while in line for and riding the carousel in accordance with the current Governor’s Order.
  • We ask that you please maintain six feet distance with guests outside of your group while in line for and exiting the carousel.
  • Hand Sanitizer is available
  • Carousel Animals are cleaned in between rides for your safety.
  • No Strollers or Wagons are permitted in line or on the carousel, a stroller parking area is available near the exit.



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.

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.

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

Each ride is approximately 2 minutes.

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

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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