The Griffith Park merry-go-round is famed for its role in the creation of Disneyland. As the story has it, Walt Disney would often take his daughters to the park and sit on a bench eating peanuts while his girls ride the merry-go-round. It was on one of such days out that he came up with an idea of a theme park where both children and grownups can have fun. While the merry-go-round continues to run in Griffith Park, the historic bench that Walt Disney used to sit on is no longer there, as it has been relocated to the original Disneyland Park.
The historic bench can be found in the pre-show area of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, a classic stage show that originated at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. It features a lifelike audio-animatronic representation of Abraham Lincoln, favorite historical figure of Walt Disney, which performs an excerpt of the Gettysburg Address. Since its opening, it has undergone a handful of changes throughout its history, the current version being its fourth.
The attraction is located on Main Street, U.S.A. inside the Opera House, where several Disney artifacts are on display as well as temporary exhibits presenting the park’s history. The Griffith Park section is its undisputed centerpiece, with the bench that started it all, one of the carousel horses, and a peanut cart. It’s a must-see for any hardcore Disney fan, a pilgrimage site worth visiting on its own.