Carousels with "real" organ music?

Friday, April 23, 2004 2:35 PM
In the PKI thread, it was mentioned:

the Carousel is one of very few that still use a live band organ.

What others are there? I remember at least one of CP's carousels having one (none do now). I was surprised that Disneyland's isn't either.

This summer is already booking up, but perhaps I can plan a "carousel organ tour" next summer...

Friday, April 23, 2004 2:42 PM
Geauga Lake's Illions carousel has a real band organ, and when it's working, it sounds great. Now if only they'd refurbish the rest of the ride (unattached poles, chipped horses, broken lights and mirrors, etc.), we'd have a real treasure.

I believe Idlewild's Carousel also has a real band organ, as does Knoebels.

ray p.

Friday, April 23, 2004 2:59 PM
Don't forget Kennywood's.
Friday, April 23, 2004 3:06 PM
Kennywood, Conneaut, Lake Compounce, Hersheypark, Fair Park in Dallas.

Does SFNE still have theirs?

Friday, April 23, 2004 3:06 PM
Ok, off the top of my head,

Kennywood,Idlewild, Hersheypark, Knobels, Bushkill, DelGrosso's, B&B (Coney Island) a couple of the Broome County machines,Griffith Park (LA) Tilden Park (Berkely,CA) Missoula,MT, Forrest Park St.Louis,Carousel Park,Mansfeild,OH. I could go on, if I dug out my notes. One thing that is clear, there are more working organs on the stand alone machines than in amusement parks.

Friday, April 23, 2004 4:05 PM
Knoebels actually has three working Carousel Organs. One plays on the main Carousel, one is in a display case directly behind the carousel, and another is it's own entity over by the gift shop near the antique cars. They sound so beautiful and really add to that classic park feel. I especially love it in the winter time when Hershey plays the Christmas music on theirs during the Candylane Festival they have every Christmas time. So fun to hear songs like "Rudolph the Red Nose Reinder" and "Jingle Bells" played on a full carousel organ band.
Friday, April 23, 2004 5:18 PM
Knoebels actually has 5 working organs. The Kiddie Carousel has one too. The Grand Carousel has 3 alone that they rotate daily or weekly. The big one that has the people on it, one in the center of the carousel, and the two Coaster Lover mentioned in the display case, and the one in the courtyard near the Phoenix.
Friday, April 23, 2004 5:19 PM
Knoebels actually has five organs that play in the park, though not all at once. There are three organs with the Grand Carousel that they switch between. The park actually owns ten different band organs, five are under restoration right now.

The rest that I can think of have already been mentioned. It does seem to be more common among the stand alone machines.

The really rare carousel item is the brass ring catch.

Friday, April 23, 2004 5:27 PM
I can add to the list of carousels with working band organs...Canobie Lake Park, Salem, NH and Funtown/Splashtown USA, Saco, ME.

Also, Clark's Trading Post in Lincoln, NH has a couple working carousel band organs on display (though no carousel) along with several other working band organs, player pianos, and a calliope.

Friday, April 23, 2004 6:42 PM
Isn't there some sort of carousel society that probably has this info online somewhere?
Friday, April 23, 2004 7:01 PM
Doesn't Knoebels have 5 organs?

mOOSH [in smart-@ss mode]

Friday, April 23, 2004 7:50 PM
Check the National Carousel Assocition Census.
Friday, April 23, 2004 8:15 PM
Here's an interesting one...

Stricker's Grove added a band organ a couple of years go with their Allan Herschell carousel. How's that? Cedar Point has three antique carousels, two of them with band organs that I have not heard operate in the past few years, meanwhile little Stricker's Grove with a tiny little carousel...just bought a *new* band organ.

Someone already mentioned Geauga Lake's organ...that thing is absolutely amazing...I think it has an unusually broad range or something, but it's always been impressive. Last year, I was less impressed with the music it was playing, but it was absolutely in-tune and sounded great. I know it was maintained by a contractor, and that's one concession I kind of hope Cedar Fair keeps.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Friday, April 23, 2004 8:31 PM

Coaster Lover said:
especially love it in the winter time when Hershey plays the Christmas music on theirs during the Candylane Festival they have every Christmas time. So fun to hear songs like "Rudolph the Red Nose Reinder" and "Jingle Bells" played on a full carousel organ band.

Kennywood plays Christmas music on theirs too during Fall Fantasy at the end of August.

Friday, April 23, 2004 9:15 PM
There's just something about hearing "Jingle Bells" when it's 85 degrees. Rideman, I remember when CP spared no expense keeping FOUR organs playing. When George Roose "retired" the maintenance budget for the organs dried up. That's when that pesky Harvard School of Business types showed up and that term ROI appeared. As far as the organ at GL, it's a Stinson model 87 sitting behind the original Illions facade. Don Stinson is probably still taking care of it. Don used to do all the organs at the Point, until Robert Munger came into power. *** Edited 4/24/2004 1:17:58 AM UTC by Dutchman***
Friday, April 23, 2004 11:01 PM
LOL, Mooshie....actually, looking at the *post times* (horse racing lingo, hehe), Black 7 and c-punk were writing in at the same time...but YOU probably caught that...;)

I've always had a *soft spot* for the PTC carousels I've gotten to ride....and I always ride an old carousel, or one that is unique in some way. Shame I didn't get to ride that Looff at SCBB...might get back there sometime in the next year or two.

Friday, April 23, 2004 11:51 PM
Kennywood and Idlewild get the nod for the oddest music I've heard on a band organ. Last time I was at Idlewild, I remember hearing "Ob La Di, Ob La Da"; at Kennywood I remember hearing, "Do You Know The Way to San Jose" . But Kennywood also scores bonus points because one of the rolls included "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down."

But yes, Dutchman, when it's August at Kennywood and the band organ on the carousel is playing "Up On a Housetop".

I have a photo of the sign at Geauga Lake telling who was taking care of the organ, but when I looked for it earlier I couldn't find it. (user fires up his editor and checks for a video capture...nothing...ah, except for the log entry...user grabs videotape #2003-06 and winds it to the 48;46;06 mark...)

Here it is. "This carousel organ is maintained by: De Bence Antique Music World,, 1261 Liberty Street, Franklin PA 16323 (814) 432-8350"

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Saturday, April 24, 2004 1:28 AM
Yeah, I know these people, they take care of the Artizan at Coneaut as well. The museum has the organ from Idora Park (sans facade).
Saturday, April 24, 2004 5:32 AM
The person with the fastest fingers or internet connection wins every time! *makes his fingers in the shape of a pistol and blows the smoke off* ;)
Sunday, April 25, 2004 1:26 PM
I've got the good connection, but slow fingers. Curse these ten thumbs ;)

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