Geauga Lake carousel moving to Worlds of Fun for 2011

Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2010 6:37 PM | Contributed by Jeff

In 1926, M.C. Illions meticulously carved 64 jumping horses and two chariots to create the Illions Supreme carousel, the most famous and reproduced carousel in the world. Known for their all wood horses with high swept manes adorned with jewels, only five original Supreme models were ever built by Illions. When installed at Worlds of Fun this spring, the carousel will be one of only two operating in the world.

Illions built the ride in 1926 for the Sesqui-Centennial Celebration held in Philadelphia. In 1927, it was moved to Birmingham, Alabama, and in the 1930's moved to Coney Island be restored. The carousel operated at Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio, from 1937 to 2007, and now has been painstakingly detailed to its original condition by Carousel Works, Inc, Mansfield, Ohio, the largest manufacturer of carousels in the world. Guests will be able to watch the full restoration and installation of this beautiful ride in its entirety on Ultimate Restorations.

Read the entire press release from Worlds of Fun.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010 6:52 PM

Cool! I was wondering what happened to this thing. I could have sworn I heard immediately after GL Closed that the carousel was headed to Worlds of Fun.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010 6:56 PM

It's great to see that the carousel will be living on and not peiced out in an auction. I wish it could have been installed in the water park though. I can't wait to see it, the Mansfield company does great work.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010 8:22 PM

Acoustic Viscosity said:
I could have sworn I heard immediately after GL Closed that the carousel was headed to Worlds of Fun.

Knew it sounded like this wasn't coming "out of left field". Then again, say something sensible long enough and sometimes someone important will listen.

Seriously though Matt, that thing masquerading as a carousel at WoF didn't properly represent a park with a ride like Prowler in its arsenal. The GL carousel, which I've ridden on a couple of occasions, is quite the spectacular ride. Big, big win for WoF! :)

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010 9:46 PM

pointperson said:
I wish it could have been installed in the water park though.

I don't get that... why would anyone at a waterpark, in a swimsuit, want to ride a merry go round?

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010 10:04 PM

Finally, some good news to come out of the whole Geauga Lake drama.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 12:03 AM

After all the buzz around the Big Dipper, it's nice to see another ride saved.

Can I click "Like" on this post?

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 12:19 AM

I know there is one at Six Flags New England, but doesn't the Columbus Zoo also have an Illions carousel?

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 6:25 AM

Cool. Are any other major rides not accounted for?

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 8:17 AM

Yes the carousel at the Columbus Zoo is a 1914 Mangels-Illions. It came from Olentangy Park that was just north of the University.
My dad grew up in this area and has ridden a few of the coasters that were there. He also talks about seeing many of the greats of the big band era playing there like Jimmy Dorsey and Glenn Miller.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 9:23 AM

My wife's former doctor is the grandson (or great grandson) of Illions. His office was adorned with carousel memorabilia and we had a nice coversation about the carousel his grandfather built and I had a chance to operate on many occasions. It is a very nice carousel and I'm glad it found a home.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 11:11 AM

Pointperson just gave me a fabulous idea! They could install it in the waterpark, add water effects, and call it a "water carousel"! People in the queue could have water guns to spray people as they gallop by. Riders could spray their friends riding next to them. Grabbing the brass ring allows your horse to throw up a huge pile of cold water all over the people waiting in line!

I think it's great that the carousel is being rescued!

Last edited by LostKause, Wednesday, November 10, 2010 11:16 AM
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 12:53 PM

Rick_UK said:
Cool. Are any other major rides not accounted for?

I don't think the bumper cars or Merry Oldies were ever accounted for. But, in all likelyhood they were probably used as parts for other Parks.

The only other ride on site (besides Dipper) that still has an unknown outcome is the Sky Coaster. It has changed hands at least once since it was auctioned.

Bobs is still there but has been completely stripped of anything of value, is still damaged from the final season. Plus a section was removed and donated to the Geauga County Historical Society.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 1:50 PM

But even discounting those problems, I suspect Bobs wouldn't be salvageable anyway. From all the pics and its appearance from drive-bys, I just don't know if there is any way it could be saved. There are trees growing through the track now, warped timbers, probably a good bit of mold and rot too by this point.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 2:54 PM

kpjb said:
I don't get that... why would anyone at a waterpark, in a swimsuit, want to ride a merry go round?

I was just thinking along the lines of zoos and malls that have them. I have also been to waterparks that have some dry activities to do also. You do bring up a good point about wet swimsuits and wood don't really mix, but how much does Little Tikes and cornhole?

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 3:18 PM

Geauga had one of the top five bumper car rides in the US...shame to lose that - "parting out" isn't exactly the same thing, IMO.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 6:42 PM

No mention made of the band organ. It's a Stinson Model 87 behind the original Illions facade. It was playing as I recall when the machine was pulled down.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 10:24 PM

And will probably be replaced with a CD player...

~Rob

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 11:41 PM

I hate it when that happens, Rob. :(

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010 11:46 PM

So does this mean Worlds of Fun is going to have something that looks like a proper entry? I've always thought that coming in through the main entrance at Worlds of Fun kind of feels like you're sneaking in through the employee gate...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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