Grand Carrousel

2011 - Present

Originally manufactured in 1926 for the Philadelphia Sesquicentennial, the Grand Carousel is as unique as they come. Hand carved and manufactured by M.C. Illions in Coney Island, NY there are today, less then half a dozen Illions carousels in existence.

Classified as Supreme model, this Illions masterpiece comes complete with 64 hand carved horses and 2 chariots.


Each steed in true Coney Island style is fashioned with flowing gold manes and tails and hand jeweled decorations. Completely restored between 2008-2010 season by Carousel Works of Mansfield, OH the Grand Carousel is a treat to ride for riders of any age.

For more information on the Coney Island Carousel Style visit the National Carousel Association Website.

STATISTICS

• Location: Scandinavia Section
• Rating: Mild
• Added: 2011
• Number of 64 horses, 2 chariots
• Designer: M.C. Illions
• Similar Ride: Supreme
• Height Requirement: 46inches
• Current Location: 0

UNIQUE FEATURES

Most classic carousels have what is called a lead horse, or king horse. Usually it is the most ornate horse, and in a few unusual cases it is not actually a horse at all. Though I have tried to determine the lead horse on the 1926 Illions through articles and books the general consensus is, is that the lead horse can not be determined.

Also unique to this carousel is the fact that every animal, is a horse. Many carousels have other animals, ranging pretty much the entire animal kingdom, camels, lions, pigs, goats, roosters etc. Carousels with a wide variety of animals are referred to as menagerie carousels. Most Illions are 100% horses, giving them one additional unique quality.

So why was every animal a horse? Marcus Illions was known to be a horseman, he owned several horses and rode often. The experience allowed him to imbue his carved horses with natural qualities in their movement, body shape, muscle structure and even facial veins. For the quality of his carvings Illions is often considered one of the finest carousel carvers in American history.

F.Y.I.

The Grand Carousel has quite a story to tell as would almost any ride that is almost 90 years old. As mentioned above the Grand Carousel was originally manufactured in 1926 for the 1927 Philadelphia Sesquicentennial. It was one of only 3 Supreme carousels manufactured in the 1920's by M.C. Illions.

After the sesquicentennial (trying saying that three times fast!) the carousel went to Birmingham, AL, and then was moved to its long time home, Geauga Lake in Aurora, OH in 1937 where it stayed until the park closed in 2007. After Geauga Lake's closing it was unsure for a few years where its carousel would end up at. It was announced in Fall 2010 that the carousel was already under restoration by Carousel Works, and that it's newest home would be Worlds of Fun.

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Review on: 6/1/2011 By: Hannah Johnston

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