Monday, May 16, 2011

It's ALIVE!!

Yes, folks the carousel operated with all horses, on its own power for the first time since 2007. However, before everyone rushes out to the park for a ride... HOLD YOUR HORSES. It will be awhile still before this carousel is ready to take its first batch of riders. It still needs a band organ and electrical controls, queue rails and more.

To be honest I am not sure who that was really directed to myself... or everyone else.

The journey isn't over quite yet, but its been an amazing journey and I thought with the carousel now in full regalia it would be nice to maybe take a look back at where this carousel has been. Its been an amazing transition.

Here is a photo of the same carousel at Geauga Lake...

Same carousel today at Worlds of Fun... (not the same horse though). I haven't even seen this carousel in person and I can already say its one of the most magnificent carousels I have seen. Certainly in the best shape. Jeff (who always gets to do everything before me) says its even more amazing in person.

Before... at the Carousel Works factory.

After... (same horse this time)


After... Everyone say OOOHHHHH... Everyone say AHHHHHHH. PRETTY. Parents remember to clean your kids hands off before boarding. Kids spit your gum out BEFORE getting on board. (not like that's going to happen but I can try)

Before... the horses arrive at the Carousel Works Factory.

After... the same horse again.

The Band organ cover, again at the Carousel Works factory...

After... Amazing transformation. Just Amazing. Congratulations Carousel Works and Cedar Fair.

More Photos can be found on Facebook.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Putting it All Together...

So a few days ago we looked at the Grand Carrousel's initial assembly, and only a few days later work has progressed quickly. Saturday we saw the platform fully assembled and the addition of the two chariots. Today, Sunday even though the park wasn't open to the public we were invited by Brandon to take photos of the the appearance of what makes a carousel a carousel... the jumping horses.

Today we took a look at the 4th row of horses addition to the platform. With most classic carousels the 4th row features the smallest, and least ornate horses. However, even though the 1st and 2nd rows are home to larger and more ornate horses, each animal is just as valuable... these just happen to be more pint sized.

A few weeks ago I was asked why the platform was situated on a flat span of concrete. There are some carousels (mostly brass ring carousels) that actually have basements, and the jumping poles actually go through the floor. With most carousels though the brass pole slides up and down a steel pole. Its simple in its function, but its set up requires a great deal of care as we will soon see.

This is a bit of confusing photo, but basically whats happening here is that the carousel works employee with the screw driver is actually attaching the foot holds to the black inner pole (which the brass pole will cover).

Here is a better view, you can see the black steel footholds.

The brass covering is inserted over the black inner pole.

The same horse being hung. Each horse hangs from the cranking rod itself, which of course is what causes the horse to "jump". If you look up in the photo to the actually (cranking) rod, you will see another worker attaching the horse and bushing to the rod.

A little bit closer look up above.

An overall view. In this photo the horse is attached to the cranking rod above, and is being lined up to attach to the platform floor.

Attaching the horse to the platform floor. This process isn't as simple as it appears though as we will soon see.

Here is what I meant above. The pole has to be long enough so that the horse doesn't hit the floor, but so that it isn't so high above that a rider can't get aboard.

Another step in the process is measuring the inner pole, so that the brass pole can be cut to match.

Attaching the painted pony.

Outside of the horses themselves these painted wooden boxes are being assembled and attached to cover wooden braces.

More photos can be found on Facebook!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's HERE!

I have to say... May 9th was one of the most exciting days for me, even though I never stepped within 15 miles of Worlds of Fun, I knew the carousel horses were arriving that day, and it made me happy. Well today was even better. Ok, no I didn't get to go out and see, but I sent Jeff instead to get some photos of the new (old?) carousel arriving and starting assembly at W.O.F.

You know though that makes me think... what will become of the old 1979 Bradley and Kaye in Europa? What I mean is will we call it the OLD carousel or the NEW carousel?


Before we get on to pictures I wanted to share a few things that are not apparent in the photos. And... I have some good news and not so good news. First the good news. Two pieces of it actually. First, the band organ as I have mentioned in previous blogs has been restored and is at this point in time enroute to Worlds of Fun. Second, for those familiar with this carousel at Geauga Lake, it will no longer boast seat belts.

Bad news... Well there had to be a reason for Cedar Fair to remove the seat belts after all. Come to think of it this is probably the FIRST time I have ever heard of Cedar Fair REMOVING a seat belt. For those familiar with this carousel, you know that it was not only quicker then usual but also had an unusual tilt. It added to the thrill. Yes, in many cases carousels can be thrilling. Really.

There is no way to make this any easier so I will just come out and say it... they are slowing it down, and removing the "tilting" aspect of the horses.


So let's look at some photos why don't we.

Approaching the new carrousel (carrousel is the european spelling of carousel). I am unsure if this is the same sign as from geauga lake. It would make sense as both signs say "1918", I guess just another one of those things to throw in the pot of controversy.
(Some say 1918 and some say 1926)

See the Original Sign from Geauga Lake

Another look towards the interior. Here we can also see one of those Greek columns that we saw about a week and a half a go on the ground waiting for assembly.

With basic structural assembly almost complete, the decorative mirrors and aspects surrounding the center pole.

A close up view of the retouched M.C Illions trademark.

A similar view when this carousel was at Geauga Lake...

Another close up of decorative detail.

So what is this you might ask? In actuality I had no idea myself until I asked Jeff (who was there), its actually the platform!

The same platform when it arrived at Worlds of Fun..

So where are the horses? They are taking a break in the new Festhaus next door.

So are the chariots, here is one covered by a moving blanket.

Here is the same chariot cover at the Carousel Works Factory

And some detail of the chariot cover.

Find more photos and Discuss at Facebook!

Before I finish up I thought I would leave you the reader with a few links from previous blogs I have written on this very same carousel:

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Third Weekend Report 05/01/2011

After a week off, Jeff and I headed back out to Worlds of Fun to check out some of the updates from two weeks ago. There were some good things... and some things that still haven't changed... We all love photos though, so lets take a look. Sunday was a rather chilly day as compared to Saturday, so the park was pretty dead, and while it threatened rain all day, not a single drop fell while we were there.

Whats new in this photo? Well obviously the new festhaus, but also a new fence. Oooohhh bright and shiny! :) (sorry I couldn't help it). Of course this had to change as now the area behind the fence is actually IN the park.

Here is what I was talking about in the opening day review, what a much better view.

A close up, at the carousel pavilion, one part of the "new" ride has shown up. The wooden foundation of the carousel has arrived... and it looks like all 85 years old.

Some support covers for the carousel pavilion. But you know I was thinking... Greek columns on an America carousel, in the Scandinavia section of the park... No wonder the park is so confused about the theme.

The new festhaus... I like how the trim matches Tivoli West.

Close up view... Nice.

I know all the WOF geeks out there will want to see this, atleast I did. We all know the view will be great from the new festaus but here is another ... slightly depressing view.

Okay Brandon I included a picture of your new sign... yes its nice.

Moving over to Planet Snoopy here is a look at the structure for the Rocket Express ride. I will have to say I was surprised at the size. It looks like it might have an elevator since the steps are probably not ADA compliant.

How cute is this! A mini-transfer track!

Looking backwards at the new Snoopy Plaza area.

The track for the new 4X4 ride is taking shape as the electric rail is down...

Lucy's Tugboat aka, Rockin Tug. Lots of fun. Yes, I tried it out. The first ride I have ridden up in this area since the late 80's...

Brandon got his sign, and Matt gets his little shop. Very nice, and I not only like the theme but the affordable merchandise. Obviously others in the park feel the same way. :)

Moving Along... the Forum... or Heart of America Theater, minus stage. It took a minute for me to get used to this view...

So what else is going on at the park... Good... the park is prepared for Snoopy's Hot Summer lights testing out the lights on many weekday nights. So it should look good when the lights come on in June. Good... Timberwolf now has two trains... Bad... Prowler is still running one train. I am actually surprised (NOT in a good way) by this, as really three weeks into the season there is really no excuse.

Good... the park has begun its annual asphalt sealing, so about half of the park walkways appear presentable... On the flip side, atleast to me Planet Snoopy looks really good compared to the REST of the park.

Good... new landscaping is appearing around the park, it sounds like the park got a great deal not only on trees but on planters, I will try to update sometime soon with photos. Also good... we spotted rose bushes planted along the fence-line by the admin building. A location that if I am not mistaken has not had any kind of growth (except for the bad kind), for the last several years. Bad... and oh boy its bad. Where are the flowers at Front Street? It looks hideous! AGH! Also I know landscaping is short staffed, but can we please try to pull some weeds around the Prowler and Patriot areas? It looks really overgrown.

Last Thing, this music thing is really starting to bother me. Modern music in Scandinavia especially. It doesn't have to be the annoying yodelling music (yes some of it was rather annoying I will admit it), but it just feels... weird, you know hearing pop music playing in Scandinavia. What really surprises me is that half of the park (Possibly more) still has themed music... Its like they get it half right. If this bothers you too make sure you let the park know!

I refuse to give up on this. :)

Last thing... and its good news. Brandon has already mentioned this, but the horses will begin arriving on Monday May 9th... I am so excited I can barely stand the wait!