Generations of amusement park goers, from toddlers to great-grandparents, have ridden Kings Island’s magnificent Grand Carousel since it gave its first rides on this date 94 years ago on the banks of the Ohio River at Cincinnati’s Coney Island.
For many of Kings Island’s guests, the Grand Carousel conjures up fond childhood memories. The jumping horses and band organ music remind them of a simpler time in their life before jobs, bills, responsibilities and obligations.
Hand-crafted by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1926, the Grand Carousel is one of only 170 antique wooden carousels still operating in the U.S. It is one of 89 carousels built by the company from 1904 to 1934, and one of the last. Originally labelled #79, the Grand Carousel was one of the first rides brought to Kings Island for its opening in 1972.
The Grand Carousel is a survivor of a bygone era, when thrills came in a much tamer form than rides like the new Orion, Banshee, Diamondback and Drop Tower, and still features its original mirrors and paintings, as well as 48 decorated horses and two chariots. The outside row of horses is stationary, and there are two rows of jumpers that move up and down to the strains of the band organ.
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