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A Snowy Carousel Ride


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I can hear the organ playing now...

Oh, wait..

Oh but you can still hear it:

http://www.bandorganmusic.com/pcd2029__more_queen.htm

http://www.bandorganmusic.com/pcd2038_more_from_the_queen_of_kings_2.htm

http://www.bandorganmusic.com/pcd2039__more_from_the_queen_of_3.htm

http://www.bandorganmusic.com/music/christmas.htm

http://www.bandorganmusic.com/COMETOTHEFAIR.htm

http://www.bandorganmusic.com/carnivalcuties.htm

THE WURLITZER #157 BAND ORGAN: This beautiful Band Organ began its career at Ocean Grove, New Jersey, in the early 1900's. It was then moved across the boardwalk to Asbury Park, New Jersey, where it furnished music for a carousel for many years. In the mid 1960's, Paul Eakins bought the organ and completely restored it. The organ toured State Fairs and Expositions for years and was also featured at the Gay 90's Village in Sikeston, Missouri, and the Gay 90's Melody Museum in St. Louis, Missouri. It is now featured on the carousel at Kings Island in Ohio, where it is lovingly nicknamed, "The Queen of Kings Island".

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Too bad we will likely never hear the graces of that band organ at Kings Island ever again. I would even like it if they got another band organ, even if it isn`t as historic as the Wurlitzer that KI used to have. I mean, even Stricker`s Grove has a band organ on their carousel! The experience of riding the carousel is just not the same with piped in music. My favorite memories of riding the carousel when I was a kid was hearing the carousel music. Not to mention that the band organ music is much more audible than the often muffled and drowned out music that they now play.

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^So, as far as you know, is the organ in such bad condition that it can’t realistically be repaired…or the park just doesn’t care to?

By the way…you have no idea how “thrilled” some of my family members were when I played them the Christmas CD!

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I don`t know. What I do know is that the actual working part of the organ has been removed. All that is left, is the face of the organ on the carousel. I`m not certain as to the whereabouts or condition of the actual working portion of the band organ.

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I can hear the organ playing now...

Oh, wait..

Those were Kat (violakat03)'s exact words last year! And "Why do they have no music on the carousel, but they play the carousel music up front by the entrance?" :lol:

Seriously.. why do they have no music on the carousel, but they play the carousel music up front by the entrance?.. :blink:

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They do play carousel music at the Grand Carousel. Its just sometimes they do not have the volume turned up very high, so it is difficult to hear. Its not like when the band organ was there, and the music was clearly audible from the path behind the Eiffel Tower.

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I don`t know. What I do know is that the actual working part of the organ has been removed. All that is left, is the face of the organ on the carousel. I`m not certain as to the whereabouts or condition of the actual working portion of the band organ.

Thanks...even though it is sad information. :(

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I'm so terribly distraught by the removal (more than likely permanent). I don't really understand the reason for its removal. Something that historic and integral to a park experience is surely worthy of the labor and time it would require to restore it. I would be interested to hear more about the organ. Especially what happened to it that was severe enough to warrant complete decommission.

Oh, and J.D., thanks for those links! I just may have to invest in those CDs.

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^So, as far as you know, is the organ in such bad condition that it can't realistically be repaired…or the park just doesn't care to?

By the way…you have no idea how "thrilled" some of my family members were when I played them the Christmas CD!

In 2008 I had the pleasure of meating the gentleman who restores and maintains the carousel horses. I asked him about the Worlitzer and its condition. In a nutshell, he explained that the mechanism could be repaired for around $2,700.00. I was shocked to learn that the amount was so minimal and that there was little interest in repairing on part of KI admin. However, I was impressed with the enthusiasm and passion this individual had for his job. He shared a few stories with me where they had retrieved wadded up tickets from Coney Island signed by Ralph G. Wachs stuffed inside the horses and how incredible it was for Coney to retrieve all of their missing horse parts as they floated down the Ohio River during the 37' flood. I then asked him about the carousel display KI had in front of the International Restaurant (before the Diamondback model was set up). It stated that you could "see him in action as he restores KI's carousel horses". He explained that he was upset that this event was never fully realized and stated that if enough guests complained about it, KI would do something about it. So I asked him about the carousel Wilitzer and why nothing was done about that if it was simply a matter of $2700 or so dollars. He said "complain and get your friends to complain. Maybe it will get things moving...who knows". I have always felt that if there is enough interest in this subject, the KI forum could arrange some kind of a volunteer day at KI where all proceeds would go to rescuing the Wulitzer organ. This could bring media attention to the park (which is good for sales), members of the boards could have a chance to work together and the result would, hopefully, be that contributions from these boards helped preserve KI history. As I was leaving, I asked if I could snap a picture as this horse was being repainted and was abliged...

kingsislandbehindthescenes10092-1.jpg

~Josh

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^ Thanks for the fascinating story. It thrills me to know there is[/is] someone inside KI that cares about the Wurlitzer as much as I do.

I love your idea. It's absolutely fantastic. I would get behind it full force. Perhaps the good people here at KIC (hint, hint!) could get behind this and make a movement. $2700 split amongst the regulars here is not a lot at all per person. Maybe there is a chance after all.

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carousel.jpg

Photo courtesy of Don Helbig

Enjoy!

Nice Pic!!! There was a pic on here a couple weeks ago with snow covered racer, that was a very good one! Hope more pics of different things in the park can be posted as it will be snow covered.... So pretty!!! wink.gif

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^ Thanks for the fascinating story. It thrills me to know there is[/is] someone inside KI that cares about the Wurlitzer as much as I do.

I love your idea. It's absolutely fantastic. I would get behind it full force. Perhaps the good people here at KIC (hint, hint!) could get behind this and make a movement. $2700 split amongst the regulars here is not a lot at all per person. Maybe there is a chance after all.

even though I'm hardly on here anymore due to not having Internet I would be all for helping to raise money to go towards the organ.... I absolutely miss that thing.. I don't ride the carousel hardly anymore since the organ doesn't work. hope there are enough of us that are interested in trying to do something to get it fixed

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^ Thanks for the fascinating story. It thrills me to know there is[/is] someone inside KI that cares about the Wurlitzer as much as I do.

I love your idea. It's absolutely fantastic. I would get behind it full force. Perhaps the good people here at KIC (hint, hint!) could get behind this and make a movement. $2700 split amongst the regulars here is not a lot at all per person. Maybe there is a chance after all.

even though I'm hardly on here anymore due to not having Internet I would be all for helping to raise money to go towards the organ.... I absolutely miss that thing.. I don't ride the carousel hardly anymore since the organ doesn't work. hope there are enough of us that are interested in trying to do something to get it fixed

This issue was my initial reason for joining the forums. I would love to see something like this organized. I have given a lot of thought to the idea and see it as a win win for both Kings Island and enthusiasts. When I worked at KI in the 90's we had several volunteer work days where companies, boosters, etc. would come into the park and work for a day to raise money. With the connections forum moderators have with KI administration, I'm sure something can be arranged. Media attention for events such as this is a plus in the eye of the consumer. In the end, it may bring more business to the park...but who knows. I'm not a marketing guru, so this all may sound great on paper but fail in reality. However - nothing ventured, nothing gained!

~Josh

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^ Thanks for the fascinating story. It thrills me to know there is someone inside KI that cares about the Wurlitzer as much as I do.

I love your idea. It's absolutely fantastic. I would get behind it full force. Perhaps the good people here at KIC (hint, hint!) could get behind this and make a movement. $2700 split amongst the regulars here is not a lot at all per person. Maybe there is a chance after all.

I think many members on here would be fourthcoming (or would it be the fifth?) about something like this.

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^^But if Kings Island just doesn't want to spend the money (even though if that $2700 is correct, that seems like a minute amount), then why don't we just help them out?

I asked the same question, but the powers that be cut corners as much as possible (I know this from experience working in the park). One of the illustrations they gave in one of our training sessions was an incident where a piece of machinery was carelessly operated resulting in a damaged walkway. The equipment needed to be removed before any repair could take place. The instructor added up the man hours and materials it cost to fix the problem and it ended up being nearly 10 times the amount anyone one of us had guessed. There were several factors many of us did not consider. In other words, the cost for repairs may be $2,700, but the project as a whole is likely far greater than the park is willing to tackle. However, we are talking about a business that is driven by the consumer. They spend 22 million building a rollercoaster for us (the consumer) to maintain interest in the park. Only at the consumers complaint can issues such as the carousel Worlitzer be changed. JMO

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Why don't we all complain? It doesn't take much time out of our days and it can't hurt anything.

Cory, you're right. But if we want something done, why don't we put the gears in motion? Let's remove any excuse for not fixing it.

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I feel that I need to interject a thought about my choice of the word "complain" to KI about this issue. I have always felt that if you want to accomplish something bring awareness to the problem and then act on it. Simply complaining to KI about this may not be the best solution. I feel that if enough people truly care about restoring/renovating the old Worlitzer it will take some action on the concerned parties part. Because so few Worlitzers still exist, it would be a tragedy to see this opportunity lost. I have been a musician for over 16 years and it is true that the older an instrument is the better is sounds. This is in part because they don't make them like they used to and I believe that there is a lot of life left in that old Worlitzer organ.

~Josh

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Yeah, you just can't hear it at Cedar Fair's Kings Island...

Yeah, don't get me started... :angry:

My favorite memories of riding the carousel when I was a kid was hearing the carousel music. Not to mention that the band organ music is much more audible than the often muffled and drowned out music that they now play.

Oops, now I've started... I agree with you there. As a kid I used to love getting an inside horse just so I could watch the organ as I rode by. I used to love watching the cymbals and the drum being struck, and would look backwards to watch it on every rotation. This piped in music is nowhere near as good as the original organ.

I have always felt that if there is enough interest in this subject, the KI forum could arrange some kind of a volunteer day at KI where all proceeds would go to rescuing the Wulitzer organ. This could bring media attention to the park (which is good for sales), members of the boards could have a chance to work together and the result would, hopefully, be that contributions from these boards helped preserve KI history.

Yes, but is that the kind of media attention the park would want? It could be perceived by the public as "we don't care enough about our rides to spend $2700, but this small group of people do". Of course we know that's not the case and that KI takes great care of their rides, but you never know what the public's perception could be.

Believe me, I'm more than willing to do anything I can to get the organ back in it's home. If some event were to be set up (and the park were willing to accept our help), I'd be first in line (or maybe 2nd or 3rd if a few of you happened to beat me to it ;)). It's good to know there are others who feel just as stongly as I do on the subject!

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