Carousels are one of the most traditional rides found in fairs, carnivals and amusement and theme parks throughout the world. Many manufacturers have created the rides throughout the years, with the original rides being hand carved by artisans giving way to mass produced rides with metal or fiberglass figures and rounding boards which were more practical and affordable.
|With the increasing
popularity and growing crowds at Great Adventure in the 1970's,
investments were made throughout the park to expand and improve the ride
offerings. The Kiddie Kingdom area of the park had several additional
rides added including the park's second (smaller) carousel ride which
was originally named the Kiddie Karousel.
CAROUSEL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
|Over time the
children's area evolved and changed, transitioning from Kiddie Kingdom
to Shirt Tales Land for the 1984 season. The carousel was renamed Kip's
Kiddie Karousel, named for the Kip the Kangaroo. The Shirt Tales were
momentary residents of Great Adventure and were replaced the following
season when the Looney Tunes took up residence in the park.
With Six Flags acquisition of Great America in Gurnee Illinois, the park chain also got the rights for use of the Looney Tunes characters in their parks from the Marriott Corporation, so Bugs Bunny and his friends came to Great Adventure in 1985 with Shirt Tales Land becoming Looney Tunes Land.
For the 1988 season Looney Tunes Land underwent a major makeover as it became Bugs Bunny Land with an updated and more modern look and new names for the existing rides and attractions. Bugs Bunny Land would remain until the end of the 2004 season as the area was redeveloped to become the Golden Kingdom.
Kiddie Karousel Names Through The Years
Kip's Kiddie Karousel
Bugs Bunny Camp Carousel
|Click below to view a video
With the removal of Bugs Bunny Land the Kiddie Karousel (then known as the Tweety Roundup) was removed from what had been its original location since it was installed in the park and found a new home near Rolling Thunder. The ride was reassembled on an existing ride pad that had sat vacant for several seasons since the Sombrero (Schwabinchen) ride had been removed in 2001.
|The lakeside location
for the carousel was ideal with the water reflecting the bright colors.
As wonderful as the Tweety Roundup was in this spot, it was a short
lived home as plans were in place for a redevelopment of the entire area
for the 2006 season with the introduction of Plaza del Carnaval and El
In the fall of 2005 the carousel was disassembled as construction work began for Plaza del Carnaval. The ride would be relocated once again as part of the brand new Bugs Bunny National Park children's section of the park which would also debut in the spring of 2006.
|The new location of the carousel came not only a new name as the Bugs Bunny Camp Carousel, but a new look with specially made rounding boards featuring the Looney Tunes characters. The central hub of the ride was decorated with re-creations of posters for some of the classic Looney Tunes shorts. This new location elevated the carousel from being a small ride tucked away in a corner to a centerpiece of the new children's area.
|Click below to view a video
BUGS BUNNY CAMP CAROUSEL
|While the Kiddie Karousel was a
simple, scaled down and mass produced ride, the details of the figures
are quite nice. The ride had much more character than many of the
fiberglass carousels produced today and was the perfect scale for kids.
Parents were invited to stand alongside their horse-riding children however they were not permitted to mount the stallions.
|One of the most unique features of the carousel was the griffon benches that allowed adults and those who didn't want to ride a horse another riding option.
|The Kiddie Karousel has been renamed, relocated and repainted over the decades it has been at Great Adventure, with the canvas roof being replaced every few years. Throughout that time it has delighted millions of guests and should continue to do so for many years to come.
|CAROUSEL PART ON EBAY
|After the replacement of the rounding boards on the Kiddie Karousel when it was relocated to Bugs Bunny National Park, one of the original rounding boards showed up on eBay with an over the top paint job.