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Carousel Columbia--The World’s Tallest Carousel

Jenae Mims

As a San Jose State University graduate with a Journalism degree, I enjoy being able to use my creativity to tell unique behind the scenes stories in a new perspective!

Providing an incredible grand entrance to Great America, Carousel Columbia has been the focal point for all entering the park since 1976. Guests who attended during the park’s first few seasons now bring their kids back for that first “wow” moment when entering Great America--and to take the same iconic front-gate photo that they took when they were little.

Standing more than 100 feet high (nearly ten stories tall), this double-decker carousel has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest carousel. 

Carousel Columbia is famed for its beauty and handcrafted details. Architectural sculptor Chris Mueller Jr. designed the fiberglass panels that line the top of the carousel. His work has also been seen on the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Each of the figures on the carousel are fiberglass replicas of the world’s rarest carousel horses and animals. In all, there are 82 jumping horses, six standing horses, three chariots, a camel, a giraffe, a lion, a tiger, a dragon, a deer, a seahorse and pairs of jumping ostriches, pigs, cats and rabbits.

 

Fun Facts about Carousel Columbia:

  • There is a replica located in Gurnee, Illinois at Six Flags Great America named Columbia Carousel. This carousel differs by the color of the roof. The carousel at California’s Great America is gold, and the carousel in Illinois is green. It is also one foot shorter than our carousel, giving us the title of the world’s tallest carousel.
  • Carousel Columbia made an appearance in the movie Beverly Hills Cop III in 1994.
  • The Carousel Song by Gene Patrick was specially written for both of the Great America parks and plays in the area around Carousel Columbia every day.

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Jenae Mims

As a San Jose State University graduate with a Journalism degree, I enjoy being able to use my creativity to tell unique behind the scenes stories in a new perspective!

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