Thrill rides are great, roller coasters are a thrill, but the true heart and soul of an amusement park? :
The truth of the matter is, every park needs a carousel, not a cheap fiberglass one, but a genuine antique in all it's beautiful wooden carousel-ness.
Theme Park Studio needs no less than a beautiful antique carousel, but what would be the right choice of a carousel?
After lots of consideration, I would have to say that for the grand carousel, it should be no less than this beautiful Dentzel/Loof carousel :
Yes, that is an actual photo!
This particular carousel is very well photographed and on many sites, like the National Carousel Association, there are many pictures of this carousel, specifically on this site, here :http://nationalcarousel.org/psp/CasinoPier/
Newly built fiberglass carousels simply don't have the charm like these antiques, antique carousels are absolutely wonderful, gorgeous pieces of art.
Why this carousel though?
This carousel is the definition of an antique carousel, the gold leaf, and dozens of lights adorning the ride, it's one of the best carousels ever built. Furthermore, this carousel is probably more of a simpler model than say :
Keeping the polygon counts in mind, I'm going to wager that the first carousel would have a much lower poly count. This is not because of the horses, as really, the amount of detail that would have to be put into modeling the horses are about the same throughout all carousels, what I'm talking about are the mirrors and rounding boards. If you can see in the first carousel, this carousel has more or less 'flat' rounding boards, with no jester faces jutting out like in the second one, and less curves to also keep the 'count' down. Yet, the overall feel of this carousel is just as great as the second. I actually prefer the first carousel to the second, but that of course is a matter of opinion...
and for those of you who think a carousel is a 'kiddie ride' by the way, I think not!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5sv9Sbs_9Q
I'm not done yet though, the most important part of the carousel? The music!
I'm not talking about a compact disk player hooked up to a couple of speakers like amusement parks are sadly slowly switching to : I'm talking about a real live band organ!
(looks nice doesn't it? Wait til' you hear it!)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va66eL4huA0
This is a Wurlitzer Model 165 band organ, a fully functional self-playing 'pipe organ'. While antique, don't underestimate the power of these machines! Band organs not only have pipes, but also drums, and a glockenspiel. The second carousel, which if you haven't guessed yet is from Glen Echo Park in Maryland. It has a Wurlitzer 165, actually the one in the picture, the one in the video being a different one.
Band organs can usually be found in the center of the carousel, but this Wurlitzer 165 is quite large, so almost all are along side the ride. I think though that a Wurlitzer 165 can fit into the center of a ride (as I have audio of it to supply for the game), as what most carousels have is a hole in the center for the band organ, this would be no different. For the moving parts of the band organ in the game... that's another story, but the band organ is just as important to the carousel as the horses, as a carousel without a band organ... Is like a carousel with lawn chairs for horses.
Now before everyone starts talking about the 'double decker carousel', well, here you go...
(don't complain, I spent a whole 20 seconds editing that photo!)
There ARE other double decker carousels, but well, they aren't the kind of 'antique' carousels that these photos are. If a double decker carousel has to be made in the 'non antique' kind of style, I'd just say to make sure it's JUST the double decker carousel that isn't like an antique!