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The Columbia Carousel at Six Flags Great America in 2005.
|California's Great America|
|Six Flags Great America|
|Model||Double Deck Carousel|
|Height||100 ft (30 m)|
|Riders per vehicle||1|
Columbia Carousel (known as Carousel Columbia at California's Great America) is a pair of double-decked carousels at Six Flags Great America and at California's Great America (the parks were built by the Marriott hotel chain as sister properties but later sold to separate owners). To this date they are the world's tallest carousels.
The first Columbia opened in the Santa Clara park in 1976 and the Gurnee Columbia opened later that year. They opened as the world's biggest carousel and continue to hold that title to this day. Each horse on the carousels was a replica of one of the world's most famous carousel horses. In front of the carousels was a large reflecting pond with historic replicas of American flags flying along the sides. Today the flags still fly. The Columbia is often associated with the Carousel Song, produced especially for the Marriott's Great America theme parks by Gene Patrick. A clip of the Carousel Song can be heard here. The Carousel Song still plays at the Gurnee park every evening when the park closes.
In 1994, Santa Clara's Columbia received some minor renovations for its appearance in the movie Beverly Hills Cop III.
In the early 2000s both carousels received touches of red and blue paint. The original paint scheme was white with gold trim, however some of the gold trim still remains.
In the 2011/2012 off-season, Carousel Columbia at California's Great America was re-painted.
- Columbia page on GREAT AMERICA parks
- The Unofficial Columbia Carousel site
- at California's Great America
- at Six Flags Great America