This was an expensive check mark!
We headed to Six Flags to ride on the Illions carousel there, a historic ride dating from 1909. Marcus Illions was another famous carver from the Golden Age of Carousels. His style incorporated a lot of gold highlights and accents into his carvings, especially on the manes. The manes of his horses also stand out for me because they always look like they are blowing forward - as if the horses were galloping backward. I think it would be more fun if they always had Illions carousels going in the reverse direction.
However, the Six Flags carousel moved in the correct direction -- which, on American carousels, is always counter-clockwise. In England and Europe, carousels move clockwise because they expect riders to want to mount the horses properly, like equestrians. In America the direction of the revolution was reversed when carousels first started incorporating the brass ring. Most people are right-handed, and if the carousel moved in a counter-clockwise direction then they could more easily grab the rings. Now even carousels without a brass ring (like the Six Flags ride) still move in the counter-clockwise direction in America.
The carousel at Six Flags is located in the very front of the park. There was no line as most visitors were scrambling to get to the roller coasters. We easily got on for our ride and completed our task for the day quite quickly. The carousel was very large, with horses and menagerie five abreast and the chariots were the most awesome chariots I have ever seen. They were like giant couches that stretched over the entire base of the carousel - seven or eight people could easily have fit on each row.
I wish we had spent a little more time there, and I wish we had taken a ride on the chariot. I think we got caught up in the excitement of the park, and after one ride, we were off to stand in line for some (kiddie) roller coasters too. It was a great carousel - I highly reccommend stopping for a peek before or after you hit the other rides!