It’s impossible to picture out an amusement park without a Ferris Wheel. Since the first rotating “pleasure wheels” debuted in 1893 at the World’s Fair in Chicago, many have followed the footsteps of George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. and created their versions of the wheel.
The first ever Ferris Wheel made by Ferris – a bridge builder – was 265 feet tall and weighed over two million pounds. One full ride took ten minutes. The Ferris Wheel had 36 seat compartments, and each one could carry a maximum of 60 passengers. When the wheel was fully loaded, it had 2,160 people on it.
These days, a Ferris wheel is a staple in parks and carnivals. Some of the most popular pleasure wheels in the world today are the following:
- Singapore Flyer. Since it opened in March 2008, the Singapore Flyer has been a popular tourist attraction in Singapore. To date, it takes the second spot as the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. Riding the Singapore Flyer will give you stunning views of the Marina Bay. In fact, you can also see parts of Malaysia and Indonesia atop the wheel. The wheel offers riders with a 30-minute unforgettable Singapore Flyer experience.
- Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, Chicago. This humongous Ferris wheel provides 40 passenger gondolas and a beautiful panoramic view of Lake Michigan. This wheel is also famous for it bears a strong resemblance to the original Ferris Wheel.
- Niagara SkyWheel, Canada. Although considerably short by Ferris wheel standards, the Niagara SkyWheel provides an opportunity no other pleasure wheels can – and that’s an impressive view of the Niagara Falls. Located on Clifton Hill, the Niagara SkyWheel is open to locals and visitors alike all-year-round.
- High Roller, Las Vegas. Presently the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, the High Roller stands at the height of 550 feet. It sports 28 ultra-modern, glass-enclosed cabins that let riders enjoy the sweeping view of sin city. Apart from the usual 30-minute High Roller ride, guests can also expect different attractions inside the cabins, like a sky-high chocolate and wine tasting as well as yoga sessions.
- London Eye. Arguably the most famous Ferris wheel today, the London Eye is Europe’s tallest observation wheel. It’s also the best and the fastest way to see several of London’s famous landmarks in half an hour. The day ride includes unobstructed views of Buckingham Palace, the House of Parliament, Big Ben, and St. Paul Cathedral. The night ride offers the same views, but with a much delightful experience as these London landmarks are lit up.
Enjoy the sky-high experience Ferris wheels bring with these beautiful HD photos of the pleasure wheels.