13 Incredible Ferris Wheels You Have to See to Believe
Talk about seeing the world from a different angle! Get a bird's-eye view of New York, London, and other must-see spots around the globe on these thrilling—and beautiful!—rides.
Located at the southern end of Centennial Park, SkyView Atlanta takes guests on a 15-minute joyride, making four full revolutions and offering views of downtown Atlanta from 20 stories up. Take a spin on one of 42 fully enclosed gondolas any time of year—the Ferris wheel is only closed two days of the year on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, and in cases of inclement weather where high winds and lightning have been spotted in the area.
How to ride: Adults pay $13.50 plus tax; seniors ages 65 and up and members of the military pay $12.15 plus tax; children ages 3-12 pay $8.50 and must ride with a paying adult; children ages two and under ride free. SkyView Atlanta is easily reachable by MARTA (several bus stops are nearby) and by train via the Peachtree Center Station.
The Texas Star Ferris Wheel first came on the scene in 1985—28 years later, it still reigns as the tallest Ferris wheel in North America at nearly 21 stories high. Equipped with 45 gondolas, the Texas Star completes 1.5 revolutions every minute and offers amazing views of the Lone Star State—you can even spot the Dallas skyline nearly 40 miles away! You'll have to plan ahead to experience this attraction as it's only available during the State Fair of Texas, this year from Sept. 27th thru Oct. 20th, and during the spring and summer months as part of Summer Adventures in Fair Park. Whenever you decide to go, know that Fair Park is easy to get to—just take the DART Rail Green Line to Fair Park Station near the entrance to the fairgrounds at Parry Avenue.
How to ride: Admission to the State Fair of Texas costs $14.95 when ordered online in advance; tickets cost $11.95 for seniors over the age of 60 and for children under 48" tall; children under age two get in free. A ride on the Texas Star costs an additional $7 (ride coupons can be purchased in packages of 20 at the Fair and each coupon is worth $0.50). Admission to Summer Adventures in Fair Park costs $29.95 per adult (seniors over 65 as well as children ages three and up to 48" tall pay $24.95) for a day of unlimited rides.
The Pacific Wheel
Santa Monica, California
Located just 25 minutes from Downtown L.A., Pacific Park at Santa Monica Pier is home to the only solar-powered Ferris wheel in the world, the Pacific Wheel. Towering over the Santa Monica Pier at 130-feet, this powerful wheel makes a whopping 2.5 revolutions every minute and sports more than 160,000 LED lights, dazzling visitors with panoramic views of the beautiful California coast from above while, at night, providing a light show for everyone below.
How to ride: Purchase an all-day unlimited ride wristband online. You'll pay $19.50 for ages eight and up and $13.55 for children ages seven and under.
The Seattle Great Wheel
Perhaps the youngest Ferris wheel on our list, The Seattle Great Wheel opened a little over a year ago on June 29th, 2012, making it the largest on the west coast at 175 feet tall. Extending roughly 40 feet past the end of Pier 57, the wheel carries more than 300 visitors in 42 enclosed gondolas, offering dramatic city views and a bird's-eye view of Elliott Bay and Waterfront Park. The best part: each ride consists of three full revolutions, giving you plenty of time to get the perfect photo from the top.
How to ride: Tickets cost $13 for ages 12 and up; children ages 4-11 cost $8.50; seniors over age 65 pay $11; children ages three and under are free, but still require a ticket to board (visit the will call window for more information). The Seattle Great Wheel is located at 1301 Alaskan Way in Downtown Seattle, just below Waterfront Park.
The Wheel of Brisbane
Located in the Cultural Forecourt next to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in the midst of the city's entertainment district, The Wheel of Brisbane carries riders nearly 200 feet above the ground, offering beautiful 360-degree views of the Brisbane city skyline, the Parklands, and the South Bank in air-conditioned gondolas.