Ferris Wheel Seattle
If you travel to Seattle, USA’s most northerly city, you will have the chance to enjoy the largest Ferris wheel on the western seaboard. At 175 feet high, the Ferris Wheel Seattle is the third such design in the whole of the US and the only one to revolve over open water.
Also known as the Seattle Great Wheel, this attraction is located at the end of Pier 57 in the touristy waterfront area. This pier has an old-world charm, with a few stores and a selection of famous seafood restaurants.
Seattle’s Ferris Wheel opened to the public on 29th June 2012. It has 41 fully enclosed standard gondolas, each of which can carry up to eight passengers. If you arrive during a busy period, you may need to share a gondola with other people but in the low season you might be fortunate enough to have one to yourself or just your party.
A special VIP gondola is available, which has four leather seats to give you a more stylish journey and exclusivity. The VIP gondola also has a stereo system and a glass floor. The ticket includes several extras, such as a t-shirt, a glass of champagne and an escort to the front of the line.
All the gondolas are climate controlled, and you are advised to bring an extra sweater as they can be cold. Although not overly large, you will not feel cramped as you admire the enthralling view through the glass surround.
Short queues, long views
With a carrying capacity of 300 people, time spent queuing is normally short. At peak periods though, you might have to wait up to 45 minutes but most people report much shorter queues, sometimes only a matter of a few minutes. It is worth checking the Internet as special deals are often available, along with information regarding opening times which could be affected by construction work at the waterfront.
The Ferris Wheel Seattle runs throughout the year, designed to operate in most kinds of weather Seattle’s northern geographic position can throw at it. Only when wind speeds reach 55 mph or there is nearby lightning are operations cancelled.
On a clear day you can see for miles, with a great view of the Seattle skyline and a beautiful outlook across Puget Sound. You’ll see Mount Rainier in one direction and the Olympic Mountains in another. Even if the clouds obscure the horizon, you’ll still enjoy the gentle rotation out above the water. Officially, you experience three revolutions but there may be more, especially at quiet periods.
At night the Ferris Wheel Seattle is lit up with thousands of LEDs, which are often used to create lighting extravaganzas, especially if one of the local basketball or baseball teams are playing.
Located at the waterfront near other key Seattle attractions, the Ferris Wheel Seattle is an experience not to be missed and an ideal place to start your tour of this area. You might include the Seattle Aquarium, Pike Place Market and downtown Seattle, all found within reasonable walking distance.