The Ferris wheel has come a long way since it’s lowly beginnings as the pleasure wheel from Bulgaria in the 17th century. The earlier structures were composed of large wooden rings that needed several strong men to turn. Now, the wheels have been replaced by giant steel structures that not only work on their own but in many cases also offer so much more features like air conditioned compartments and even restaurant services. The first giant wheel constructed using steel was created in 1893 by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., the name behind the contemporary big observation wheel that we are all familiar with.
People’s fascination with these giant wheels has not faded in time. In fact, the race to making the tallest Ferris wheel in the world is still going on. The New York Wheel at Staten Island, which is slated for construction in 2017, is expected to be 630 feet high. Soon to be the highest observation wheel in the world is the Dubai Eye, which is expected to be 688 feet tall upon its completion in 2016. For now, here’s the countdown list of the five tallest Ferris wheels in the world.
Top 5. The Orlando Eye
The Orlando Eye in Florida is the biggest observation wheel in the East Coast. This giant wheel opened its doors to customers in May 2015. According to Merlin Entertainments, the operator of the Orlando Eye, the attraction offers a very smooth ride with the help of its ski-lift-capsule design and state of the art system.
The wheel stands at 400 feet and boasts of 30 air-conditioned capsules that can accommodate as many as 15 passengers. Since the wheel turns very slowly, the entire ride will take around 20 minutes.
Top 4. The London Eye
The most popular of all observation wheels in the world is the London Eye, which currently holds the title as
the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. It is 443 feet tall and has a circumference of about 1,392 feet. Since its inauguration in May 2000, the London Eye has been featured in numerous international films and television series. This structure lying on the edge of the Thames River gives spectacular view of London and can accommodate as many as 800 passengers for each ride.
Top 3. The Star of Nanchang
The Star of Nanchang in China ousted the London Eye as the world’s highest Ferris wheel in 2006. The structure stands at 525 feet in Ganjiang People’s Park and it has 60 air-conditioned capsules that offer passengers an unobstructed view of Nanchang City. The duration of one ride usually takes 30 minutes.
Top 2. The Singapore Flyer
Apart from being the second among the world’s tallest observation wheels, the Singapore Flyer is well known for the themed rides it offers. Standing at 541 feet, the tall structure has air conditioned pods where guests can enjoy a meal and have a cup of tea or a glass of Singapore Sling. The best time to enjoy this enormous wheel is at night so you can enjoy the brightly-lit landmarks like the Esplanade, Marina Bay, and Merlion Park that are all located around the Singapore Flyer.
Top 1. The High Roller
The Fligh Roller has won the title of being the world’s highest Ferris wheel since its opening in May 2014. The giant wheel is located in Las Vegas strip and has a height of 550 feet and a diameter of 520 feet. The 28 passenger cabins of this enormous attraction can each fit 40 people at any one time.