Ferris wheels have long been very popular amusement rides for children and adults. The Seattle Great Wheel in Washington State is among the most popular of these rides in the world. Among the reasons for the popularity is it is one of the largest Ferris wheels in existence.
The first steps taken to acquire the necessary permits to create the wheel commenced in November of 2010. It then moved into the conceptualization stage once permits were procured. The construction to build the wheel started on April 17th, 2012. The wheel is owned by the Griffin family’s Great Western Pacific Company. Hal Griffith always wanted to build such a wheel on Elliot Bay, but it took 30 full years for the project to reach fruition. The Griffith family also owns the pier on which the Great Wheel is now located.
The designer of the project was Chance Rides and Manson Constriction handled the actual building. The full budget from start to finish was $20 million. On June 29th, 2012, the finished wheel was opened to the public. At 175 feet, it is the tallest Ferris wheel on the West Coast. The wheel is one of only three wheels in North America with a similar design. The Great Wheel is the only one situated over water.
The Seattle Great Wheel is located at Pier 57 in the famous Elliot Bay of Washington city. The exact address is 1301 Alaskan Way.
At present, the tickets to ride on the wheel are $13 and discounts are available for seniors and children. A VIP seat with glass a glass floor can be accessed for a $50 ticket. Children under the age of 3 ride for free. Tickets can be bought at the booth near the wheel. Gift cards can also be purchased from the ticket booth.
The maximum capacity on the wheel is 300 persons. There are 42 climate controlled gondola units. The units can fit up to eight passengers and the VIP unit can fit four. The ride itself can last up to 12 minutes and 40 feet of the actual ride is always present over the water of Elliot Bay. The twelve minutes of the ride include three full revolutions of the wheel. The actual ride on the wheel can be quite memorable.
Hours of Operation
The hours in which visitors can take a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel vary depending upon the time of the year. The management of the wheel has posted the hours publicly.
During the summer season, the wheel opens up at 10 AM seven days a week. On Friday and Saturday, the wheel closes at 12 AM and, during the rest of the week, it closes at 11 PM. The summer season runs from July to September. In the month of October to well into June, the hours are a bit staggered. Monday through Friday, the wheel opens at 11 AM and closed at 10 PM except for Friday when it shuts down at 12 AM. Opening time on Saturday and Sunday is 10 AM with closing on Saturday being 12 PM. Sundays the wheel closes at 10 PM.