A few weeks ago we stayed at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, as is our tradition at this time of the year. For the first time we decided to pay a little extra for the theme park view. The cast member at check in went to great lengths to search for just the right room after we told him it was our first time getting a room with a view! (Love those Disney Cast members and their outstanding service – it’s one of the reasons we stay there even though we don’t have kids) It’s a beautiful hotel and delights you with a festive feeling even if you never set foot in the park (website).
We went directly to our balcony and flung the curtains open, and to our childlike eyes were treated with a wonderful view! It made our trip extra special and each night after the park closed we sat sipping wine on the balcony and watched Mickey’s Ferris Wheel. My observant Physicist husband remarked that the light pattern on the Wheel didn’t repeat for at least a half an hour.
It started a discussion about Ferris Wheels. We were on the 4th floor and Dr. Lewis said we were maybe halfway as high as the Ferris Wheel. It drove me to search for the world’s tallest Ferris Wheels or as some cities are billing them “Observation Wheels”. I do remember watching video of the Millennial New Years Celebration from London highlighting London’s “Eye”, but I had no idea how far this trend had gone.
Regarding the World’s tallest Wheel, according to Wikipedia ” The Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel located in Singapore, constructed in 2005–2008. Described by its operators as an observation wheel, it reaches 42 stories high, with a total height of 165 m (541 ft), making it the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, 5 m (16 ft) taller than the Star of Nanchang and 30 m (98 ft) taller than the London Eye”. It is a little more than 3 times as high as Mickey’s Wheel. For those of us who don’t particularly enjoy heights, it is a daunting thought – let alone actually boarding the wheel. It is not merely a Ferris Wheel, but air-conditioned cabins take you high into the air for a ride that can last up to 40 minuets and even afford you to dine, perhaps one of the ultimate experiences for the adventurer who is not faint of heart.
The first Ferris Wheel (though there is record of contraptions like the Ferris Wheel as early as the 16th Century) was built by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The fair officials wanted to build something as impressive as the Eiffel Tower that was built for the World’s Fair in Paris in 1889. If you would like to read a list of the Top Ten World’s Tallest Ferris Wheels, I suggest this website. Please let us know if you have ever had the chance to ride one of these Wheels and share your pictures!