Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ten largest observation wheels (Ferris Wheels)

Here is a list of Top 10 largest Ferris and observation wheels in the world. Ferris construction seems to be a good business lately, all of the wheels in this list were or will be constructed in the '99-'08 decade, and there are no signs they will stop anytime soon.
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10. Palette Town Ferris Wheel

height: 115

rotation speed:
16 minutes/revolution
location: Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan
opening: 1999

photo from
google earth

The Giant Sky Wheel is Palette Town's most conspicuous attraction. With a diameter of 100 meters, this is one of the largest Ferris wheels in the world. The wheel is painted in bright red and white stripes and its cars cycle through the colors of the rainbow -- appropriate since this is part of the larger Palette Town complex. Just as impressive as the size is the wheel's beautiful night-time light performance, when it presents 120 kaleidoscopic variations on sixteen basic patterns. The Giant Sky Wheel is Tokyo's most colorful landmark.

9. Diamond and Flower Ferris Wheel (Daiya to Hana)

height: 117
diameter: 111
capsules: 68 carrying 6 passengers each
rotation speed: 17 minutes/revolution
maximum capacity: 1440 passengers/hour
location: Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan
opening: 2001

photo from
google maps

Rising to 117 meters, the "Diamond and Flowers" Ferris wheel offers spectacular views to Tokyo Disney Resort and Odaiba, beyond to the high rises of Shinjuku and Yokohama, and on a clear day you can even see Mt. Fuji. At night the wheel lights up in the brilliant patterns that give it its nickname.

8. Sky Dream Fukuoka

height: 120
diameter: 112
location: Fukuoka, Japan
opening: 2002

photo from
google maps

Sky Dream Fukuoka is a Ferris wheel of 112 meters diameter and 120 meters height. This giant wheel is located near to a comparatively large Japanese mall named Evergreen Marinoa. The giant wheel of Sky Dream rules the Fukuoka harbor and also Japan’s skyline to the west. The decoration of Sky Dream at night makes it look all the more gorgeous.

7. Zhengzhou Ferris Wheel

height: 120m
location: Zhengzhou, China
opening: 2003

photo from

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6. Southern Star Observation Wheel

height: 120m
capsules: 21 carrying 20 passengers each
rotation speed: 30 minutes/revolution
maximum capacity: 840 passengers/hour
location: Melbourne, Australia
opening: 2008

photo from
google maps

Southern Star Observation Wheel is a new tourist attraction under construction for the Waterfront City precinct at Docklands in Melbourne, Australia.
The 120 metre (394 feet) high observation wheel is similar in concept to, but will not be as high as, the London Eye which is 135 metres (443 feet) high. Its proposed height is perhaps best gauged in relation to the nearby Bolte Bridge which has two 140 metre (459 feet) high towers. When completed, the structure will have 1250 tonnes of steel and 3.7 Kilometers of LED lighting
The observation wheel will have 21 air-conditioned glass enclosed capsules from which passengers will have extensive views of the city and Port Phillip Bay. The developer forecasts that the observation wheel will attract 1.5 million visitors each year.
The project, being undertaken by ING Real Estate, is expected to cost $100 million. Work has commenced and the project is expected to be complete in 2008.

5. Changsha Ferris Wheel

height: 120m
diameter: 99m
location: Changsha, China
opening: 2004

photo from
google maps

4. London Eye

height: 135m
capsules: 32 carrying 25 passengers each
rotation speed: about 30 minutes/revolution
maximum capacity: 1600 passengers/hour
location: London, Great Britain
opening: December 31, 1999

photo from
google maps

The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel. At the time of building, it was the biggest in the world. The London Eye has become the most popular paid visitor attraction in the UK, visited by over 3.5 million people a year.
It was opened by British Prime Minister Tony Blair at 20:00 GMT on December 31, 1999, although it was not opened to the public until March 2000 because of technical problems. Since its opening, the Eye, operated by Merlin Entertainments but sponsored by British Airways, has become a major landmark and tourist attraction.
By July 2002, roughly 8.5 million people had ridden the Eye. It had planning permission only for five years, but at that time Lambeth Council agreed to plans to make the attraction permanent.

3. The Star of Nanchang

height: 160m
capsules: 60 carrying 8 passengers each
rotation speed: about 30 minutes/revolution
maximum capacity: 960 passengers/hour
location: Nanchang, China
opening: May, 2006

photo from

The wheel is a full 82 feet taller than the London Eye. The ride is lit up with fluorescent red and blue lights. A full rotation of the wheel takes about 30 minutes.

The Singapore Flyer

height: 165m
diameter: 150m
capsules: 28 carrying 30 passengers each
rotation speed: 37 minutes/revolution
maximum capacity: 1362 passengers/hour
location: Singapore
opening: March 1, 2008

photo from
google earth

The Singapore Flyer is a giant observation wheel under construction in Singapore and slated for an opening on March 1, 2008 or earlier. Reaching 42 stories high, it consists of a 150 metre high wheel built over a three-story terminal building, giving it a total height of 165 metres. This will exceed The Star of Nanchang (currently the tallest) by 5 metres and the London Eye (currently the largest) by 15 metres. It will feature 28 air-conditioned capsules capable of holding 30 passengers each. A complete rotation of the wheel will take an estimated 37 minutes.
Located on the southeast tip of the Marina Centre reclaimed land, it is expected to offer excellent views of the city centre and beyond to about 45 kilometres, including the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, as well as Johor, Malaysia.

1. The Great Beijing Wheel

height: 208m
diameter: 198m
capsules: 48 carrying 40 passengers each
rotation speed: 20 minutes/revolution
maximum capacity: 5760 passengers/hour
location: Beijing, China
opening: August 1, 2008

photo from

China is building a 208m-high Ferris wheel — more than 50% taller than the 135m-high London Eye. The Great Beijing Wheel, which due to start spinning in time for next year's Olympic Games, is being designed by the same multinational team which developed the London wheel.
The 198m-diameter Beijing wheel will rotate three times an hour, with each of its 48 capsules carrying 40 passengers. Like the London attraction, the 2,800-tonne wheel will be turned by 32 tyres running along its rim, powered by an almost maintenance-free hydraulic power system.
Unlike the London wheel, passengers will be able to board from both sides of the Beijing attraction. They will climb aboard from platforms moving at the same speed as the turning wheel.
The company building the Beijing Wheel, the Great Wheel Corporation, is looking at around 20 similar projects around the world.
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