“These wheels have almost replaced the skyscraper as icons,” says Dennis Speigel, president of the consulting firm International Theme Park Services. You’d expect him to say that, since his company is busy building tall, very tall Ferris wheels.
Here is a list and photos of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world. The original Ferris wheel was designed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., as a landmark for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The term Ferris wheel later came to be used generically for all such rides.
This is the current list. Two bigger Ferris wheels are planned for Dubai and for Shanghai, however both construction projects are on hold during the economic downturn.
The Las Vegas High Roller rising 550 feet in Las Vegas (above), is the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. The wheel’s 28 pod-like cabins, moving along at a steady 1 mph provides a 30-minute ride with sweeping 360-degree vistas over the Vegas skyline and beyond. A couple of blocks east of the Strip, the massive wheel is the centerpiece of Caesars Entertainment Corp’s new $550 million “The LINQ” entertainment complex of newly opened and upcoming shops, bars and restaurants.
Singapore Flyer (above and left) with a height of 165 meters (541 feet) is the second-tallest wheel in the world. It was built in 2008.
The Star of Nanchang, , in China, standing at 160 meters (525 feet) and consturcted in 2006, was the tallest in the world only for about two years.
London Eye is built in the middle of London, constructed in 1999, was the tallest until it was surpassed by the Star of Nanchang. It is 135 meters high (443 feet) and is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel.
Suzhou Ferris Wheel, was built in 2009 in China and measures 120 meters high (394 feet).
The Southern Star, towering above Melbourne in southern Australia stands the same 120 meters (394 feet) high. It was constructed in 2008 and is currently out of action for repairs.
The next tallest Ferris Wheels are:
7. Tianjin Eye is another 120-meter-high (394-foot) Ferris wheel built in 2008 in China. It is built over a bridge.
8. Changsha Ferris Wheel in China is 120 meters high (394-foot).
9. Zhengzhou Ferris Wheel in China is also 120 meters high (394-foot).
10. Sky Dream Fukuoka, the tallest in Japan, is also 120 meters high (394-foot).