Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Chance Giant Wheel

Around the 1980s, amusement ride manufacturer Chance, known for their carousels and train rides, put a new spin (ha) on an old amusement park classic. The Giant Wheel was instantly popular among parks, for it didn't need nearly as much meticulous care of the operator as the older Eli Bridge-made models. Although it was certainly a larger investment, the parks that installed them have mostly kept them around to the present. This is the wheel at Waldameer Park in Erie, Pennsylvania.
On the ramp leading up to the ride is this poster with some background information on Ferris Wheels and the man who invented them: George Ferris. He came from Pittsburgh, but ironically, Pittsburgh is not home to a Ferris Wheel. (There are some rather lavish drawings depicting a huge wheel in a new multi-use complex on the town's north shore, though. Who knows if that will come to fruition?)
Image result for pittsburgh esplanade
The striking (in a good or bad way?) $300 million proposed "Esplanade" development 
Sorry for that sidetrack, but here's another Chance Giant Wheel I've been on, at the I-X Indoor Amusement Park in Cleveland, Ohio. This Ferris Wheel, which provides a soaring ride through a glass skylight, is a permanent fixture at the Center, but there are also lots of other rides that are brought in temporarily for the event.


Major Pepperidge said...

As ancient as Ferris Wheels are, I still have a surprising amount of fun on them. The one at California Adventure is great, and I rode one in Seattle last year - that odd sensation of being lifted into the air never gets old.

Andrew said...

I'd love to ride either the one at DCA someday or the original it was based off of - the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island!

TokyoMagic! said...

I agree with the Major, a good old fashioned Ferris Wheel is still a lot of fun! I'd love to try out one the size of the London Eye someday. I believe Las Vegas also has one now that is on that scale.

Any idea how old that Giant Wheel in Cleveland is? I either missed it the one time that I was in Cleveland, or perhaps it wasn't built yet.

Andrew said...

You have to go to a convention a the I-X Center to ride it. It was built before 1996, from what I've gathered by looking at online videos.

Those big observation wheels do look amazing. When we were in Orlando last summer, I was interested in checking out the Orlando Eye, but we didn't have the chance.

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh, I was there in 1994. Of course I didn't see EVERYTHING in the city, so maybe I just missed it. Or maybe it was built the following year. Plus, I didn't go to the convention center!

During my visits to Tokyo, I've always wanted to ride the Diamond and Flower Ferris Wheel, which is located just one subway stop away from the Tokyo Disney Resort, but it just never happened. The wheel can even be seen from certain parts of Tokyo Disneyland (like the Swiss Family Treehouse). When it opened in 2001, it was the world's second tallest Ferris Wheel!

Andrew said...

I've never really been into Cleveland before. Might have to go sometime to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and whatnot. The only thing I've seen is the zoo on a 5th grade field trip.

From pictures I've seen online, it looks like Japan has a lot of cool Ferris Wheels. I didn't know that there was one so close to Tokyo Disneyland!

TokyoMagic! said...

When I was in Cleveland in 1994, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum was under construction, so I didn't get to see it. And unfortunately, I was two decades too late to see "Euclid Beach Park" amusement park, but I did get to see the entrance arch, which is still standing........in front of the condos that replaced the park. :-(

I did make an attempt to stop at the Diamonds and Flowers Ferris Wheel in Tokyo. I was going to stop there on my way into the city to see other tourist sites. What I didn't realize was, that I had gotten on an "express" train and it sailed right past the station for the Ferris Wheel, without stopping. Then on my way back in from the city, I was too tired to go check it out....I don't even remember if the train stopped that time. I did get to go on a "center-less" or "hub-less" Ferris Wheel at Tokyo Dome City amusement park. The park's roller coaster, goes right through the center of the Ferris Wheel!