Some time back, the Ferris wheel was (and still is) one of the biggest attractions in amusement parks – kids and grownups are always excited to take a ride on the Ferris wheel. Today, however, it has gone beyond the boundaries of the amusement park to the cities. They are popping up in major cities around the world and causing a buzz internationally.
The excitement around Ferris wheels is amusing – it makes one wonder what it is about Ferris wheels that people love so much. Here is an insight into some facts that everyone agrees with.
They are Getting Bigger and Better.
Some of the earliest Ferris wheels rose merely 50 feet above the ground. Today, however, Ferris wheels tower several hundred feet in the air and people cannot get enough of the thrill. Some of the tallest Ferris wheels are majestic just to look at, and the ride is insatiable for many people.
Additionally, Ferris wheels started off with simple designs, thanks in part to engineering challenges and the fear they aroused when the concept was still new. Today, however, some Ferris wheels are so complex that they are engineering attractions. Designers and engineers have come up with amazing techniques that give Ferris wheels highly contrasting loops that toss you in virtually every position before the ride ends.
What’s more, you don’t have to worry about the aches from being tossed as Ferris wheels have become more comfortable over the years – some even feature air-conditioned gondolas.
And, finally, Ferris wheels have become much safer today compared to when they started out. It is true that there are still cases of accidents, but these are very rare.
The Adrenaline is Addictive.
It is only understandable why people were afraid to ride on Ferris wheels when the concept was still new. The thought of hanging upside-down from several hundred meters above the ground strapped to a seat was enough of a put-off – especially coupled with the cases of accidents back then. Ferris wheels are much safer today, and although many people are more daring today, they are still a bit scared.
The fear and thrill of riding on a Ferris wheel combine to bring out a rush of adrenaline that many people cannot get enough of. Consequently, many fans of Ferris wheels are always happy to take a ride whenever they get the chance.
Ferris Wheels are Coming to Town.
You no longer have to visit the local amusement park to enjoy a ride on a Ferris wheel – in fact, if you take a ride on one of the city-based Ferris wheels you will never settle for the conventional amusement parks’ Ferris wheels.
There has been a fast-growing trend all over the world, and it is all centered on Ferris wheels – some are even bigger than the Eye of London. The first notable town-based Ferris wheel was set up in Birmingham at the Centenary Square. The Ferris wheel immediately proved to be a big attraction to locals and tourists alike. That was back in 2003.
Today, many cities around the world are making a point of having a Ferris wheel of their own. Tourism and money is mainly the motivation here, but it is a totally different case for the fans. Here are some ways how the popularity of Ferris wheels in cities has increased our love for them.
• The Spectacular Views.
Many cities boast of magnificent architectural and natural landmarks mostly comprising of towering buildings. There are many ways to see these landmarks up-close, and the Ferris wheel is one of the latest. Come to think of it, Ferris wheels are also becoming spectacular sights as their designs become more sophisticated.
For instance, in 2007 Berlin’s wheel attracted millions of local and international tourists hell-bent on taking a ride on the Ferris wheel. The 7.6 million guests booked over 17 million overnight stays, and most of them found it to be worth it. Why? Well, besides the thrill of the ride, the towering Ferris wheel offered an ideal vantage point to take in the city’s spectacular sight.
There are many other beautiful cities that are adopting the same strategy, and tourists are getting a treat of a lifetime. For instance, taking a Ferris wheel ride in Paris is magical. And, talking of Paris, romancing on Ferris wheel rides through the city is becoming a popular trend among couples – another reason why we love Ferris wheels.
• The Hype.
The world has never been as connected as it is today. Anyone can follow any event anywhere in the world in real time, and hype trends are going viral for this.
Ferris wheels in cities have become a viral trend that many people want to get in on. That is why many people jump at the first opportunity to ride the wheel in their cities. Some people even go further to visit different cities for, among other reasons, experiencing these cities’ Ferris wheels rides. Considering that only a few cities have set up Ferris wheels, the hype is set to hold on for longer as more and more people desire the experience.
• The Competition.
If you are a Ferris wheel fan and patriotic to your city, then you will understand why the current Ferris wheel trend is cause for competition. Major cities around the world are not only seeking to cash in on the trend but also outdo each other while doing so.
For instance, since Birmingham set up its Ferris wheel in 2003, other major cities such as Berlin and London have endeavored to set up bigger and better Ferris wheels. For instance, China set up one of the tallest Ferris wheels in 2009 rising about 208 meters above the ground. The Ferris wheel was not only an engineering masterpiece, but it also offered a stunning view of the Great Wall and other of China’s stunning landmarks. Dubai, on the other hand, set up a Ferris wheel bigger than the Eye of London.
What’s more, the future holds even greater prospects as cities (and Ferris wheel fans) become bolder.
Many other cities around the world are planning to set up their own Ferris wheels, including Baghdad. This has created a competitive atmosphere which is adding more hype to Ferris wheels and making people love them even more.
It Wasn’t Always Like This.
The hype around Ferris wheels may not be quantifiable today, but these wheels’ popularity has grown from naught judging from their history. In fact, some of the earliest Ferris wheels are not documented owing to the skepticism that surrounded the concept back then.
The Ferris wheel was named after George Washington Gale Ferris, a 33-years-old engineer. His first Ferris wheel was an instant success, but the concept temporarily died with him. Other engineers who he left behind were skeptical about the idea’s success and doubtful of the people’s willingness to “risk their lives” for a ride. However, as designed improved and safety became guaranteed, more and more people took to the gondolas.
George Ferris died in poor health and indebted to suppliers of the Ferris wheel’s parts all to bring the concept to live. Today, his work is celebrated by the millions of people who cannot pass up a chance to ride on the Ferris wheel.