Chicago’s fancy new Ferris wheel is set to make its long-awaited debut today, which is being called the Centennial Wheel in recognition of Navy Pier’s 100th anniversary. So if you plan on swinging down to the Pier sometime this summer, here are a few key changes you can expect regarding this cool new attraction:
1) The Centennial Wheel is 200 feet tall, which is 50 feet taller than the older wheel. Rides are also longer, between 13 and 15 minutes. According to Navy Pier staff, a ride on the old wheel only lasted 7 minutes.
2) Yep, the new Ferris wheel at Navy Pier is more expensive than its predecessor, now costing $15 per adult. Patrons only had to pay $8 to take a ride on the old wheel. There’s also the option of purchasing a day pass, which cost $35, allowing for unlimited rides and other select Pier rides as well.
3) A cool little nugget about the Centennial Wheel is that is was actually built by the same company that built the very first wheel at Navy Pier—Netherlands-based Dutch Wheels.
4) The gondolas are very high-tech. All 42 can hold up to 10 passengers and have both air-conditioning and heat, and they're even equipped with TVs, which will only being playing Navy Pier marketing and promotional videos by the way.
Helaine Cohen on