Welcome our New Centennial Wheel
May 12, 2016
May 12, 2016 This summer, we’re turning 100! And to kick off our Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration, we’re having a grand opening of the new Centennial Wheel starting May 27 here at Navy Pier. To get you ready for your first ride, we thought you should know all of the new and exciting information on […]
May 12, 2016
This summer, we’re turning 100! And to kick off our Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration, we’re having a grand opening of the new Centennial Wheel starting May 27 here at Navy Pier. To get you ready for your first ride, we thought you should know all of the new and exciting information on our beautiful Centennial Wheel.
History that goes way back
The city’s history with the wheel runs deep. The first one was built in 1893 in Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition.
The new wheel is designed and manufactured by engineers from Thornton Tomasetti. With their guidance and expertise, a new model was selected and purchased from Dutch Wheels – the global leader in standalone giant wheels – the Netherlands-based company that also built the Pier’s original wheel.
The state-of-the-art DW60 is the first and only one of its kind in the U.S., but similar wheels are currently in operation in Hong Kong and Baku, Azerbaijan
Reaching for the Skyline
The Centennial Wheel is in the top six tallest wheels in the United States.
Weight for It…
The first wheel weighed 485,000 lbs, and the new wheel significantly surpasses this as it weighs around 992,000 lbs.
Modern Technology for the Full Experience
The new wheel operates on a start/stop system. The start/stop system is more efficient as it will stop the wheel seven times to load six gondolas instead of utilizing the continuous rotation system. By implementing this system, we aim to create a more memorable experience for riders as riders will get to stop and experience the height and spectacular view during the loading sequence.
Every gondola will be equipped with an entertainment system with interactive features while riders enjoy the breathtaking view of Chicago from the clouds. The gondolas also are temperature-controlled with padded seats, TV screens and speakers.
Look for Navy Pier Blue
The new wheel no longer sports the traditional white and red look, but instead matches Navy Pier’s signature blue color.
The Taller the Better
The original wheel stood at 147-feet high and held 40 gondolas.
Our new and improved Centennial Wheel is 196-feet high and has 42 gondolas, standing 49 feet taller than the previous one and will fit up to 180 more passengers per ride.
And don’t forget…
[Image: Al Podgorski]
Navy Pier’s Pier Park Operations Manager, Clinton Shepard, set the current Guinness World Record for the longest marathon on a fairground or theme park attraction. Shepard rode our previous wheel for 48 hours, 8 minutes, and 25 seconds.
Now, you’ll be an expert on our new Centennial Wheel and can share your knowledge with your friends while you line up to ride it for the first time during our grand opening celebration on May 27, 2016.