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  • Writer's pictureGrant Guy

Wonder Wheel





The vintage amusement park at Coney Island made our eyes explode with retro loving happiness. Icon after icon resides between the must-see boardwalk and the must-see train station we emerged from after a lovely long train ride from the city.


One of the jewels in the Coney Island crown is the Wonder Wheel, a landmark observation wheel that has been twirling at Coney Island since 1920.


The Wonder Wheel, originally adorably named the “dip by dip”, was built by the brilliantly named Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company.


The Wonder Wheel stands 150 feet high - as high as a 15 storey building! It has 24 cars, 8 locked, and 16 that terrifyingly slide back and forth along a track between the centre and the perimeter of the wheel, as the wheel turns. Having ridden in one these “unlocked” cars once, I cannot imagine anyone ever wanting to do it twice - t.e.r.r.i.f.y.i.n.g. (by the way, the locked and unlocked car design has been copied all over the world, most notably at Disney's California Adventure Park)


The Wonder Wheel was designated an official New York City Landmark in 1989.


Since 1920 it has given more than 35 million ten minute rides. The wheel can hold 144 passengers at a time, so if my abacus is correct, that’s 864 people every hour. I’m a regular Wonder Wheel Mathlete!


The Wonder Wheel is the oldest continuously operating ride at Coney Island. Once you get to Coney Island it's impossible to miss. It’s the Eiffel Tower of Coney Island!


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New York #3 -last visited September 2022

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