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The Difference Between a Ferris Wheel and Observation Wheel

When the Ferris wheel was created, it inspired awe and wonder. As the popularity of Ferris wheels grew, creations of taller, grander wheels became a way for people to enjoy the carnival ride on a bigger scale. Our SkyWheel is no exception! But what is the difference between a Ferris wheel and an observation wheel? 

What is an Observation Wheel?

Observation wheels are gaining popularity all around the world. From the London Eye to the High Roller in Las Vegas, these attractions offer a new experience from your average fair ride. A giant observation wheel is a type of Ferris wheel in the form of a large, enclosed observation wheel with passenger gondolas. These can include luxury seats, or a standing room. Their basic structure consists of a rotating wheel mounted to a central supported structure. The great height of these rides allow for a beautiful view of your surroundings – like the shores of Myrtle Beach! 

What is the difference between an observation wheel and a Ferris Wheel?

Modern observation wheels are typically much larger than the Ferris wheels they evolved from. Observation wheel’s capsules are usually enclosed, air conditioned, and sometimes private. This allows year-round operation unlike Ferris wheels. Ferris wheels are generally cheaper and smaller in size, making them popular for small carnivals and amusement parks. 

Think of comparing the two like comparing go-karts to nascar racing. Go-karting is a smaller, easier, and quicker way to experience racing down a track. Nascar is more classic and grand experience. While they both fall under the same definition of racing, one allows the full experience on a much more massive scale. Observation wheels are just the modernized version of the Ferris wheel.

Aspects of an Observation Wheel

Observation wheels are typically overlook scenic areas. They scale much larger than your average Ferris wheel, allowing you to view more distance from the top. Our own SkyWheel reaches nearly 200 feet tall. Thin cables to stabilize an observation wheel gives it a transparent look. Gondolas are used rather than carts, allowing a relaxing and comfortable experience on the wheel. These structures are made for viewing and experiencing the world surrounding you. They offer a more grand and memorable experience.

Aspects of a Ferris Wheel

We have all seen a basic Ferris wheel. These rides are typically found at attractions like fairs, amusement parks, and small events. While the height of a Ferris wheel can reach rather high, they are usually shorter and closer to the ground. This is because Ferris wheels typically offer open-air gondolas or carts rather than enclosed spaces. To make it easier to travel, Ferris wheels are sometimes made to be transported for other events. Observation wheels remain in one location.

Want to reserve your seat at the SkyWheel? You can purchase your tickets online for any time. You can even reserve your VIP Experience with first-class service at new heights. Come experience the height of Myrtle Beach attractions at SkyWheel. Question? Give us a call at 843.839.9200