- Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4.5 for the swinging cars. 2 for the stationary cars.
The swinging cars can be quite unnerving. With its soaring height, even the stationary cars can make some riders a bit queasy.
- Height: 150 feet (with a diameter of 140 feet)
- Capacity: 144 passengers
- Wonder Wheel Photo Gallery
- Coney Island Overview
Are You a Swinger?
The swinging cars, however, provide a distinctive and wild ride. They are located towards the center of the wheel and sit on curved tracks that extend out to the wheel's perimeter. The cabins remain fairly level for the first half of the ride's revolution. Just after the swinging cars pass the ride's apex, however, they drop down and soar towards the outer edge of the wheel. When they reach the end of the track, they swing upward and then rebound backwards. After a couple of to-and-fro movements, the cabins reach the bottom of the wheel and settle down for the next ascent.
Although passengers know that the cabins are on a track, the thrills are nonetheless potent as they are sent hurling down and seemingly to their doom off the edge of the wheel some 150 feet in the air. It is a giddy and odd sensation.
Other Wonders of the Wheel World
There is a replica of the Wonder Wheel in Yokahama, Japan, apparently developed with the consent of the original wheel's owners. According to Dennis Vourderis, co-owner of Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, the Disney folks wanted to create a Wonder Wheel clone at Disney's California Adventure. (The park's Paradise Pier is homage to classic seaside parks like Coney Island.) When negotiations broke down, the Mouseketeers went ahead and developed the attraction anyway. Disney doesn't call its ride the Wonder Wheel.