Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Big wheels keep on turning

In the last few months, Great City Attractions (formerly World Tourist Attractions) has opened new giant observation wheels in London, Paris, Copenhagen, Malmö, Sweden, and the English cities of Birmingham and Middlesbrough.

The Paris installation is particularly prestigious, as the 60-metre structure sits on the Champs Elysee in line with the Arc de Triomphe. The 50-mtere Copenhagen wheel appears opposite the city’s famous Tivoli amusement park, while in nearby Malmö, the 40-metre wheel offers great views of the Öresund Bridge that separates the two cities and countries) All three rides were supplied by Dutch Wheels/Wheels of Excellence.

The Birmingham wheel sits proudly in Centenary Square, the site of World Tourist Attractions’ first ever ride in 2003. This latest construction is the same 60-metre wheel that appeared in Birmingham in 2004 and 2005. It has since been to the other side of the world, opening at Sea World in Australia, and returns to the UK after extensive refurbishment by Dutch Wheels.

The wheel in London (pictured) appeared as part of the Winter Wonderland event at Hyde Park and is the same ride that appeared there last year. It spent the summer in nearby Windsor.

According to Jaron Duivestein of Bussink Landmarks, a sales partner for Dutch Wheels, many more city centre attractions are in the pipeline for 2010, including an eagerly-awaited 80-metre version if the relevant city authorities grant approval.

“A giant wheel remains one of the most accessible forms of sightseeing, with no steps or other obstacles,” observes Duivestein. “We sell a lot of potential in Scandinavia and other European countries.”

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