Wonder Wheel

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Wonder Wheel in 2008
Wonder Wheel at night (2016)

Wonder Wheel is a 45.7-metre (150 ft) tall eccentric Ferris wheel located at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, US.[1] Some of the Wonder Wheel's passenger cars are not fixed directly to the rim of the wheel, but instead slide on rails between the hub and the rim as the wheel rotates.[2]

The Wonder Wheel is an official New York City designated landmark.[3]


Depiction of Wonder Wheel on the New York Aquarium's south wall

The Wonder Wheel was designed by Charles Herman as an improvement on G.W.G. Ferris' giant wheel. Built for Herman J. Garms, Sr. between 1918 and 1920 by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company,[4] it was opened on Memorial Day, 1920.[5]

Herman originally called it the "Dip-the-Dip", promising to combine in his new invention the thrill of a scenic railway, the fun of a Ferris wheel, and the excitement of the Chute-the-Chutes. An article written about the ride in Science and Invention said the Wheel was a "real thrill like you have probably never had before-at least not at this great height."[5]

On June 7, 1983, Deno D. Vourderis bought the Wonder Wheel from Fred Garms, whose father Herman had been its first owner-operator, and it became "Deno's Wonder Wheel". The Vourderis family restored the Wheel and made it the central attraction of "Deno's Wonder Wheel Park".[5] In 1989, it was made a new York City designated landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.[5][3]

Since it opened, over 35 million rides have been taken on the Wheel.[5]


The Wonder Wheel is 150 feet tall and weighs 200 tons. It has 24 fully enclosed passenger cars, each able to carry six people, giving a total capacity of 144 passengers. Sixteen of the cars slide inward on a snaking track, falling outward as the wheel rotates. The remaining eight cars are fixed to the rim, giving a traditional Ferris wheel experience to passengers.[5]


Pixar Pal-A-Round (previously Sun Wheel, Mickey’s Fun Wheel) is a 48.8-metre (160 ft) tall eccentric Ferris wheel at Disney California Adventure.[5] There was also a replica in Yokohama Dreamland, Japan,[5] but the park was permanently closed in 2002.

In popular culture[edit]

Coney Island has featured in numerous films, television shows, cartoons, and music videos, some of which show the Wonder Wheel.


  1. ^ "What Saved Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park?". NPR.org. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
  2. ^ MEDIA, Tourism Review. "Ferris Wheels: Thrill Ride on Eccentric Wheels". TOURISM REVIEW. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
  3. ^ a b "The Wonder Wheel" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. May 23, 1989. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  4. ^ "The-Wonder-Wheel" (PDF). Neighborhood Preservation Center. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Deno's Wonder Wheel: History". Deno's Wonder Wheel. Retrieved 12 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°34′26″N 73°58′44″W / 40.574°N 73.97891667°W / 40.574; -73.97891667