View of Navy Pier's Centennial Ferris Wheel

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Image Courtesy of Navy Pier

Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel

Categories: Culture, Travel,
May 25, 2016,

Out with the old and in with the new for a 100-year celebration!

Chicago’s Navy Pier is turning 100 years old and celebrating with a state-of-the-art DW60—in simpler words, a high-tech Ferris wheel, which the city has named the Centennial Wheel!

View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel

Image Courtesy of TimeOut Chicago

Reaching up to the sky with a radius of nearly 150 feet, the previous iconic red Ferris wheel was Navy Pier’s most beloved signature for 20 years. Within that time, the attraction brought in millions of visitors each year and became a vital landmark to the family-friendly destination and to Chicago’s picture-perfect skyline. Without the whimsical feel of a grandiose Ferris wheel, Navy Pier just wouldn’t be the same.

“People just seem to love them,” explains Navy Pier’s chief operating officer, Brian Murphy. “To be able to go up, especially at a point in the city out into Lake Michigan, and look back either at the city or along the water’s edge… It’s just a spectacular view.” This is why although the original Navy Pier Ferris wheel recently moved to Branson, Missouri, a newer and better one, the Centennial Wheel, has been built in its place!

Tight Shot Of Navy Pier's Cennenial Ferris Wheel's Blue Gondolas

Image Courtesy of Associated Press

Opening Memorial Day weekend, the Centennial Wheel reaches an impressive height of 196 feet and has 42 gondolas accommodating up to 10 people each. They will be climate controlled to offer passengers a comfortable ride year-round. The gondolas will be “Navy Pier blue” and will feature a multimedia entertainment system with interactive video screens that play fun facts during the ride.

Up Close Shot Of Navy Pier's Centennial Wheel's Detached Gondolas

Image Courtesy of Associated Press/NBC Chicago

According to Navy Pier officials, this new Ferris wheel model was sourced through a “six-month worldwide search for a wheel that would best meet the unique structural and operational requirements of the pier.” Impressed with the DW60’s exemplary safety record and craftsmanship, Navy Pier purchased it from the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of Ferris wheels, Dutch Wheels, a Netherlands-based company. Coincidentally, this is the same company that built the pier’s first wheel.


With the anticipation of a large crowd at the grand opening, tickets for the attraction are on sale now. Enjoy a ride (or three, as the wheel will make three rotations each ride) around the Centennial Wheel for just $15 per adult and $12 for children ages three to 11, or get the full Navy Pier experience by riding all the attractions all day for just $35!

Aerial View Of Navy Pier's Landscape Featuring The New Centennial Wheel

Image Courtesy of Smash Properties

Fear of heights? The wheel can be admired up close or from a distance with its display of ever-changing colored lights. Either way, the new Centennial Wheel will be a hit and a staple monument to visit in Chicago.

Learn more or get your tickets today at

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