When is the last time you went on a double ferris wheel?

Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:50 PM

I really think Chance should throw some X-Car like restraints on a new version of the SkyWheel, crank it to crazy air-time (maybe even a flip or two) speeds and offer it to parks as a permanent model ride.

Sunday, August 16, 2009 9:10 PM


Reithoffer's still has those pieces, as I've seen them all in Florida (except the Sea Storm, one of my favorites). I think they also brought the Galactica, but it was still on the truck near the midway. When I asked one of the carnies about it he said at least 16 seats on it were out of order, so they didn't bother. (yikes!) I loved the Tornado (Flipper) and rode it over and over.

Tango is one of the rides I can't get up the nerve to try. Amusements of America had a brand new one, and when it was to debut at the OSF only half of it arrived, the truck with the arms and the seats. The other half showed up some days later, and come to find out it had rolled over on the freeway somewhere out of state. After inspection it was determined that the main arm had cracked and it was damaged beyond repair. I was really disappointed until I saw the one in Florida operate and said "Oh hell no". It's too high, too flippy, and the seats are way too tiny for me! Reithoffer may have the only one that travels in the US, I'm not sure.

And RollrCoastrCrazy, an idea similar to yours materialized in the Mad Wheel, made by Togo. It was a counter-balanced single ferris wheel that went around like a Sky Wheel. The riders sat 8 to a car, 4 each back to back with OTSR's. As I recall, the ride was really rockin', but the seats never did actual flips. I've searched YouTube for videos but I'm coming up with nothin'.

Last edited by RCMAC, Sunday, August 16, 2009 9:21 PM
Sunday, August 16, 2009 10:11 PM

Wow, RollrCoastrCrazy! Fantastic idea!

Monday, August 17, 2009 8:34 AM

Whatever the last year CP had theirs.

Monday, August 17, 2009 8:59 AM

There are two main types of double Ferris wheels. The first type includes the Herschell/Chance Sky Wheels and has two conventional wheels connected by a beam. This type was most common in traveling carnivals but several parks including the Long Beach Pike and Cedar Point had them. The other type had gondolas and was designed so that the wheel at ground level was horizontal providing quick and easy loading. King's Island and Hersheypark were two of the parks that had this type of ride.

The main idea behind most of the double wheels was to overcome the problem of loading time inherent in Ferris wheels while allowing additional height. The big gondola wheels that load 4 to 6 cars at a time have brought an end to most of the double wheels.

As far as I know the first double Ferris wheel was the Giant Seasaw at Steeplechase Park in Coney Isand. This park also had a regular gondola wheel during that time.

Last edited by Arthur Bahl, Monday, August 17, 2009 9:05 AM
Monday, August 17, 2009 5:13 PM

I've always wanted to ride a Skywheel because I imagined going forward over the very top creates a very scary plummet feeling as you go down the front. If they were to crank the speed up enough (with correct restraints) I can see a situation where a car could "fall" a pretty good distance and possibly flip if the balance was right. Airtime would be a very scary feeling at the top of a wheel like that.

Sounds awesome, engineers get on it!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009 10:43 PM

I rode Sky Wheels at West View Park (former park near Pittsburgh) and at the Ohio State Fair. The West View wheel was brought in by a carnival company and was there during two seasons. The Ohio one was the last one that I rode.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 9:04 PM

James Whitmore and Tambo- according to the CP history page the Sky Wheel, Upsidedown Funhouse, and Shoot the Rapids went away after the 1981 season.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 11:36 PM

RollrCoastrCrazy said:

Sounds awesome, engineers get on it!!!

Believe it or not, the engineering part is not the biggest obstacle. It's convincing management ( the manufacturer) that it can be sold in quantites to warrent the the design and manufacturing process. Anymore you see a lot of CGI of rides being offered that never get built because they can't convince the bottom line people to loosen the purse strings.

Thursday, August 20, 2009 11:58 PM

I can't remember the last time I rode a double Ferris Wheel, but I remember it being a great ride. I have always thought that someone should take some of the great classic rides and ramp them up with new technology. I would love to see a quad wheel, two double ferris wheels attached to one giant arm. If you used hydraulics to raise and lower the main support, you could load all four wheels at the same time. (Hydraulics could also make the spider/octopus a much faster ride to load if all arms could be lowered at once.) I would also like to see a roundhouse on a solid base supported by two hydraulic arms so that once it was spinning and up in the air, it could be turned completely upside down.

And speaking of classic rides, I would love to see some park devote a section of the park to the classics. A section themed to look like and feel like a county fair from the '60/'70's would be great fun and might be a way to draw an older crowd that may not visit a park thinking there is nothing for them to do. (Will/Paula, a new Memorial Day/Labor Day section?)

Saturday, August 22, 2009 11:41 PM

An older example of a ride where hydraulics was used in a redesign was the Paratrooper. Older Paratroopers were upright and had to be loaded like a Ferris Wheel. Most Paratroopers around now load all of the seats at once.

Sunday, November 8, 2009 3:13 AM

The last time I went on one was at the Ionia free fair in Michigan. A friend of mine was dying to go on it, and since they would not allow single riders, I did her a favor and went on it with her. I had been on them many times, so I thought it would be no big deal. Man! did that ride ever have problems! I thought I might die right there at the fair.

The ride was obviously not level, as the wheels were turned, you could feel the entire ride lean to the left, and you would actually slide in your seat in that direction as you reached the top height. And, it was placed in between some very large trees. Nothing like being impaled on a branch when you are falling to your death.

Another thing that creeped me out, is that the arm that turns the two wheels was turning faster than the wheels themselves, causing the cars to lean forward as they went over the top, so not only are you being thrust to the side, you are also spending a lot of time facing the ground. And, the carnis were giving as a very long ride.

The first time I ever got off from a ride, and got on my knees and kissed the ground. Good ground...nice ground. It was worse than getting my colon exam. I will never go on another one as long as I live.

Sunday, November 8, 2009 3:34 AM

Just a comment for those people who think they should turn the Skywheel into a thrill ride. I think if they did, it would not be much different than the Zipper.

But, on that note, keep an eye on those new turbo-wheels. You know, the ones that carry about 8 passengers, and turn at 60 miles an hour. I would bet that they could easily build a double one of those. I doubt that it would go 60 miles an hour, but, if you wanted to build a double thrill wheel with capacity in mind. that would be the way to go.

Oh, and on a side note, I do remember a double ferris wheel at a local fair that could load two cars at the same time. They reversed the seat order, one car facing forward, the other backward, The inside of the seats had seat belts like on a car. I think I was in grade school back then. Back when they had the Sky Diver. A ride I always wanted to ride but never got the chance...that, and the Cobra.


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