A Solar powered Ferris Wheel?

After researching the history of the Santa Monica Pier, I was fascinated by its history, in particular, its Ferris Wheel.

Since my days of growing up in the shadow of Cedar Point, I have long been a fan of amusement parks, and Ferris Wheels in particular.

With the slow ride to the top, riders are afforded unique sights and scenes like no other, and the Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier is no exception.

In May of 2008, Pacific Park revitalized the Ferris Wheel at the park. They removed the old one that since 1996, had provided over 3 million rides, and was seen in hundreds of movies, TV shows, photographs, and commercials.

Santa Monica’s new Ferris Wheel, appropriately named the Pacific Wheel, is the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel.

Its 85ft high, contains over 6,000 multi-colored bulbs, and can produce 16 special effect light shows.

Interesting fact:

When Pacific Park decided to revamp the old Ferris Wheel, they didn’t just throw the old Ferris Wheel away–instead, they auctioned it off on eBay, with the bids starting at $50,000, and half of the sale proceeds given to the Special Olympics.

In its last 10 minutes of bidding, the price jumped $50,000, with a final price of $132,400.

As summer approaches, many families will be heading to their local amusement park for a day of fun, rides, food, and Travelin’ Local.

Do you like riding Ferris wheel’s? It’s a time honored American tradition. Many families have a favorite local amusement park.

Of course, when Travelin’ Local in Southern California, we have Six Flags Magic Mountain, Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farms, Legoland, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and a myriad of other places to go and things to do.

I love seeing kid’s faces as they ride a Ferris Wheel for the first time; or when older people relive memories and create new ones, doing the same.

Do you have a favorite Ferris Wheel in your area? Do you have plans this summer to visit a local amusement park?

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11 comments so far

  1. Kim

    I wonder where the ebay ferris wheel ended up? :) I have not ben on a ferris wheel in years!! Not a huge fan of them..which is weird because I am not afraid of heights?

    Kim’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday - Icy

  2. David

    How cool is that?!!!

  3. LisaNewton

    @ Kim A gentleman named Grant Humphrey from Oklahoma bought it and plans on using it as part of an upcoming project: Famed Ferris wheel set for city

    @ David Pretty cool, I think………….:)

  4. Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com

    Solar power? Yes, we can ;) !

    Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com’s last blog post..Protect Your Blog Or Get Hacked Like PracticeThis.com Was

  5. Gary Kavanagh

    If I remember correctly the old ferris wheel it replaced was solar powered as well, well ahead of it’s time. The solar panels are on the near by structures of the park, and I think they are the same ones.

    Gary Kavanagh’s last blog post..What’s Cooking In Long Beach

  6. Kevin

    Don’t do this to me! Another reason to go back to California for an extended visit. I’ve always been fascinated by ferris wheels and roller coasters and have been on many over the years. This looks like a must do, and it’s environmentally friendly!

    It’s great to see the old ferris wheel has a future.

    Kevin’s last blog post..Cemeteries, graveyards, mauseoleums, shrines, whatever you want to call them

  7. LisaNewton

    @ Alik Levin I totally agree!

    @ Gary Kavanagh I think you’re right. In fact, I didn’t know it was solar until after I had taken the pictures, so when I go back, I’ll see if I can get a couple of pictures of the panels. Thanks for the information…………….:)

    @ Kevin The next time you’re in LA, please send me an email. I’d love to get together for lunch, and then maybe shoot some photos.

  8. Diane C.

    I think it’s great that the new Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica pier is solar powered, and the old one was sold on eBay. Magic Mountain in Valencia is still our favorite amusement park. Tucson doesn’t have any amusement parks.

    Diane C.’s last blog post..Skywatch Friday - Clouds

  9. LisaNewton

    @ Diane C. I’m surprised Tucson doesn’t have any, because it’s such a warm weather climate. Do you have an annual city fair that features amusement park rides?

  10. Lisa's Chaos

    Ferris wheels terrify me (almost as much as LA) ;) but I think I could board that one. I always admire the one in Chicago, just not so sure I want to go up in it. :)
    Lisa’s Chaos’s last blog post..Backyard Birding

  11. LisaNewton

    @ Lisa’s Chaos The slow rides of Ferris Wheels make them a little more endearing then the quick action of a rollercoaster, so they are a little easier to do. I’ve been to Chicago, and I don’t remember a Ferris Wheel.

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