Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Wonder Wheel turns 88

Classic Coney ride stays put

The Wonder Wheel at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Coney Island, New York, will be celebrate its 88th anniversary this August. Unlike some properties at Coney Island, Wonder Wheel Park has not been sold to developers and this will not be its final season.

The park includes 22 rides, plus two arcades and two restaurants. The Wonder Wheel achieved landmark status in 1989. Built in 1920 by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company, it is located on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Each year, more than 200,000 people ride the Wonder Wheel, which stands 150ft high, has a diameter of 140ft and holds 144 rider at a time. It is unlike most Ferris Wheels, however, in that it has eight stationary cars and sixteen that roll along tracks within the wheel’s structure.

The Wonder Wheel has maintained a perfect safety record for its entire history. The only stoppage in its history was on July 13, 1977, during the Great New York City Blackout – when the entire northeastern United States lost electrical power. Riders on the Wonder Wheel were brought down safely as the owners hand cranked the wheel.
Dennis Vourderis, who with brother Steve co-owns Wonder Wheel Park, is promoting the ride’s 88th anniversary with slogan “88 on 8/8/08 it’s gr8!”

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