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New York Plans World's Largest Ferris Wheel 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-you-build-it-they-will-ride dept.
justelite writes "It is an old trend to build "The World's largest..." something. One of the latest somethings is a 630-foot tall Ferris wheel planned for Staten Island. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 'The New York Wheel will be an attraction unlike any other in New York City even unlike any other on the planet.' Designed to carry 1,440 passengers at a time, it's expected to draw 4.5 million people a year to a setting that also would include a 100-shop outlet mall and a 200-room hotel."
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New York Plans World's Largest Ferris Wheel

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  • My biggest fear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday October 01, 2012 @02:16PM (#41516015) Journal

    This would scare the crap out of me. I can do any ride in an amusement park. Tallest, fastest, upside down... doesn't matter. Put me on a Ferris wheet and I'm grabbing the bar with white knuckles. I think it is the fact that I just have time to look out at the world and wonder about the minimum wage carnie who maintains the machine. That and the person sitting next to me can decide to start rocking the damn thing...

    No, it doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'd rather be on the 70mph dragster than on a small Ferris wheel.

    • by tgd (2822)

      This would scare the crap out of me. I can do any ride in an amusement park. Tallest, fastest, upside down... doesn't matter. Put me on a Ferris wheet and I'm grabbing the bar with white knuckles. I think it is the fact that I just have time to look out at the world and wonder about the minimum wage carnie who maintains the machine. That and the person sitting next to me can decide to start rocking the damn thing...

      No, it doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'd rather be on the 70mph dragster than on a small Ferris wheel.

      I'm like that, but its very different (in my experience) when its fully enclosed and not spinning willy-nilly. The London Eye was something I really enjoyed, as an example. But the kind they've got at amusement parts makes me want to hurl. (And, for the benefit of those on it with me, hopefully not while I'm on it.)

      • by kraut (2788)

        The ones with you will be fine, it's the passengers underneath you that you should worry about ;)

        So this is going to be like the London Eye, but 1/3 bigger? Neat, but hardly "unlike anything else" then.

    • Re:My biggest fear (Score:5, Informative)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday October 01, 2012 @02:50PM (#41516475) Journal

      I think it is the fact that I just have time to look out at the world and wonder about the minimum wage carnie who maintains the machine.

      The manufacture of amusement and carnival rides is regulated at the Federal level.
      The set up, maintanence, and operation of traveling carnival rides is regulated at the Federal level.

      The set up, maintanence, and operation of permanent amusement and carnival rides is regulated at the State level.
      Your safety may vary.

      Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming have no regulation at all.
      New York has a strong regulatory environment.
      Would you like to know more? [saferparks.org]

    • I just hope it doesn't end up looking like a huge bulls-eye.
    • Re:My biggest fear (Score:4, Informative)

      by RicktheBrick (588466) on Monday October 01, 2012 @03:21PM (#41516885)
      Maybe the Ferris wheel will somehow get loose and start rolling and run over the prettiest female and you will safe her by grabbing her. Than she will sit on your lap and hug you until the wheel stops. By the time you are safely removed from the wheel, she will be madly in love with you. I mean if you are going to imagine something at least make it interesting. The odds of that happening are about the same as you being injured.
      • by RajivSLK (398494)

        I mean if you are going to imagine something at least make it interesting.

        Perhaps his imaginations refuses to wildly defy the laws of physics?

    • Same here. I've always been able to ride anything with no fear. I actually find serious g-forces relaxing. Ferris wheels, though, are a completely different matter. The ONLY ride that has ever made me throw up was a ferris wheel.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I'm very much the same way. For those who are familiar with Canada's Wonderland, I really feel uneasy on the viking boat [wikipedia.org], but had no problems on the jet scream [themeparkreview.com]. I really don't like not being secured in. I have no problem rock climbing or bungee jumping, but really don't like standing near the edge of a cliff if I'm not strapped in. Similarly carnival rides kind of freak me out. They often look really badly maintained and like they could break at any moment.
      • by baegucb (18706)

        If I owned an amusement park, I'd design a ride for you. Completely safe, but rusty looking, broken down looking, and staffed by people acting clueless ;)
        And delays before boarding due to "technical reasons". Maybe a few press releases about past accidents being settled out of court. Sort of like some software projects.

      • by flyneye (84093)

        That feeling keeps people standing in line to do it all over again. Especially the wooden coasters.Crrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak!
        Even the lore, like our wooden coaster in a park now being restored, a while back a mentally "special" park maintenance man stuck his head up between the rails and ... yup, that was that. Now the ghost of the retarded janitor will haunt Joyland forever, Scoob!

        It pains me to hear this wheel isn't going up on Coney Island, where there is a righteous m

    • by Nyder (754090)

      This would scare the crap out of me. I can do any ride in an amusement park. Tallest, fastest, upside down... doesn't matter. Put me on a Ferris wheet and I'm grabbing the bar with white knuckles. I think it is the fact that I just have time to look out at the world and wonder about the minimum wage carnie who maintains the machine. That and the person sitting next to me can decide to start rocking the damn thing...

      No, it doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'd rather be on the 70mph dragster than on a small Ferris wheel.

      word, you and me both.

      Can not stand Ferris wheels. I think the problem is, they go way too slow and you can't smoke weed usually when you are the top, because of the damn wind!!!!

    • Put me on a Ferris wheet and I'm grabbing the bar with white knuckles

      Thank you! I'm in exactly the same boat. Could never figure out why I love Big Thunder Mountain Railroad but ferris wheels make me crap my pants in terror. Plus, it always feels like they're turning in the wrong direction.

    • by gmhowell (26755)

      70mph dragster? Will that even open the chute?

  • Doesn't New York have enough there to already draw millions of tourists there each year?

    It seems to be a bit over the top to me with everything else New York already has to offer.

    I'd almost rather see something like that in another state here in America.

    • by longacre (1090157) *
      The wheel is to be built in a wasteland section of NYC which currently attracts zero tourists.
      • by realsilly (186931)

        This still makes no sense to me. Why must every part of New York become a tourist / terrorist trap? New Yorkers are glutton's for punishment it would seem.

        I realize that tourist dollars help a state's coffers, but there are negative downfalls to that much attention to one city as well. Most of Florida and California are the same way, and as soon as something drastic happens there, then all those shops and the entertainment in that area suffer.

        Besides during this horrible economy, is it really sensible to

        • by longacre (1090157) *
          Nope, you're right. In addition to the construction costs, the security cost will be massive and ongoing forever, and I don't buy the idea that tourists want to take a 30 minute ferry ride to ride a ferris wheel with okay views of the harbor and skyline.
          • by kraut (2788)

            well, it worked for the London Eye. IIRC that was supposed to be a one year thing at the millennium, and, last I checked, people are still queuing up for it now.

            As long as the views are good, I can see this being a success.

        • by guises (2423402)

          Why must every part of New York become a tourist / terrorist trap?

          It doesn't have to be a tourist trap, but it needs to be something. Staten Island is a virtual wasteland compared to the rest of the city, it's the perfect place for something large and mostly useless. The view should be nice from there as well.

        • Besides during this horrible economy, is it really sensible to spend so much money on such a project?

          Maybe building this monstrosity is a good idea, maybe it isn't. But if you do decide to build it, then now is the perfect time. Real estate prices are low (compared to NYC 12 years ago, at least). Interest rates are low. And there's thousands of construction workers looking for jobs.

        • It's not that every part of New York has to become a tourist/terrorist trap: it just has to become a way to part people from their money.

    • I wasn't aware that there was a Presidential review and only one location made the cut. Any location can do this, but ultimately I think it works better in a more populated area that already has a draw. I can't see flying to Idaho just to ride this (even if I weren't deathly afraid of Ferris wheels) and to get some potatos.

      • > I can't see flying to Idaho just to ride this

        Seriously dude, every word in that sentence after Idaho is 100% redundant.

        (I jest. I jest. It's a lovely state with some very nice $69 a night hotels.)

    • by alen (225700)

      this for staten island

      its a useless piece of land that most people never go to. driving through it on my way to New Jersey is the only time i go there

      • Hey! I stop in Staten Island whenever I go through. Great bagels!

        Also, George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. was a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, for the record. As am I, and I can still recommend it.

  • by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Monday October 01, 2012 @02:18PM (#41516037)
    My first thought on reading that it would hold 1,440 people at once... in New York City... What a tempting target for a terrorist... Yea, I've been brainwashed, I know it...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you ever went to such a wheel (I'm thinking London Eye now) , you'd know that they never really stop rotating so that they can _constantly_ load and unload passengers, one car at a time, each time one of the cars passes near the floor.

      Are we really on Slashdot as you seem to have never heard of "pipelining" ????? ^_^

    • by eth1 (94901)

      My first thought on reading that it would hold 1,440 people at once... in New York City... What a tempting target for a terrorist... Yea, I've been brainwashed, I know it...

      That was the first thing that jumped out at me, also, but not in the context of terrorism. As a resident of Dallas, home of one of the previous "tallest ferris wheels" (480 seating capacity), I can say the damn thing spends the majority of it's time loading/unloading instead of moving already. Guess it gives you time to look at stuff from up there, but if something happens, you'll be stuck for a LONG time.

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      What a tempting target for a terrorist...

      Or a false-flag operation. I know, I haven't been brainwashed enough, I know it... :p

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will it be painted to look like a target?

    • Wishing I had mod points I had last week and didn't know what to do with. I would mod this up as insightful....
  • by Relayman (1068986) on Monday October 01, 2012 @02:21PM (#41516085)
    It still won't be as big as the original Ferris Wheel [wikipedia.org] which could hold 2,160 people at a time. Also, will a 9-minute ride still be 50 cents?
    • I think most people would measure how "big" it is by height, and yes, the new one will be about 3 times taller.

      You're correct that the old one had greater capacity.

    • by 54mc (897170)

      Also, will a 9-minute ride still be 50 cents?

      Inflation adjusted, that's just under $12.00 ... so yea, probably.

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Admission to the London Eye is about 20 GBP, which is around $32 US. That's for a 30 minute ride, or just over $1 per minute. If the one in New York is any more expensive (which it might well be, at least at first) it could well be over $12 per nine minutes, and will definitely be more than $12 per ride.

        • by RajivSLK (398494)

          Very interestingly according to the inflation calculator:

          What cost $0.50 in 1895 would cost $12.93 in 2010.

          So really the same price per minute real terms.

  • Who is paying for this?

    Who profits?

    How many 16 ounce soft drinks will I need to take with me to stay hydrated during the 38 minute ride?

    • by Artifakt (700173)

      1. They won't sell 16 oz. drinks - Either they will gouge for tiny 8 oz. drinks or they will go standard American and sell small 24 oz. - medium 36 oz. - large 55 gallon drum (and they will be named Medium-Large-Supersized - you won't see the word 'small' on the menu).
      2. However many you were going to get, get one less. Your bladder will thank you, or perhaps the people in the cars below will. (Yeah, I went there - Eeewwwww!).

      • by Malenx (1453851)

        Your not American or you don't follow the news I assume.

      • tiny 8 oz. drinks

        I am honestly appalled that anyone could call 237ml a "tiny" drink. 16 oz is 473ml - more than I would usually consider purchasing to drink in one go unless ridiculously thirsty or planning to drink it over the course of quite some time (e.g. a sipper bottle; or a beer with friends (I buy beer at pubs by the half-litre, but it usually takes me a good 30 minutes to drink one)).

        In fact, I was thinking about that I generally treat recipes that say "1 cup" to be "just a bit under 250ml" and so looked it up on

        • If you define "a good 30 minutes" as "quite some time" I shudder for the future of your attention span.

          • If you define "a good 30 minutes" as "quite some time" I shudder for the future of your attention span.

            Put your hand on a hot stove for two seconds and it seems like two hours. Sit with a beautiful girl for two hours and it seems like two minutes. That's relativity.

            But seriously, when talking about drinking something; yes 30 minutes is "quite some time". I generally knock back a cold drink in a matter of a minute or two and a hot drink like coffee in about 10.

            And I'll guarantee my attention span is better than the average - I'm a software developer.

  • by Cito (1725214) on Monday October 01, 2012 @02:30PM (#41516197) Homepage

    Come on New York be original build another tower, or build world's largest roller coaster...

    No sense copycatting London

  • The Ferris Wheel would only be second in popularity to the Line Ride at any of the borough's fine bridges!

  • How are those 4.5 million people supposed to get to Staten Island? I realize there are three bridges and a ferry, but from what I saw this summer they seem barely adequate for current needs.

    • by jackbird (721605)

      You're supposed to just leave your car running in the middle of I-287, saunter over to the Ferris wheel and take a ride, and traffic may have moved 5 feet by the time you get back.

  • "Bread and circuses will also be provided to further help destract from the decline and fall."
    • by Jeng (926980)

      The problem with bread and circuses is that it gets all the malcontents in one spot and they start talking to each other and they start looking at how to bring the whole thing down because the bread and circuses are keeping them down.

      Welfare and basic cable, now there is a distraction!

  • unlike anything (Score:5, Insightful)

    by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Monday October 01, 2012 @03:07PM (#41516703)
    The New York Wheel will be an attraction unlike any other in New York City even unlike any other on the planet

    I guess that's true if you don't count London or Shanghai as being on this planet...
    • by Bigby (659157)

      It is so stupid we waste money on crap like this. If they are going to do something "cool", at least make it useful too.

      Build a "sky ride" that transports people from Battery Park to Staten Island. And have it go right in front of the Statue of Liberty's face at 250 ft high. This could be used as a tourist attraction and serve a function for commuters between the Financial District and Staten Island.

    • The New York Wheel will be an attraction unlike any other in New York City even unlike any other on the planet I guess that's true if you don't count London or Shanghai as being on this planet...

      They meant Planet America. You know, the same one they hold the "World Series" on.

  • The can have a circus around it and serve bread.

  • I counted what, 38 cabins on that rendering... that means that each one will have nearly 40 people in it? That's a freaking subway car!

  • I'd like to see a Viking ship ride of this size. :)
  • The problem with making the biggest is that someone just has to make something bigger then your tourist attraction loses its all-important title
    • by bws111 (1216812)

      Only a problem if the only thing your attraction has going for it is the title. If the worlds biggest ferris wheel was in the middle of Kansas, that would be a concern. If someone builds a bigger wheel than this one, this one will still be in NYC, and will still offer the same views, etc.

  • Interesting to note. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daryen (1138567) on Monday October 01, 2012 @03:41PM (#41517163)

    I used to run a much smaller ferris wheel. We only had 40 cars, 8 people per car. Even so, we had to very carefully balance the weight of people to opposing cars. The entire thing had very limited torque, it only took about 1,000 lbs without an equal weight on the opposite side for us to lose control of the wheel. It would spin on it's own, eventually reaching equilibrium.

    To load the whole thing, you had to load 1 set of cars "light" with just a few people, then the opposite side, then one set ahead of that, then one set behind the other set. It actually took a fair amount of training to transition from "20 cars light" to "40 cars heavy." Most of the operators were not skilled enough, and we even lost control of the wheel once when I took a day off. The entire park staff had to turn out and turn the wheel by hand (yes, I'm almost sorry I missed it).

    I'm sure such a large wheel will have much more torque, but it will be interesting to see how they load it.

  • Can you spell "malinvestment" kids? Yeah. I knew you could....

  • Given all the issues with the American economy, this is bread and circuses if there was ever one.
  • I grew up on Staten Island and still visit there quite frequently. They have enough traffic already.

    4.5 million new visitors to a tourist spot on the island would need some significant infrastructure improvements. They have three bridges to NJ and one to Brooklyn, causing bottleneck problems even on the best of days. I can't imagine adding a few million visitors a year expressly for an amusement park.

    Though having a second mall on the island may be worth while. Just make it right off one of the highways

    • by Anubis350 (772791)
      I think they're expecting most people to go via the ferry. The mayor's speech on the wheel mentioned that he was trying to capitalize on the tourists who take the ferry across.... then turn around and go back to battry park without ever doing anything on Staten Island
  • NO ONE is going to willingly go to Staten Island unless you're giving away free money. This has epic fail written all over it. I can only imagine the reason Der Fuhrerberg is for this is because either he or a crony will make bank when it fails.

  • by tsa (15680)

    The wheel will be built by Starneth [starneth.com]: a Dutch company from a small village near the German border.

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