The 150-foot-tall "Observation Wheel" that was erected earlier this year in celebration of the sesquicentennial of Golden Gate Park is going to begin taking passengers for 12-minute rides starting on Wednesday, October 21.
SFist alerted you last month to the launch of this large Ferris wheel, which was delayed from an original date back in April, and now we have some more photos of the contraption itself.
As KRON4 reports, via SkyStar Wheel — the company behind the ride — there are 36 fully enclosed gondolas on the wheel, each accommodating up to six passengers at a time. And the company says that the temperature-controlled gondolas have fresh-air vents, and they will be fully sanitized between rides. Also, masks will be required for riders, and there will be temperature checks with non-contact thermometers for customers and employees.
The wheel is situated on the Music Concourse between the Academy of Science and the deYoung Museum, and will provide some stunning views of the ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, and downtown once it rises up over the tree line — about six feet higher than the roof of the deYoung's tower. The structure was first erected back in April, but the gondolas were just being attached this week, as NBC Bay Area reports.
The SkyStar Wheel has made previous appearances in Louisville, Kentucky and Norfolk, Virginia in 2018, and then had a lengthy residency in Cincinnati, Ohio that ended in March 2020.
Originally, when the 150th anniversary celebrations for the park were first announced late last year, the city had promised a month of free rides on the "Observation Wheel" in April. But after the delay, it looks like the city isn't ponying up the cost of that, and rides will be $10 per person from the 21st to the 25th, and then $18 after that ($12 for seniors and kids under 13). Advance tickets with specific time slots are available for purchase now.
The wheel will be spinning from noon to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends starting next week, and it was originally scheduled to stay until May 2021 though that may get extended.