Book your rides on the 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park while the weather's still nice and clear! The new attraction celebrating the park's 150th birthday opened to the public on Wednesday.
As noted earlier, this "observation wheel" is from a company that has been installing the ride in other American cities before here, including its last lengthy residency in Cincinnati. The wheel is the tallest ride ever to spin in California, and it took 14 trucks to transport its pieces to SF for the installation on the Music Concourse in March, ahead of what was supposed to be an April opening. (Back when the park was just 24 years old in 1894, it had a 120-foot Ferris wheel as part of the California Midwinter Fair.)
At 150 feet, the views from the top of the ride are similar in elevation to the next-door deYoung observation tower, but a touch higher (the roof of the tower is at 150 feet). And you can take in sweeping vistas including the ocean, Golden Gate, Alcatraz, downtown San Francisco, and the Bay.
The socially distanced line for the first rides on Wednesday afternoon snaked all around the concourse past the deYoung Museum, as SFGate reports.
ABC7 has some raw video of the ride and the views from various points.
The wheel, from a company called SkyStar, has 36 individual, six-seat, temperature-controlled gondolas which also have manual air-vents for circulation.
The wheel is spinning!🎡We are happy to announce the opening of @SkystarWheel in celebration of Golden Gate Park’s 150th anniversary! Thank you to @SFParksAlliance @SF_DPH @LondonBreed for your support in making this happen. You can purchase tickets here: https://t.co/zZZHjPy0nN pic.twitter.com/E8mS7W0O1N— SF Rec and Park (@RecParkSF) October 21, 2020
As Todd Schneider, managing partner of SkyStar, tells SFGate, there's a whole lot of sanitation going on as well.
"We have all kinds of protocols, from the social distancing to the hand-washing stations to the taking peoples’ temperature when they come on," he says. "We’re wiping down the gondolas in between every ride, and we’re wiping down the high-traffic areas, the rails and stuff, every hour."
The Ferris wheel operates from noon to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. Tickets are $10 until October 26, and may be mostly sold out. Starting after that, tickets will be $18 for adults, $12 for seniors and kids under 13. Reserve your tickets here.
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