FREE Rides on Navy Pier Ferris Wheel This Week

Make your way to Navy Pier this week in Chicago as Navy Pier is offering free rides this week on a 200-foot Chicago Ferris wheel.  Riders have to sign up ahead of time for rides on the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. They’ll be offered on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


free ferris wheel rides chicago


For tickets to the 11/22 #WheelWednesday, please visit:


Organizers say the wheel has enclosed and temperature-controlled gondolas with entertainment systems.   The Centennial Wheel opened last year. It’s 50 feet taller than a previous Ferris wheel at the same location.   Navy Pier also offers discounted rates to Illinois residents on Monday from November to March.


  • Wed, November 22, 2017
  • 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM CST

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  • Navy Pier
  • 600 East Grand Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60611
  • View Map




1. The new GIGANTIC Ferris wheel diameter is more than 196 feet, which is up 47 feet from the old version of the wheel. This height makes it the current #5 tallest wheel in the U.S.


2. The new gondolas will be enclosed, air-conditioned, and climate-controlled for optimum comfort. This new addition will allow the Ferris wheel to be open year round and the gondolas have Low-E high-tech safety glass.


3. There will be 42 gondolas, which adds two more than the previous wheel. The capacity for each car will hold up to ten people (8 adults, 2 children), allowing four more individuals per car than before.

4.  You’ll get to circle THREE times around, instead of just once, and it will happen on a start/stop rotation. This system will stop the wheel to load six cars at a time, allowing for more time at the heightened points to take in the breathtaking views.


5. The new wheel will be equipped with individual seats, which is a bit different than the bench seats that are seen on most wheels.


6. The Ferris wheels design is able to combat 115 MPH winds, and will help the new Ferris wheel prevail in the most severe Chicago weather.   This is the same model as the Hong Kong Observation Wheel, which was built to withstand the destructive typhoons that terrify that area.



7.  The weight of the new wheel is approximately 992, 080 lbs., which is almost 50% heavier than the old wheel.


8. You’ll get a longer ride than in the past, too! New times are set to last 12 minutes instead of seven minutes.


9. The gondolas will be “Navy Pier blue” in color. Previously, these were red, but this change will keep the signature Navy Pier blue color a consistent theme throughout the area.


10. Video screens in each car will present interesting facts on an interactive screen for more entertainment on the ride.

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