The Navy Pier Ferris Wheel is a staple in Chicago, and this week in honor of the holiday season they are offering free rides.
The people in charge of the event claim the Centennial Wheel is fully equipped with 42 temperature-controlled gondolas with interactive video screens and cushioned seats. So you won’t be cold or bored!
In case you didn’t know the 196-foot-tall year-round attraction was named the Centennial Wheel in honor of Navy Pier’s 100th anniversary, it opened on May 27 2016. It replaced the Ferris wheel that had been previously installed in 1995. The Navy Pier also announced earlier this year that the 1 millionth rider would receive a lifetime pass for free rides, a gift package and free tickets for the local charity of his or her choice.
The old Ferris wheel hit 1 million riders in a year only once in its 20-year history, back in 1998, Navy Pier spokeswoman Payal Patel said.
Usually the attraction costs $15 for adults to ride, $12 for children 3 to 11, and kids under 3 ride free. For the new wheel, Navy Pier implemented free days, fast passes for riders to get on more quickly, all-day passes for unlimited rides and seasonal discounted rates for Illinois residents. But this Wednesday, anyone who signs up gets to do it for free. All part of the Thanksgiving holiday!
Here’s a look at some other significant facts and figures for the Centennial Wheel, according to Navy Pier:
•More than 16,400 free rides since it opened last Memorial Day weekend.
•Nearly 60 percent overall ridership increase compared with the average of the last two years the old Ferris wheel was fully operational, in 2014 and 2015.
•100 free rides for 100 charities will be offered again for Navy Pier’s 101st birthday this year, as they were last year for the 100th birthday celebration.
•More than 50 marriage proposals on the Centennial Wheel.