My family loves visiting Branson, MO and we have been doing so for a little over a decade. We have seen most every show, and stayed in a handful of motels/hotels. We have been so many times, that we even had the pleasure of watching Branson’s Ferris Wheel being built. Each time we drove by it, a new sectio
n would be in place. When it was completed, we were very excited to finally ride it.
My family arrived on the Thursday of our area’s Spring Break Week. It is usually a very busy time for Branson. However, the Ferris Wheel wasn’t crowded. We walked almost immediately up to the ticket window. After a picture against a green screen, we were led to the waiting queue. The first thing I noticed is that the wheel doesn’t stop to load or unload passengers. This is a huge time saver for when the crowds get heavy.
From the ground, the Ferris Wheel, in all it’s visual wonder against Branson’s topography, doesn’t look all that tall. However, when you reach the pinnacle during the ride up, the view is amazing. The Branson strip can be nearly viewed in its entirety. The Ozarks visible in the panoramic distance show just how beautiful this part of the country truly is.
The ride took 7 to 7 1/2 minutes to complete the revolution. When we were coming down to the loading dock, remember the wheel doesn’t stop unless to accommodate a guest, a stewardess asked if we would like another trip. We happily said “yes”! We were able to experience the ride for a second time for the same price as only one trip around.
At night the wheel lights up the Branson strip with over 16,000 LED lights that spin and dance many different colored lights that entertains the masses for free. The lights of the wheel can be seen from great distances.
After our ride on the wheel, we learned from the website, linked here, that the wheel is only new to Branson, but not a brand new wheel. The Ferris wheel was originally built in 1995 as part of the renovated Navy Pier. It served as an attraction for 20 years before being sold. The Ferris wheel has 40 gondolas that can hold up to 6 people each. That brings the total number of total riders at its max capacity to 240.
Adults 12 and up pay $12.00 to ride. Children 11 and under pay 8.00 to ride. Toddlers 3 and under are free.
If you find yourself in Branson, MO and not sure what to do between shows or one more thing before retiring for the night at a local hotel or one last thing to do before driving home, my family highly recommends that you take a spin on the Branson Ferris wheel.