The Seattle Great Wheel is a relatively new addition to Seattle’s Waterfront neighborhood and in my opinion a welcome one! Located at Pier 57 on Elliot bay, and just a short distance from the Seattle Aquarium, the Great Wheel is also an easy walk from Downtown.
Anytime is a Good Time to visit
Because the Seattle Great Wheel’s gondolas are completely enclosed as well as heated you’ll be able to enjoy the ride rain or shine, day or night. Benches on both sides of the gondola provide picturesque views of Elliot Bay, the Space Needle, and the Seattle skyline.
I’ve had two opportunities to visit the Great Wheel our first visit, during the day, was a lot of fun, but it was our most recent visit on Valentine’s Day evening that sealed the deal for me. The Wheel’s lights are enhanced for holidays, sporting events and special occasions and Valentine’s Day is included! The effect of the lights on the water and rainy sidewalks is really beautiful and gives everything a lovely glow.
The Great Wheel is a popular destination and can be quite crowded, so you might want to consider purchasing your tickets in advance online. Because we decided to ride last minute, on a special occasion, the ticket line was quite long. Lucky for us, a few minutes later I was approached by a woman wanting to give me two VIP Valentine’s Day tickets! Whoops, she’d purchased the wrong tickets and couldn’t use them. We offered to pay her for them, but the only thing she asked was that we pay it forward. Not only had we just skipped the ticket line, but the Valentine’s tickets came with a photo and two glasses of champagne. Fun! I kept thinking of all the times I’ve given my Disneyland Fast Passes to random strangers in the line and thought that maybe this was my karma payback…
Fun Facts and Information From the Official Website:
The Seattle Great Wheel is the largest observation wheel on the west coast, standing 175 feet tall.
The wheel has 42 fully-enclosed gondolas. 41 white gondolas each seat up to eight adults. Cabin #42, the VIP cabin, has leather bucket seats, a stereo system, glass bottom floor, and can seat up to 4 adults. In total, the wheel can hold over 300 passengers at any given time.
The wheel extends nearly 40 feet beyond the end of the pier, over Elliott Bay.
The wheel weighs 280,300 pounds.
550 tons of concrete were poured to create the foundation for the wheel.