It's A Big Deal Wheel

Wonder Wheel at night.
2 second exposure       dwm photo
It's the biggest new thing at the Wisconsin State Fair in decades.

15 stories tall.

36 fully enclosed gondolas with room for six. Fully-loaded, that is 216 people.

The ten minute ride, with some stops and starts to load other gondolas is a smooth and comfortable lift up and over State Fair Park.

The first thing I noticed about the Wonder Wheel is its large capacity reduces time waiting on-line.

The view from 2nd Street.
(dwm)
When my sister, her family, and I bought our tickets for a morning lift, there were 100 people in front of us.  Less than 20 minutes later, we walked into our gondola.

Morning at the fair the day of our visit included light sprinkles from time to time and cloud cover, so from the apex of our circuit we could barely see the Milwaukee skyline to the east.

My sister & kids. (dwm)
Just the same, it was an interesting ride.  The view into the center of the wheel where all the supports came together were intriguing (below right) and depending on the angle of our gondola, it seemed like a beam was floating by our window.

"Inside" the Wheel. (dwm)
I'm not much of a ride person.  I like the Sky Glider and Giant Slide because they are permanently at State Fair Park and it seems unlikely to have any major problems.

Looking up at the Wheel from ground level, it is huge.  Its size creates a feel of permanence, like it is locked in place.  It's simple, get in - go up and around in a slow circle a bunch of times - get out.  I've been on roller-coasters and don't think it would be so good for me now - the Wheel is my speed.

Yet the most appealing feature of this ride was the ability to take photos of it and the area from various angles as it moved around the dial.

State Fair midway in the distance. (dwm photo)
The morning ride wasn't enough; I decided if the line wasn't insanely long I wanted to check out the view after dark.

After watching the Clydesdale 6 and 4 horse hitch competition (coming Wednesday); we headed out and I ventured to the wheel.

The line was slightly longer than in the morning, I paid my $5 (worth it!), and joined the queue.

It was a fun trip with some good looks.  Next time, I hope to get in the air before sunset.

Notice the heart in the center!
1.5 second exposure.  dwm photo