The enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas and smooth motion of the Seattle Great Wheel allows children of all ages to enjoy the wheel. There is a secure location to leave strollers while you ride, and there are several kid-friendly restaurants located nearby.
The new Seattle Ferris Wheel (just opened in July 2012) has quickly become one of the city’s top attractions with sweeping views of Puget Sound, Seattle Skyline, and the Olympics. The wheel’s 42 gondolas (each holding 6 people) are heated, air-conditioned, have comfortable seats, and some include glass floors. We sent two of our expert moms with kids in tow to test its kid friendliness a few days after opening. During two separate visits with kids age 9 and 3, our wait times varied from 20 minutes to 45 (on 4th of July), with a capacity of 252 the line does move quickly while still giving riders sufficient time (about 20 minutes) to enjoy the ride. We recommend buying tickets online through the Seattle Great Wheel Site (link above) to save time. Ticket prices are $13 for ages 12 and older, $8.50 for ages 4-11, and free for those under 4. The mom of our toddler felt the price was a bargain comparing the views and ride to the similar rides like the London Eye (at nearly $45 per adult). Our kids gave the ride high marks, most exciting part being the top and section that goes over the Puget Sound. Our 3 year old especially had a great time and didn't get bored or tired. Although the gondolas we sat in were spotless, we still recommend taking a wipe to quickly sanitize for younger children who might try touching the handles, seats, windows, etc…
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The most expensive 8 min ride
Nice to find an activity where you can also take your baby with the older children. They have a call button in case you need to get off earlier. A bit embarrassed to say but the ferris wheel is a good private option for a quick diaper change.
The help button kept getting tripped because the AC was leaking water into it. You could see the water going in and coming out, which caused the operator the keep calling us. On a plus the ride itself was spectacular, great views, and fun. Plus there won't be many Seattle months where you need AC, but was a slight safety shock concern.
The lines weren't that long and the weather was great allowing us views of the ships, Olympics, Seattle, and Bainbridge Island. What a fun ride.
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