In honor of Golden Gate Park’s 150th anniversary in 2020, a large (but not that large) observation wheel will go up in the Music Concourse section of the park, the outdoor plaza near the de Young Museum and Rideout Memorial Fountain.
This will be the first time a ferris wheel of this size has operated in the city since Golden Gate Park hosted the Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, where a ferris wheel, rising at 120 feet tall and carrying ten people per carriage, wowed park goers.
The upcoming wheel will be about as tall as the de Young Museum’s observation deck. Each ride will last for 12 minutes and cost a whopping $18 or $12 for seniors and children under 13. However, rides will be free during the April 4 anniversary celebration.
The observation wheel will be just part of the planned yearlong events and attractions happening in Golden Gate Park. The park officially opened on April 4, 1870 shortly after the California Legislature created the city’s second-most preferred park. (The arguable honor of the city’s favorite goes to Dolores Park.)
While impressive in its own right and very much welcome to the city’s most noteworthy green space—Golden Gate Park could certainly benefit from a few more bombastic attractions—the observation wheel’s 150 feet pales in comparison to the 700-foot whopper proposed last year for the city. At 700 feet in diameter and 728 feet in total height, the Golden Gate Flyer would have been taller than the 550-foot High Roller (currently the world’s tallest Ferris wheel).
That proposal, like these unfortunate Disneyland riders, remains stuck in limbo.