North America’s largest, portable observation wheel — promoted as the “ride of a lifetime” — will make its way to the South Florida Fair for the first time. Co-owned by Frank Zaitshik of Wade Shows, the fair’s midway operator, and Michael Wood of Wood Entertainment, the Midway Sky Eye will arrive at the fairgrounds on Sat., Jan. 6, and set up will begin on Sun., Jan. 7. It’s expected to take three days to complete it.
The Midway Sky Eye, which was manufactured by the Lamberink company in the Netherlands, made its North American debut at the 2017 Florida State Fair. The giant wheel requires a 160,000 pound crane to erect the towers. The heaviest part is the center axle, which weighs 6,600 pounds. In all, the ride weighs more than 400,000 pounds — about 20 times as heavy as an elephant!
The massive wheel reaches a peak height of 155 feet and is comprised of more than 500 pieces. It reaches so high that it requires FAA clearance, which has already been obtained. The wheel is equipped with more than 524,000 individual LED red, green, blue, yellow, orange and purple lights, making it the brightest spectacle at the fair, and requires more than six miles of electrical wiring. The 36 gondolas hold six riders each, who can see for miles from the top.
The ride will cost $7 and is excluded from wristbands. Riders must be 42 inches tall without a supervising companion or 36 inches with a supervising companion. Other restrictions may apply.