In recent years, it has become common for some locals to mock Times Square for becoming "Disney-fied"—but could it really be compared to a Disney entertainment center without a freakin' ferris wheel? Even London has the Millennium Wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames for crissakes! But next week the transformation into a Disney property will be complete, when a pop-up ferris wheel is installed in the heart of Times Square.
The Times Square Wheel, which is about 110-feet high (or approximately 11 stories), will be open for 12-minute rides between noon and midnight every day between August 24th (update: opening has been delayed to the 25th) and September 12th. It'll be located west of Duffy Square on Broadway between West 47th and West 48th streets, and it comes with authentic Times Square pricing! Tickets cost $15 for kids, $20 for adults, and $35 for people who want to skip the lines, and can be purchased here.
"The Times Square Wheel is a once in a lifetime experience in the middle of Times Square NYC," organizers write. "We have erected a majestic, state-of-the-art 110-foot tall giant ferris wheel that will showcase the crossroads of the world as never seen before. Experience sensory overload by billions of pixels as you soar 110 feet thru a canyon of spectacular billboards." They also declare that the wheel is "DESTINED TO BE THE WORLD’S #1 ATTRACTION FOR SELFIES!"
Vito Bruno, whose Brooklyn company AMPM Entertainment Concepts is behind the project, told the NY Post that he approached the Times Square Alliance about the idea months ago with the hope of bringing back some joy to the neighborhood, where local businesses are struggling amidst a lack of returning office workers, during the pandemic.
“The city needs something fun, happy and nostalgic that brings you back to your childhood,” he told the Post.
As for who might get to ride the wheel first, Bruno told W42st that he expects the mayor to be on line early: “I’m curious to see who will get the first ride. I hear that the mayor’s going to be coming down. He may want the first ride. Some celebrities may want the first ride. We’ll see who gets here first.”
This technically isn't the first ferris wheel in Times Square history: one was erected there in 1946 to aid the March of Dimes, and more recently, there was a 65-foot wheel located inside the Toys R Us store, on Broadway between West 44th and West 45th Streets, which shuttered in 2015.