Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a ride cost?
Adults (12 ) $13 plus tax
Youth (4-11) $8.50 plus tax
Children (0-3)* Free (still requires a ticket, go directly to the will call window of the ticket booth)
Seniors (65 )* $11 plus tax
VIP $50 plus tax (per person)
*Available only at the ticket booth. Not available online.
What are the hours of operation?
Our hours change based on the season. The current operating hours are
Sunday-Thursday 10 AM-11 PM
Friday & Saturday 10 AM-12 AM/Midnight
Where can I buy tickets?
You can purchase them at our ticket booth on the pier or right here on our website! Just click on the Purchase Tickets tab in the upper right hand corner. If you don’t want to wait in the ticket booth line, make sure to print out your tickets at home and have them in hand when you arrive on the pier. If you only have a confirmation code, you will have to wait in the ticket booth line to have your tickets printed.
Tickets are general admission valid for any date or time that the wheel is open (excluding the by reservation only New Year's Eve Midnight Ride) and do not expire until used.
Can I buy a gift card?
We don't sell gift cards, but our tickets work very similarly. They can be used on any date or time that the wheel is open (excluding the by reservation only New Year's Eve Midnight Ride) and they do not expire, so they make the perfect gift!
We do not offer a group rate. Do you offer any military discounts, disability, AARP, AAA, Prime Card, or web promo codes?We currently do not have any discounts to offer. We simply break our ticket prices down by age to be fair to everyone.
How long is the ride?
Ride time varies based on how large the crowd is and how many gondolas we are loading for each ride. During Summer operations with larger crowds, we typically have ride times between 12-20 minutes. During Winter operations with smaller crowds, we typically have ride times between 10-15 minutes. But as always, every ride is three full revolutions of the wheel.
Can I reserve a gondola for a specific time?
We do not take reservations during normal operations. Our New Year's Eve Midnight is available for reservations, however we do not take reservations until December. Sign up for our email list to know the exact day and time they are released online.
Do you allow pets?
While we love all animals, we only allow service animals on board. Please notify the ticket booth if you have a service animal, and be prepared to answer service animal questions as allowed by Federal and State law. This helps us provide the best accommodations to those with service animals.
We do not allow food or drinks on the wheel. Drugs and alcohol are strictly prohibited. We also ask that you leave large bags, suitcases, strollers and car seats in the area near our loading dock while you are on the wheel. An attendant is always standing close by to ensure that your items are safe.
Can pregnant women ride? What about babies?
The Seattle Great Wheel offers a slow, smooth ride that is appropriate for people of all ages and conditions, including pregnant women and babies. Children age 3 and under ride for free, but they still require a ticket. This ticket can be obtained at the will call window of the ticket booth without waiting in line.
What is the VIP gondola? How do I reserve it?
The VIP gondola is our special luxury gondola with four leather bucket seats, a stereo system, and a glass floor. We do not take reservations for the VIP gondola. The VIP gondola is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket booth on the pier. Tickets are $50 per person and each ticket also includes a champagne toast at Fisherman's Restaurant, a special VIP t-shirt , photo booth photos, and you will be personally escorted to the front of the line to board the wheel ASAP! The VIP is guaranteed to be private for your personal group of up to 4 people; we cannot guarantee a private cabin in the regular cabin. If you purchase your VIP tickets online, please be sure to follow the VIP ticket holder instructions printed on your tickets and check in FIRST at the Ticket Booth Will Call window so we can provide the front of the line service that comes with your ticket.
Can I upgrade my regular ticket to the VIP ticket?
Yes! If you purchase a regular ticket online or at the pier and decide later that you want the VIP experience, you can pay the difference in price to upgrade your ticket at the ticket booth on the pier.
How many people can fit in a gondola at one time?
The 41 regular white gondolas can each hold up to eight riders. Parties of 6 or less may be grouped with others if the crowds are very large and the lines are long. We ask that you please respect the capacity policy as we have everyone's safety to consider when we are loading and balancing the Ferris Wheel.
What is the weight limit on the Seattle Great Wheel?
We do not have a per-person weight limit, but each gondola can hold up to 1300 lbs or 8 riders. We cannot put more than 8 riders per cabin even if you are under the 1300lb weight capacity. We ask that you please respect the capacity policy as we have everyone's safety to consider when we are loading and balancing the Ferris Wheel.
When are your light shows?
The wheel is lit up each night with our white gondola lights, but on special occasions we have awesome LED light shows on the wheel. In the fall, these shows will take place at dark on the evening of any University of Washington or Seattle Seahawks home football games. On other special occasions like holidays, we will also display a light show.
Where is the best place to park?
There are metered lots directly across the street from us on Alaskan Way. You can also park in paid lots along Western Avenue. A map of public parking lots is available here. Please visit www.downtownseattleparking.com for up to date information on parking.
Is the Seattle Great Wheel wheelchair accessible?
Yes! We have a lift and ramp that allow wheelchairs to roll directly into the gondolas. Please note that the door width is 30"
Does the wheel ever shut down because of weather?
The wheel is designed to operate in all weather conditions including rain, snow, hail, sun, fog and anything else Seattle has to offer. We will stop operating if winds reach sustained speeds of 55 MPH or higher, or if there are lightning strikes within 1 mile.
Fun facts about the Seattle Great Wheel
The Seattle Great Wheel was built in less than a year, but its story goes back much further than that. Seattle businessman Hal Griffith had envisioned a Ferris wheel in the city for nearly 30 years, but it wasn't until he realized he could build one on his own pier that his dream became a reality. The Seattle Great Wheel opened to the public on June 29, 2012. Since then, it has become an icon of the city and a destination for tourists and locals alike.
- The Seattle Great Wheel is the largest observation wheel on the west coast, standing 175 feet tall.
- The wheel has 42 fully-enclosed gondolas. 41 white gondolas each seat up to eight adults. Cabin #42, the VIP cabin, has leather bucket seats, a stereo system, glass bottom floor, and can seat up to 4 adults. In total, the wheel can hold over 300 passengers at any given time.
- The wheel was manufactured in various parts of Europe and the United States, and assembled right at the end of the pier.
- The wheel extends nearly 40 feet beyond the end of the pier, over Elliott Bay.
- The Seattle Great Wheel is open year round. With fully-enclosed gondolas and a covered waiting area, the rain can't stop the wheel from spinning!
- The wheel weighs 280,300 pounds.
- 550 tons of concrete were poured to create the foundation for the wheel.
Who can I ask if I have any other questions not answered here?
Send any questions you have to [email protected]