Giant Sky Wheel

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This site is a tribute to the Krantz-family era of Adventureland (1973-2021).

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Information on this site is unofficial. It is compiled by fans of Adventureland amusement park in Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines). There may be inaccuracies and omissions. For official Adventureland information, visit the official website.

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This page was last updated on 05/17/2017. Total Pages: 317. Total Files: 327.

Home / Rides - Giant Sky Wheel

Giant Sky Wheel

Name Giant Sky Wheel
Category Family Ride
Type Ferris Wheel
Park Area Boulevard
First Year 1991
Replaced Der Flitzer
Riders 6
Dispatch Rate INFO NEEDED
Ride Duration 6:00
About the Ride Info Box

Giant Sky Wheel is a large Ferris wheel at the start of Boulevard. It opened in 1991. According to the website, it is nearly 100 feet tall and contains over 6000 lights. At the time of its construction, it was the largest open gondola wheel manufactured in America since G.W. Ferris built his first wheel for the Chicago Exposition in 1893.

The sign in front reads Sky Wheel, but it is called Giant Sky Wheel on park maps and the website.

Until 2008, the center of the wheel had the Fuji logo on it. In 2008, it changed to the Adventureland logo.

Sometime during the week of 9/13/2016, the park began installing new LED lighting on the wheel, replacing the original lights. On 9/17, one side seemed to have these new lights, with the parking lot side still mostly the old lights. A large shipping container next to the exit walkway read "Eworks Pro 2.0", which matches a business that does LED lighting for these types of rides. KCL Engineering was behind this project, as well as lights for the Monster and Space Shot.

The lights were in use for Oktoberfest, and also used in off-season for various promotions. The wheel was blue in honor of the police, and also displayed the Cubs "C" logo during the playoffs. It was also on during the Jolly Holiday Lights.


Go big or go home

The very first Ferris Wheel (built in 1893) was 264 feet tall. While Adventureland's may seem small by comparision, at under 100 feet, it was the largest one built in America since the very first Ferris Wheel almost 100 years earlier. (Did the park consider this, having it built in time for the 100th anniversary of the Ferris Wheel?)



  • Sign: Sky Wheel (but all early press always called it the "Giant" Sky Wheel)
  • Guide Map: Giant Skywheel
  • In-Park Map Signs: GIANT SKY WHEEL
  • Website: Giant Skywheel

Skywheel as one word is not in my spell checker.

External Links