The Track Family Fun Parks has always been an exciting adventure for kids of all ages, but it is now about to get even better!  Offering go-karts, laser tag, miniature golf and so much more, park President Craig Wescott had felt his fun park needed just a little something extra and when he heard about the possibility of Navy Pier disposing of their Ferris wheel, he jumped at the chance, and the wheel will soon be rolling 550 miles south to its new home overlooking Branson’s dazzling strip.  Branson locals are excited about the new “family member”!


History of the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

The first Ferris wheel was designed and built for the 1893 World’s Fair held in Chicago, Illinois in direct response to the success of the Eiffel Tower’s construction at the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) held in Paris.   Wanting to prove that “anything they could do, we could do better”, George Washington Ferris designed and constructed the world’s first Ferris wheel and history was made.

The current wheel is a replica, built in 1995, designed as homage to Chicago’s first, and is well loved by visitors and residents alike.  Chicagoans will not be left without a wheel for long, though; a new 196-foot-high Ferris Wheel should be in the old one’s place by the summer of 2016.   Construction on the new wheel began in the beginning of January, so visitors to Navy Pier get to enjoy the sight of the large structure rising up into the clouds.  Navy Pier CEO Brian Murphy is happy that the former Chicago Landmark will get new life in a new home and that families will continue to have the opportunity of viewing a new town from a unique perspective – 150 feet high up in the air!


Dismantling and Transporting

Dismantling and transporting the wheel will not be an inexpensive operation, nor will it be a simple one.  Costing over 2.5 million dollars for transportation and maintenance to get it back into top operating order, it is now living in pieces in a gigantic Chicago warehouse, waiting for Mr. Wescott to determine the best method of transportation.  The 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel has 40 gondolas and can hold 240 passengers when in operation, and will take at least 2 trucks to deliver it to its new home in beautiful Branson, Missouri.  Wescott is estimating that it will be open for business by Memorial Day Weekend.