History and museums
The Orlando Eye is a 400 ft (122 m) tall giant Ferris wheel in Orlando, Florida, US. It carried its first passenger on April 29, 2015.
The Orlando Eye is described by its operator Merlin Entertainments as an observation wheel, because "this is a stabilized-driven (capsule) that gives you a really smooth experience on the way around, so it doesn't feel like when you're at 400-feet, that you're swinging around in mid-air." According to its official website, the Orlando Eye is the first wheel ever to use such a system in combination with a suspended 'ski lift capsule design'.
The wheel was reported to be in the early stages of planning in March 2011, with completion due in the summer of 2014 and was approved by county commissioners in September 2012.
In January 2013, it was reported that the expected opening date had been pushed back to "by Thanksgiving November 2014". Erection of the main support structure began in December 2013. In April 2014 it was reported that completion had been further delayed until Spring 2015.
Installation of the 30 air-conditioned passenger capsules, each of which can carry up to 15 persons, began in mid-January 2015, and the last capsule was installed on February 5, 2015.
In mid-February, it was announced that the soft opening was scheduled for May 1, followed by a grand opening ceremony on May 4.
On July 3, 2015, at around 4:00pm, a few months after operations began, the Eye experienced a technical fault with the system that monitors the wheel position, causing the system to automatically shut down, stranding about 66 riders for approximately three hours.