Author of OUTBACK LOVE a contemporary romance novel set in Australia, JETTING AWAY a short story prequel to OUTBACK LOVE, MOON OVER MADNESS a paranormal romantic comedy and BAYOU BLUES AND OTHER SORROWS a collection of short stories and poems about life and love. All are available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony, Diesel and Kobo. On Twitter @TeriHeyer

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Ferris Wheel on Pensacola Beach?

New ferris wheel, Pensacola Beach, July 2nd
A lot of controversy has surrounded the latest addition to Pensacola Beach. An 18 story (200 ft.) tall "360 Pensacola Beach" ferris wheel pretty much sprang up over night.

We started hearing about this monstrosity a few months back, after all the proper authorities had already approved it being built on our beach. That's when the drawings appeared in our local newspapers and on our local news.

A week ago, when Tropical Storm Debby was bearing down on the Gulf Coast, I went to Pensacola Beach to take some pictures.  I didn't see any sign of the ferris wheel at that time. Apparently, after the storm left the area, the assembly began.

It's been said that "It looks like something built out of a giant Erector Set." It's already drawing a great deal of attention. I'm sure the lines will be long. Tourists, and most likely some locals too, are already clamoring to be the first to ride.

Personally, I think beaches should be left in their natural state, but that's just me. However, no one asked me. U.S. beaches, as are probably most of the beautiful beaches world wide, are primarily for tourists. Apparantly tourists want a Coney Island feel? So that's the new goal for Pensacola Beach. In the works, are plans for a water park, which will probably come on line by next year's tourist season.

Don't get me wrong about Coney Island. I've been there and it has a fun, carnival air. It's a cool place to visit, but I don't want that on our beach. For me, Pensacola Beach is all about the sugar-white sand and turquoise waters of the Gulf. I don't think of it as a place to ride a giant ferris wheel.
View of the new ferris wheel from the Sound.

I have to confess I wanted to see this thing up close and personal. So I went to the beach this morning with the sole purpose of snapping some pictures of our new tourist attraction. The kid in me thinks it's really cool. The adult in me looks at it with a sense of impending doom. "Oh, no, not on my beach."

It was a hazy summer morning, so the photos show skies more gray than blue. By the time I was ready to leave the beach the sun was starting to burn through the haze.

It was one of those hot, hot, HOT beach days. So hot the sand burns the feet. Even the water felt warm. I didn't go swimming, just walked along the edge of the surf.

View from the beach.
This was a family day at the beach, so no "hunks" on the beach as far as I could see. Well, I'll photograph more hunks another day.

A few tidbits of information about ferris wheels. The first ferris wheel, built for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, was 264 ft. tall. The "London Eye" in London is 443 ft. (135 meters) tall. The "Singapore Flyer" in Singapore, built in 2008, is currently the tallest ferris wheel in the world at 541 ft. (165 meters).  In the U.S., the ferris wheel at the Texas State Fair in Dallas is 212 ft. tall. In Myrtle Beach, S.C., the "Sky Wheel" is 200 ft. tall, the same as ours on Pensacola Beach.

If you're a ferris wheel afficianado, then I guess you'd better hurry on down to Pensacola Beach to ride on our new ferris wheel. If I was still a kid, I know I'd be excited too.


  1. Makes me sad to think that's the was Pensacola Beach is headed. We go there every year and we do that because of the beautiful beaches and the lack of lots of people. If we wanted crazy we'd go to Destin. Guess i'll see for myself in a couple weeks as we're headed that way soon.

    1. Debi, I agree. I don't want it to have a carnival atmosphere. At least for now it's just the Ferris Wheel. If I were still a kid I'd think it was awesome. Well, Pensacola Beach is still beautiful and not too crowded yet. I hope you have a wonderful time while you're here.

      Do you ever go to Navarre Beach? That's a beautiful beach with very few people. One of my favorites.


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