The Ferris wheel at Navy Pier, an iconic part of Chicago’s skyline, received a makeover for the start of the pier’s 100th anniversary year last summer. Soaring nearly 200-feet high, the Ferris wheel offers 360-degree views of the Windy City and is now taller and faster than ever.

The upgrades to the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, AKA the Centennial Wheel, are part of a larger project to revitalize the pier, giving it a more modern, sophisticated feel.  

Check out the video above to see the spectacular views from the Centennial Wheel's VIP gondola. Navy Pier Spokesperson, Payal Patel, gave me the scoop on this popular attraction while we enjoyed the premium Ferris wheel experience. 

New Ferris Wheel Fast Facts

  1. A standard ride costs $15; premium ride costs $50
  2. The premium gondola has a glass bottom
  3. Each ride is about 12-15 minutes
  4. You can ride day or night
  5. New climate-controlled gondolas let you ride anytime of year
  6. You’ll see epic views of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s skyline
  7. Fun Fact: Adele took her son on the new wheel twice, according to a Navy Pier Spokesperson

VIP Treatment

The new wheel has a premium gondola complete with a glass floor to soak in unique views looking down at the city. The swanky, VIP gondolas offer luxurious seats for four people – so each person gets a window seat.  You can also rent the entire gondola for $200, making it a popular choice for marriage proposals.

Cost to Ride

A ticket for one adult in the standard gondola, which seats eight people, is $15. You can shortened the wait with a fast pass for $25. A seat in the premium gondola is $50. Kids and members of the military can save a few bucks on a standard ride.

Longer Ride; Taller Wheel

The new wheel is 50 feet taller than its predecessor. Each ride lasts about 13 minutes and rotates three times, giving you a great opportunity to observe the city from an incredible vantage point. 

Day & Night, Summer or Winter

All the gondolas have air conditioning and heating systems. This improvement allows you to comfortably ride the Centennial Wheel in Chicago’s cold winters and hot summers. The wheel operates during the day and after dark, offering two distinct experiences.

To buy tickets for the Centennial Wheel, visit:


Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
1-800 595-PIER (7437)


101 never looked so good! Navy Pier is celebrating its 101st Birthday this Saturday, July 15 with a star-studded bash and full day of FREE fun at the new Polk Bros Park Performance Lawns. This week marks the completion of Polk Brothers Park, a 13-acre green space that serves as the Pier’s gateway and the city’s front yard. See its debut and come for the marquee event — part of the ongoing Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration — to kick off the summer of outdoor movie series, live music, theater, public art and festivals.