Myrtle Beach SkyWheel – “Flying” Over the Beach

I briefly described the SkyWheel in an earlier post (Sunrise Walk). It was inevitable—I was going to ride the SkyWheel as soon as the weather would permit decent photos.

The SkyWheel; I knew when I saw it on my first walk that I would ride it soon.

The SkyWheel; I knew when I saw it on my first walk that I would ride it soon.

Tickets for the SkyWheel are $13.00, and the ticket agent said the next “flight” would be in ten minutes. I found my way to the loading platform and presented my ticket. I had a chance to observe the motions of the wheel, count the cars (42) and identify the VIP car (number 42).

According to the SkyWheel website, the VIP car “is the ULTIMATE First Class experience! Skip the line and take flight in our VIP gondola with glass floors, leather seats (with arm rests), a double flight….” The VIP “flight” costs $50 per adult.

The VIP car. Note the comfy armchairs in the car. It also has a glass floor

The VIP car. Note the comfy armchairs in the car. It also has a glass floor

I did not have long to wait. There were not many people riding this season, and it loaded quickly. I had a car to myself. I have ridden many Ferris wheels; most were rickety contraptions at local county fairs.

The cars—or seats—tend to rock back and forth, there is a constant clicking of the chain drive on some, and of course, most are open seats. Oh, I have enjoyed them all, but the SkyWheel is a whole new experience. It goes much higher that I have ridden before and in the comfort of closed car—no restraint.

The view from the top of the SkyWheel looking south down the boardwalk to the 2nd street pier.

The view from the top of the SkyWheel looking south down the boardwalk to the 2nd street pier.

Most noticeably was the lack of swinging and the quiet. A complete “flight” is four rotations of the wheel. There was no real sensation of motion—the experience was almost entirely visual, and being enclosed reduced the sensation of height. The ability to move about easily allowed me to take many photos; aerial photography without the engine noise.

$13.00 well spent.

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