Icon of Southend seafront skyline is ready to turn again

Southend seafront ferris wheel
One of the most iconic sights on Southend seafront, Adventure Island’s ferris wheel, will turn again this weekend after a £200,000 refurbishment.

The historic ride was closed to the public in November 2013 in readiness for its refurbishment. Now, after a painstaking overhaul, the 39-year old attraction is ready to delight and thrill visitors to Adventure Island for years to come.

Pictured above, the big wheel ride looks very bare, having had all it’s carriages removed for the refurbishment.

Describing the work done to the striking white structure, Robert Roberts, General Manager at Adventure Island said: “The big wheel was carefully stripped back to bare steel and was then re-painted with a specially-devised four-layer paint system.”

Big wheel at Adventure IslandWhilst the aesthetics of the much-photographed ride were taken care of, Adventure Island’s team of in-house engineers set about replacing the ferris wheel’s bearings in its motor and renewing other components to ensure it could spin for another thirty years worth of fun.

Brand new, state-of-the-art technology was also added to create a smoother and safer operation. Robert explains: “An intelligent control system was designed and built by our own workshop team, to give our customers the best possible experience.”

Robert says the difference will be instantly noticeable: “Not only will the wheel look terrific but you’ll also feel a smoother start and stop process, with more efficient, quicker boarding and exiting of the ride. For parents with over-excited youngsters eager to cram as much into their visit as possible, that’s a big plus!”

A new braking system was also fitted, as was a new loading platform to allow an easier access to the carriages for visitors of all ages, including wheelchair users.

Adventure Island’s Managing Director, Marc Miller, said: “The refurbishment of the ferris wheel is indicative of Adventure Island’s ongoing commitment to delivering unforgettable, fun experiences for all the family in a safe environment. This work is part of our philosophy of delivering continual improvement and innovation across all our rides.”  

The big wheel is one of over sixty rides and attractions at Adventure Island on Southend seafront. Admission to the park is free and you can choose to buy ride tokens, a ride wristband or an annual pass for unlimited yearly visits.

Photo by Claire Burvill. 

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