Now in the Hands of Yanks
Wait. What? Isn’t it the British Airways London Eye? Once upon a time it was and has since changed hands a few times for financial reasons due to project cost and land lease. The price tag was a cool £70 million.
The two joint owners, lead architects Marks Barfield (husband and wife team) and British Airways, were bought out in 2006 by the Tussauds Group, which is now part of Merlin Entertainments. The following year it was acquired by Merlin Entertainments who, in 2009, re-branded the iconic Ferris wheel Merlin Entertainments London Eye. Finally, in September 2014, Coca-Cola of Atlanta, GA USA, agreed to sponsor the London Eye for two years, starting on January 2015. On the day of this announcement the Millennium Wheel was lit up red in honor of its new American financier.
Location and a Key Few Facts
Located on the South Bank of the River Thames in the London borough of Lambeth, the London Eye stands 135 meters (443 ft.) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 meters (394 ft.) It has 32 observation capsules and you can see up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) away in all directions. Hosting around 10,000 visitors daily, The London Eye has become the most popular paid UK tourist attraction, visited by over 3.5 million people a year.
London Eye Experiences
The Coca-Cola London Eye is not just a massive Ferris wheel, it’s an indelible and literally uplifting experience. Whether you go the standard route or empty your pockets for a custom-made, once in a lifetime event it is a ride you will not soon forget. The Millennium Wheel is your elevated stage and London is your incomparable 360 degree scenery.
Adults Tickets start from £18 and go as high as £5000, depending on the level of exclusivity you choose for your London Eye experience. Word to the wise, book your ticket online to receive the best deal.
- General Tickets – Standard, Fast Track, Flexi (various kinds), Day and Night, Groups
- River Cruises – River Cruise, Group River Cruise and London Eye + River Cruise
- Attraction Passes –London Eye + River Cruise, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, London Dungeon, Top 4 London Attractions
- Merlin Annual Passes –London Eye + 12 months entry to top UK attractions, Merlin hotel discounts, access to special contests, priority entry at all attractions (subject to availability), free parking.
- Special Tickets – Champagne Experience, Hotel Chocolat Tasting, Vinopolis Wine Tasting, Vinopolis Champagne Tasting, Vinopolis Whisky Tasting, Cocktail Hour
- Private Capsules – Cupid’s Capsule, Private Capsule, Champagne and Nibbles Capsule, Hotel Chocolat Tasting Capsule, Vinopolis Wine Tasting Capsule, Vinopolis Champagne Tasting Capsule, Create Your Own Capsule, Dining at 135
- Corporate and Special Events – Private Capsules, Tasting Capsules, Weddings, Private Boat Hire, Dining at 135
- Schools Program – Discovery Tour, River Cruise for Schools, Free teacher tickets, Free teacher planning visits (after booking), teaching resources, free entry into the 4D Cinema Experience.
What London Eye Option Would You Choose?
Whatever option you choose, simple or extravagant, this magnificent ride is one you should definitely take while visiting London. Personally, anything with chocolate involved automatically gets my stamp of approval.
If you could create your own capsule, what would be your dream London Eye experience? Log in and post your comments below.