Discover Seattle Great Wheel wheelchair accessible attractions, things to do, tours and activities for disabled travelers. Read our informative review to learn if the Seattle Great Wheel is wheelchair accessible and wheelchair friendly or if Wheelchair Jimmy recommends this attraction be avoided by travelers in wheelchairs.
The Great Wheel is one of Seattle’s most exciting tourist attractions located at the waterfront at Pier 57, and is the largest observation wheel on the west coast, standing 175 feet tall. It is the tallest ferris wheel on the west coast and is fully accessible with elevator and ramp.
The Seattle Great Wheel was built in less than a year, but the story of the Ferris wheel goes back much further than that. Seattle businessman and restaurateur Hal Griffith has envisioned a Ferris wheel in the city for nearly 30 years. As is typical with a project of this magnitude, Griffith met various roadblocks that halted the dream for decades. Then, in a stroke of brilliance, he and his sons thought that maybe a wheel could fit on the pier they already owned. After taking some quick measurements, they realized that the idea could work, and they set about to make it a reality.
Jim’s Accessibility Comments:
Located directly on the Seattle waterfront, the Great Wheel is great fun and very wheelchair friendly. After purchasing your tickets, they will direct you to the small hydraulic lift (door about 37 inches wide) which takes you to the loading platform. The attendant simply puts down a temporary ramp and rolls the wheelchair directly into the gondola. (I believe all sized wheelchairs can fit onto the gondola). You never are required to leave your wheelchair! One of two passenger seats pulls up permitting the wheelchair to roll in. The gondolas normally can seat 6 but is reduced to 2 – 4 plus the wheelchair. After my wheelchair entered, my wife, daughter and 2 small grand kids got on. We’ve done this a couple times and it’s a blast!