Giant Wheel for Brisbane

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Hurricane
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Giant Wheel for Brisbane

Post by Hurricane » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:25 pm

THE revolution is complete. Premier Anna Bligh has taken over from her predecessor as the king of spin.

And her crowning glory is a 60m-high monument she has planned for the South Bank Parklands. Our own eye in the sky.

"Roll up! Roll up! Come and see the amazing Brisbane city skyline from a big cage thingy on a giant ferris wheel – just like the London Eye only sort of smaller and tackier."

"See the amazing brown waters of the Brisbane River . . . marvel at the gridlock on the South East Freeway . . . watch in awe as the steam billows from the smokestacks of the Milton brewery . . . and gasp in wonder at the architecture of the Parliamentary Annexe."

They'll be flocking from Amsterdam, Tokyo and New York to see this latest spectacle – queuing hundreds deep to spend $20 a head to rise high above the parklands to look at a mass of steel, concrete and glass set against a foreground of muddy tidal water and a background of Brisbane smog.

Pure genius.

I still vividly remember as a young child being taken up to the observation area of the clock tower of Brisbane City Hall when the then SGIO building was nearing completion in the early '70s.

At that time the City Hall clock tower was, at some 92m, just about the tallest building in town. You truly felt as if you were on top of the world.

And if Bligh wanted to sell $20 tickets for a view of Brisbane, perhaps someone should remind her that City Hall (built in the 1920s) still literally towers over her planned ferris wheel.

But let's be fair for a minute here. The London Eye has been a huge success, and apparently attracts squillions of tourists.

The Eye stands at 130m, and it looks over a city which is not dominated by high-rise buildings.

So rather than getting a side-on view of Brisbane Square (that monolithic art deco monstrosity posing as architecture), the poor saps who pay perfectly good money to ride the London Eye have to endure views of boring stuff like Big Ben and the British Houses of Parliament.

They miss out on getting to the top of our 60m arc and seeing the roof of Suncorp stadium or looking up another 140m or so towards the top of the Riparian Plaza building – a lot of history in that joint, let me tell you.

Apparently the Brisbane Eye, or The Wheel or whatever it will be called, is to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Expo 88 . . . and then hang around another year or so for Queensland's 150th birthday in 2009.

Or as one eloquent blogger suggested on our website over the weekend: maybe Anna can get on for a spin and not stop until the next election.

Anyway, isn't there something of an irony here?

I'm happy to commemorate this city's coming of age with Expo. It was – for those of us who grew up in the darkness of the Joh era – the beginning of the end of the big country town syndrome – the stage when we started to grow up and develop our own identity as a modern and vibrant city.

So why celebrate the anniversary with an act of cultural cringe?

Why are we trying to replicate – on a smaller scale and with a less enticing vista – something the mother country's capital did some years ago?

At least it won't cost us a cent, Anna says.

The wheel – with 42 airconditioned gondolas accommodating 336 people – is being brought over from Britain (obviously we couldn't engineer something so complex ourselves given the skills shortage and our need for fiscal restraint) and will be operated by its Pommy owners on land leased to them.

If a (low-flying) bird's eye view of the arse end of the CBD proves popular then it may become a permanent attraction.

Personally I think Brisbane also needs its own Eiffel Tower (built for the 1889 World Expo in Paris) or perhaps we should also replicate New York's Empire State Building. The views are good from up there.

At that sort of height you could truly look down on the city and on grandstanding politicians and their bread and circuses . . . and Anna's Wheel of Misfortune.

Source: www.news.com.au
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princess
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Post by princess » Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:22 am

Why not put it on top of Mt Cootha, then everyone could see it lol.

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Hurricane
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Post by Hurricane » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:22 pm

Hmmm I don't think that would be that good... But I'm really scared of this Ferris Wheel now! It's another 25m than the Skyview!
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benclare
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Post by benclare » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:32 pm

I like the idea but the article has convinced me not to travel to Brisbane to ride it. :lol: I've been wondering about the Expo celebrations for some time and whether they'll have a carnival there. Obviously it won't be on the site of the original Expo Park because the Convention Centre is now there but there is enough room in the parklands for a few good rides to relive Expo 88 which was a great event.

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Hurricane
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Post by Hurricane » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:43 pm

Thats just Anna Bligh though being a douche, And I expect Princess will fly all the way up here just to hear me scream like a girl on the wheel!
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Post by Zamperla » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:43 am

Princess, your idea made me think about how many wheels out there are on tops of mountains (I can't think of any) - I suppose it would be like one giant lightning conductor, and an eye-sore to the view of the mountain.

I think there is an amusement park in Rio de Genero high up on a mountain (near that famous statue)

princess
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Post by princess » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:17 am

Now whats this eyesore comment, I think it would look perfectly beautiful, with all lights flashing.

Haaa Yes Hurricane it would give me some perverse pleasure in watching you scream from a harmless Ferris Wheel, lol, just let me know when and where. :twisted: :lol:

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benclare
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Post by benclare » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:23 pm

I've heard of a park in Texas where you have to catch a chairlift to reach it as it's on a mountain but I'm not sure whether it's like the former park on the Gold Coast or whether it's a big proper mountain.

I reckon a giant wheel would go well in Katoomba or next to the Telstra Tower in Canberra; the cars would need to be fully enclosed and probably heated too in the middle of winter.

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Hurricane
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Post by Hurricane » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:18 pm

We will go for the grand opening Princess! Just make sure the door is locked FIRMLY!
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princess
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Post by princess » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:28 am

Dear oh dear Hurricane, :?

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Post by katestow77 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:03 am

om gosh i had no idea i was that out of the loop when it comes to my home town i was reading the article out loud cause i started to laugh so hard that i just had to share it.
it would be a nice idea to see a few rides come up and spend a lil bit of time up here to celebrate 20 yrs from expo 88 etc. i still remember the going on all the rides as i had a season pass and my best friends dad had an exbit there some sicence thing i think. n e ways i love the rides i wonder were they are now? does n e 1 now

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Hurricane
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Post by Hurricane » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:19 pm

Ranger and UFO Went to Wittingslow Amusements and traveled for a few years before going to Luna Park Sydney. Titan went to Wonderland Sydney as the Demon, and in 2004 went to Alabama Adventure in the USA as Zoomerang. The Vekoma suspended coaster (Centrifuge) went to Dream World in Thailand along with Supernova.

Also one of the Monorail trains from Expo 88 can also be found at Sea World on there Monorail System, as they were both Von Roll Habegger Type II Systems. As far as other rides go, I don't really know.
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