Mickey's Fun Wheel at Disney California Adventure is a 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel that's a ride within a ride. That's the fun part. It looks deceptively like any similar carnival ride, but it has a twist.
As the wheel raises the gondolas, some of them slide along the interior curves of that loop as the wheel turns. To get an idea of what's going to happen when you ride, stand and watch for a couple of minutes.
One of the Fun Wheel's best features is its height and the panoramic views you get from the top. That is if you aren't too busy hanging on for dear life in a swinging gondola.
What You Need to Know
- Location: Pixar Pier
- Rating: ★★★★
- Restrictions: No height restrictions
- Ride time: 10 minutes
- Recommended for: Anyone who likes Ferris wheels. This ride is suitable for small children, as long as they aren't afraid of heights. You know your kids: Choose a swinging car only if you think they can handle it.
- Fun factor: Varies. It ranges from terror to delight.
- Wait factor: Low to Medium. Lines are always shorter for the fixed cars.
- Fear factor: Medium but it varies with your tolerance for heights, Ferris wheels in general and how you feel about swinging around in the air.
- Herky-jerky factor: The sliding cars move, but are not jerky. They may still be unsuitable for people with back or neck problems.
- Nausea factor: It depends on if you have problems with motion sickness. Some riders say those barf bags are in the cars for a reason.
- Seating: This Ferris wheel's cars are open to the air but have metal mesh sides. You walk straight in and sit in two rows facing the center.
- Accessibility: You'll have to transfer from your wheelchair or ECV to the ride vehicle by yourself or with help from your traveling companions. Enter with everyone else if you want to go in the swinging gondolas, then go left at the split. If you want to go on the stationary gondolas, enter through the exit.
How to Have More Fun
- The sliding cars are not for anyone with a fear of heights or falling.
- Like all Ferris wheels, this ride loads one car at a time and keeps stopping to load the next one. After all of the cars are loaded, it makes one complete revolution, then starts and stops to let people off. It all takes a while, and you might get bored while waiting.
- It might make you cry - or worse. Some riders don't like the feel of the sliding cars, but most of them can't say exactly why. Some say it's that there's nothing to grab onto when they start swinging, but unfortunately, there's no way to know what you will experience. Watching for a minute or two before getting on might help.
- There are no restraints inside the cars. You can't fall out, but you could slide off the seat if you aren't firmly planted.
- The red cars don't slide, and they go higher. Ride twice to experience it both ways.
- Mickey's Fun Wheel may close during inclement weather. If rain is predicted, try to ride before it starts.
- Mickey's Fun Wheel is fun to ride at night.
- Like most rides at Pixar Pier, this one closes early on days when there's a World of Color show. Check the daily schedule to be sure you don't wait too long and miss out.
Mickey Mouse's image started out on the California Screamin' roller coaster (which is now called the Incredicoaster). It moved to the Ferris Wheel in 2009, when the ride got a new color scheme.
The wheel is 160 feet tall, which is higher than the peak of the Matterhorn at Disneyland. It is lit by more than 1,400 computer-controlled LED lights.
The wheel was inspired by the 1920s Wonder Wheel at Coney Island.