If you’ve driven in north Jersey toward New York City, you’ve likely seen the gigantic Ferris wheel at American Dream in East Rutherford. Called Dream Wheel, the highly-anticipated giant observation wheel with views of Manhattan’s skyline is a first for the tri-state area. We had a chance to ride it at a special press preview ahead of the attraction’s official grand opening Wednesday and here’s what you should know:
It’s About the Experience
It’s an observation wheel, not a Ferris wheel that goes fast in circles. You’ll board one of 27 temperature-controlled gondolas (each fits up to 16 passengers at a time) for one 30-minute rotation. That means a lot of stopping and taking in the views of New York City, the Meadowlands and north Jersey. You’ll have plenty of time to take photos with your crew from every vantage point during your half-hour aboard the attraction.
You’ll appreciate photo ops the most when your gondola stops at the top of the 300-foot wheel. “It’s a different experience from daytime to nighttime and imagine it at sunset… especially for a date night,” Jill Renslow, EVP, American Dream marketing, said at the preview.
You Can Take Carnival-Like Food With You
Part of what makes the experience unique is being able to take food and drink with you when you board the gondola with a group of family or friends. Located right by the entrance to the wheel, Deep Fried Love is all about carnival-themed desserts. The menu includes fried Oreos (pictured above), Twinkies, Snickers, cheesecake and cookie dough. You can also try funnel cake with your topping of choice, from Oreos and Nutella to Fruity Pebbles and dulce de leche. There’s also a Dream Wheel shop that sells cotton candy, Dream Wheel swag, Squishmallows and more.
You Can Ride Like a VIP
The Dream Wheel offers a VIP experience with premium seating for 6 passengers and upscale décor for an additional fee. The VIP gondola is meant for birthdays or other special occasions. “You get a chance to have a more exclusive experience with champagne and a really comfortable experience where you’re sitting in luxurious seating,” Renslow said.
The Scoop on Admission Rates and Hours
Adults (anyone 10 years or older) are $27.20 per ticket while youth (ages 3-9) are $18.76 per rider. Kids younger than 3 ride free. Senior (65+) and military discounts are available on-site as well as special rates for Bergen and Hudson County residents. The wheel is open Monday through Friday from 11 am – 9 pm. (We recommend trying it at night to take in views of the Manhattan skyline all lit up.) Saturday and Sunday hours are 10 am – 9 pm.
To buy tickets go to the American Dream site.