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Great Wheel or Space Needle?

MASSACHUSETTS
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195 posts
10 reviews
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Great Wheel or Space Needle?

Unfortunately, we will only be able to do 1...which one would you choose?

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
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6,138 posts
18 reviews
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1. Re: Great Wheel or Space Needle?

They are both good, and different, you will enjoy the view and the ride from either one. The Space Needle is the iconic structure from the 1962 World's Fair and just celebrated it's 50th anniversary, so there is a bit of history and architecture information that is unique with the visit too. Because of that, I prefer the Space Needle.

The Great Wheel is new, just opened in 2012.

I would base your decision on which part of Seattle you are visiting, the Space Needle is at Seattle Center, the Great Wheel is on the waterfront and go with the one that is most convenient for your travels.

MASSACHUSETTS
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195 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Great Wheel or Space Needle?

Do you think one is more crowded than the other? Or is the wheel too new to judge?

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
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6,138 posts
18 reviews
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3. Re: Great Wheel or Space Needle?

It really depends on the time of the year and the time of the day. Overall, the Space Needle will be more crowded and more popular, but it is all about timing. Last summer I walked right on the Great Wheel in early August, during high tourist season. Sometimes coupons are available online or at visitors booths for a dollar or two off.

The Space Needle is $19.

The Great Wheel is $13.

Or, if you are visiting several attractions, you might want to consider the Seattle City Pass, - $74 - BUT, you have to make sure that you can visit several of the attractions to save any money.

Or, for less expensive options, consider the Smith Tower, once the tallest building on the west coast, has an observation deck on the 35th floor for just $7.50.

http://www.smithtower.com

Or the Columbia Tower, on the 73rd floor, for $9.

…intuitwebsites.com/SkyView.html

Seattle, Washington
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541 posts
371 reviews
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4. Re: Great Wheel or Space Needle?

I would say the Great Wheel is a ride with a (more limited in time and perspective) view, and the Space Needle is an historic site where you can spend as much time as you like and really look at the view in all directions, so it somewhat depends on what you're most interested in. I agree with IslandGrl, it's a bit of a tossup and if one fits more easily into your itinerary go with that.

Seattle area
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20 posts
59 reviews
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5. Re: Great Wheel or Space Needle?

My first answer is like the others, you location will influence. What they don't say is why. It's not very convenient to go between these two locations. If you are driving you'll be paying for parking twice and dealing with the hassle. Mass transit again not the most intuitive between the two.

The wheel

The line can be long (e.g. 45 mins) or short (few mins). If you are a twosome you may or may NOT get your own gondola. It all depends on the crowd and if there are any larger groups to keep the line moving. It's certainly a good experience and surprising how high it seems when at the top but doesn't look that high from the ground. The wheel is also surrounded by a lot of other fun sightseeing for all ages.

Space needle

The space needle is a little more limited in other things but has more unique attractions to Seattle and is more child oriented too. You can dictate how long you want to observe whereas the wheel, three cycles and done.

Overall, there is a nouveau appeal for the wheel. I'm glad we did it, but I would be more opportunistic in the future and ride it when convenient not as a destination activity. I think the tell all is which would I repeat more often? Space needle by far. But I think an adult would appreciate it more than young children from the observation deck itself.

You can't go wrong in the selection, hopefully this helps making the decision easier not more difficult. Doh! Seattle is a beautiful place,but bring multiple layers of clothing. You never know what weather you'll face in a single day.

Edited: 26 March 2013, 17:03
Seattle area
Level Contributor
20 posts
59 reviews
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6. Re: Great Wheel or Space Needle?

My first answer is like the others, your location will influence. What they don't say is why. It's not very convenient to go between these two locations. If you are driving you'll be paying for parking twice and dealing with the hassle. Mass transit again not the most intuitive between the two.

The wheel

The line can be long (e.g. 45 mins) or short (few mins). If you are a twosome you may or may NOT get your own gondola. It all depends on the crowd and if there are any larger groups to keep the line moving. It's certainly a good experience and surprising how high it seems when at the top but doesn't look that high from the ground. The wheel is also surrounded by a lot of other fun sightseeing for all ages.

Space needle

The space needle is a little more limited in other things but has more unique attractions to Seattle and is more child oriented too. You can dictate how long you want to observe whereas the wheel, three cycles and done.

Overall, there is a nouveau appeal for the wheel. I'm glad we did it, but I would be more opportunistic in the future and ride it when convenient not as a destination activity. I think the tell all is which would I repeat more often? Space needle by far. But I think an adult would appreciate it more than young children from the observation deck itself.

You can't go wrong in the selection, hopefully this helps making the decision easier not more difficult. Doh! Seattle is a beautiful place,but bring multiple layers of clothing. You never know what weather you'll face in a single day.

Edited: 26 March 2013, 17:03
Seattle area
Level Contributor
20 posts
59 reviews
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7. Re: Great Wheel or Space Needle?

For some reason when I made a couple of edits to my review, it posted twice. Ignore Post #5 and read #6. If tripadvisor wants to remove #5. That would be great. Thanks!

seattle
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1,182 posts
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8. Re: Great Wheel or Space Needle?

I vote for the Space Needle because it is unique to Seattle. The Wheel is in many cities across the globe.

Seattle, Washington
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945 posts
65 reviews
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9. Re: Great Wheel or Space Needle?

My vote is for the Space Needle. The "Great Wheel" is a'ight, but you can literally ride on the same thing at Niagara Falls or a bigger version at Myrtle Beach both of which I am sure offer the same experience, but without the beauty of Seattle.

The Space Needle, on the other hand, one of a kind and a Seattle icon. As much as it is an attraction, it is also part of Seattle' history from an era when we were debating building supersonic jets for reals at Boeing and where the Jetsons didn't really seem that far off. There is a lot of really interesting history. This is actually a really good book on it (You can find it in our local stores to look through, like Elliot Bay Book Company up in Capitol Hill): http://amzn.to/ZWRHo0

10. Re: Great Wheel or Space Needle?

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