Santa Monica has delivered a bright and shiny upgrade to its Pacific Ferris Wheel, dismantling the old one to make way for a new behemoth that boasts 160,000 LED lights. The 27-metre ride, manufactured by Chance Morgan Rides, delivers visual performances every night and cost the city US$1.5 million. Thanks to solar panels that soak up energy during the day to power the wheel, those extravagant light shows have a minuscule carbon footprint.
When it was built in 1996, the Pacific Wheel was the only solar powered ferris wheel in the world. The old wheel was auctioned off on eBay for over US$130,000 to an Oklahoma City real-estate developer. Grant Humphreys, the developer, plans on incorporating the wheel into a mixed use residential community.
It has appeared in several Hollywood films, including A Night at the Roxbury and Thank You for Smoking. There’s no doubt that its younger and more attractive replacement will probably get some screen time as well. [Crunch Gear]