Newest Review: ... a 20% discount but also means you don't have to queue to buy tickets. A family of four ticket costs just over £50. There is still a queue... more
Roll up, roll up, ride the Big Wheel
Member Name: devongirlie
Advantages: Fabulous views of London
Disadvantages: Over too quick, long queues
The London Eye was formly owned/run by British Airways and therefore riding around this giant wheel in the sky is known as a 'flight'. Now however, it is owned by Merlin Entertainment and has thier silly purple logo stuck on both sides of each pod. I have been on the London Eye five times now and I can tell you, it never gets boring.
Before you go on your flight you have to obtain a ticket. This can be a frustrating process as queues are generally large, even when you have purchased your ticket online prior to turning up. During the summer months especially it can take well over 30 mins to queue. Once you have queued for your tickets you then have to queue for your flight. Again this can be a very long wait during the summer. You have to balance out the worth of going on a nice day and risking big queues or going on a cloudy day when queues are likely to be shorter but the view will not be so good.
Well if you managed to get through all that waiting around your next task is getting through security and then entering a pod. The Eye does not stop unless there are wheelchair users or people with similar needs taking a flight. So you have to jump on while it is moving and Merlin, unlike British Airways, seem to want to cram as many people as possible onto one pod so this can sometimes be a challenge, getting on before the pod moves so far round the doors close.
The London Eye was orginally supposed to take 30 minutes to rotate once but each time I go on it it seems to take less and less time. This week I was on it for only 25 mins. If they keep cutting the time down soon you'll go round so fast you'll blink and miss all the sights.
When purchasing tickets you can also purchase a booklet that gives you a map of the skyline so you know what you are looking at, but this is expensive so I never bother. Plus, most things are easily recognisable anyway. There are compass headings inside each pod so you can orientate yourself. There is also a bench in the centre for those, like me, who get wobbly legs when on high buildings. I can tell you now though that this is not at all scary for people who are afraid of heights. The only thing that makes me nervous is when people go near the doors!
Now for some useful and not so useful facts:
*The London Eye is open daily from 10.00am
*It is 135m high and is suspended over the River Thames
*The nearest tube station is Waterloo, but getting off at Westminster is just as easy and you get to walk past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
*There are 32 pods.
These pods are slowly being replaced as the Eye is now ten years old. They hope to have each one replaced in time for the 2012 Olympics. So if you go for a flight and you happen to see one in the river like we did, don't worry, it hasn't fallen off!
A new event this year, which is included in the price of your ticket, is the 4D Experience. This is a 10 minute 3D film with in-theatre effects. They blow wind, bubbles, snow etc at you. This is really quite a clever little film that lets you follow the path of a bird across London, and gives you a taste of the cosmopolitan multi-cultural nature of our capital city. I saw it with a bunch of school children who screamed when things jumped out of the screen and reach out thier hands trying to catch the flying bird. It was cool!
Adults:£17.88 Children: £9.50
BUT... If you go between 10th and 31st March this year you can fly for only £10 adult and £5 children. Hurry hurry!!
Summary: Book in advance, pick a nice day!
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