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London Eye "Champagne Experience".
The full name, since January 2011, is "EDF Energy London Eye". EDF Energy is Britain’s largest producer of low carbon electricity and EDF is Électricité de France S.A. the world’s largest utility company. Headquartered in Paris!
Oh my God, the London Eye belongs now to the French! Do they know that at Buckingham?
Is this the Tour Eiffel of London? It seems indeed with nearly 4 millions visitors per year. But it is more expensive (19.95 £ - standard ticket 2014) than the Tour Eiffel (lift to top at 324 meters costs 15,00 €. - 2014).
Actually this is another Ferris wheel of which examples exist elsewhere. This one is bigger, 135m high, than the others at least in Europe. It has been surpassed by the 160 m "Star of Nanchang" in 2006, and then the 165 m "Singapore Flyer" in 2008.
When I looked at the wheel from the river Thames I was surprised it moved so slowly, a full turn in 30 minutes, and I wondered if I would like to be confined with 25 other persons in a capsule during such long period.
But fortunately I read that it is possible with the "Champagne Tasting Capsule" to enjoy five Pommery champagnes "served by your host while you take in amazing views of the capital" at a cost (2014) of 48.50 £. This during two 30-minute rotations
The price includes priority boarding.
How did I miss all that?
The London Eye
March 2014 update: checked and updated ticket prices, added new photo
For me this Millennium addition to the London skyline and to the tourist map is a great success, and a "must-see" attraction. OK it may sound a little scary to some to be 135 metres above the ground, but trust me, it's worth overcoming any fear you may feel. Our friend Dominik did just that when we visited with him a few years ago, and as soon as our 30 minute "flight" had finished he was talking about how soon we could go again!
You travel in an enclosed capsule with a small bench in the centre and 360 degree panoramic views (40km on a clear day). Unless you've booked a private flight you won't get the capsule to yourselves though, and this is perhaps the only downside as on a busy day there could be around 20 other people in there with you, all eager for the best views. But be patient and take your time - once the initial excitement has died down you'll find there's plenty of time for everyone to get the photos they want and spot all the famous landmarks below.
I have to admit though that this isn't a cheap attraction. Adults prices start at £17.96 if you book ahead online, more if you just turn up on the day. Children (4-15 years) are charged £12.60 (though under-fours go for free and there's a family ticket that saves you a bit), senior citizens (60+) £16.50. Online booking not only saves you money, but also guarantees you a place on the busiest days - but of course you'll be taking a gamble on the weather. The best thing to do is to book online on the morning of your planned visit.
There are also a variety of more expensive "added extra" tickets including fast track ones that let you bypass the queue (£26.55 for adults), flexi fast track that let you visit at any time during the day of your booking (so you could wait until a shower past or morning mist lifted perhaps - £32.05) and a flexi standard (no queue skipping but you can pick your time of day - £22.96). Personally I wouldn't pay the extra to skip the queue - it's not a major hardship to stand in line and it's a lot extra. But the flexi standard might be worth considering if you need flexibility or want to maximise your chance of decent weather conditions. However the best added extra is probably the "Night and Day Experience" which for £24.03 lets you have two rides - one in the day and one after dark.
All prices are correct as of March 2014 and relate to an adult ticket bought in advance online. You can see all the options on the relevant section of the website.
Oh and in case you're wondering, a private capsule will cost you £500 and upwards! Or if you're planning to "pop the question" (an English slang term for proposing) you could consider a so-called "Cupid's Capsule" - a private capsule for two with champagne and chocolate truffles for £350. But remember, you'll only have 30 minutes in which to do it!
If you get a crystal clear day … do it !!!!
I must say ….. if you get a rare crystal clear day, don't hesitate …. problem will be … every other tourist will do the same thing … the views are amazing and I say well worth the 20 pounds about $30 US … the prices go up with certain criteria … if you want to skip the line the price goes up, if you want a private capsule … price goes up …. So not a cheap attraction but a very cool one.
I did it one of the first times I came to London, but I had forgotten to write a tip about it.
The London Eye stops for no-one. It moves continuously around its axis at 26 centimeters per second - enough time to fill its 25 passenger capsules as it makes its way around on its 30 minute rotation. Well it does stop for the disabled and elderly, but generally you need to prepare yourself to get on and get ready. If, like a friend of mine, you make a last minute decision to freak out: DO NOT GET ON. You will be locked in and you will force your fellow passengers to endure 30 minutes of screaming. Be careful if you suffer from vertigo, the glass ovoid capsules and the fragile appearance of the wheel can trigger bad reactions in otherwise calm people.
The London Eye is functional and minimalist in its design. It creates a circumference solid enough to lift 32 ten ton capsules and all 800 passengers, the 135 meters to its apex, and yet there hardly seems any more to it than the rim of a very large bicycle wheel. Unlike most Ferris Wheels its propped up on only one side, allowing it to hang over the river Thames. And despite its lightweight appearance its designed to withstand the battering of the worst storms of the last half a century.
When it was built there was nothing like it in London. Amazingly for one of the most visited cities in the world, there was no Eiffel Tower - no vantage point of any kind to view the centre of the city. When it was built to commemorate the new century, it seemed the most obvious thing to build. It is only with the building of the Shard nearby has its height been eclipsed by another observation deck. Nothing else had previously come close.
The London Eye provides you an excelent view of London. You can take amazing pics when you are at the top. You have to buy your ticket in the building just by the entrance. It is advisable that you buy a multipass ticket, it is cheaper and you get a great deal on the tickets to other attractions. In this case we bought tickets for the Londoy Eye, the River Cruise and Madame Tussaud's Museum. We were there on July, it was a beatiful day, we stay in line for about 20 minutes so it is not much the time you spent down there. The whole trip on the Eye lasts for about half an hour. The only bad thing is the other people, each capsule carries about 20 people so you are not alone in there, and sometimes you have to get yourself up in the front so you can take some pictures. But it is a Must Do when in London.
- Family Travel
London eye I wasnt sure about doing this but Emma wanted to and if Im honest it was a fantastic experience. We went up just as the sun was setting and it was magnificent. your ticket also includes a 4d cinema experience.
If you book tickets in advance you make a saving and you can buy combi tickets with other attraction to get it even cheaper again.
- Family Travel
Pidgeons Eye View over London
Across from Big Ben and the Parliament building we opted to go on tourist mode and went for a ride on the London Eye our first evening in London. It was a weeknight in late October and there was no line to speak of. We watched the 3D movie with the corny 3D glasses, and then queued up about 10 minutes before we walked inside our pod with about 6 other people. The staff did not pack each pod probably because there were not that many people in line. The cruise around the eye is relaxing. We started our tour just after dark, which provided a great view of the city in lights, but was hard to photograph.
- Beer Tasting
- Arts and Culture
a huge Ferris-wheel
The London Eye is a Ferris-wheel of sorts with 32 high-tech, glassed-incarriages, each accommodating up to 25 passengers, rotating upward and aroundwith continuous piped-in commentary. Each air-conditioned carriage rotates on adevice designed to keep everyone upright as the wheel slowly revolves. On aclear day, the panorama can stretch as far as Heathrow Airport and WindsorCastle. By night, London's landmarks are floodlit against the darkness,showcasing the Gothic houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Tate Museum,and Tower Bridge along with stretches of the Thames.
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Best on a sunny day but still spectacular
Was on a short visit to London, and had to decide on one main tourist thing to see, preferably that I hadn't done before. The London Eye was the decision. My cousin had been on it, but felt it was worth doing again. We got there shortly after 10am when it opened, but there were some technical glitches, so rather that waiting around, we decided to go shopping and then do it at the end of the day (we had advance tickets to go to the head of the line, worth getting). It was an overcast day, but still an amazing view. Unfortunately we got into a car of students who weren't very interested in the view and were loud. However, that didn't really stop us from enjoying ourselves. Great map given to you to see what you're seeing - fascinating!
- Family Travel
I have never been on the Eye but have walked past it many times and it is certainly impressive - to give a comprehensive set of tips on these pages I include it for anyone who may be interested.
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, England. The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft).
It is the tallest big wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually. When erected in 1999 it was the tallest wheel in the world. Supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the taller Nanchang and Singapore wheels, the Eye is described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel ".
Many Londoners were none too happy when in the 135 meter high Millennium Wheel (as was first known) was erected in 1999 to commemorate the "turning of the century". Now known simply as the London Eye, locals have softened and have even taken a ride or two in one of the 32 capsules which hold up to 25 people each. Views up to 25 miles can be observed on a clear day and evening rides are available to see an illuminated London. Weddings, private events and children's birthday parties are held within the London Eye's pods. Special packages are designed for every season and holiday, the wheel glows with matching lights for the occasion. Even with pre-booked capsules expect lines; however, entertainment in the area is abundant with street performers, a playground and a carousel. Grab the camera because the best part of the London Eye is the most breath-taking view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament across the Thames at ground level. A journey lasts approximately 30 minutes.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
LIKE HUNGRY BEARS TO THE HONEY...
Yap, a multitude of avid tourists so strongly attracted by the London Eye like hungry bears attracted by a barrel of honey.
Our mistake was our arrival to London during the Easter week, so, the city was so overcrowded that was literally impossible to visit some emblematic attractions as the London Eye is.
A veeery long double line for the ticket purchasing (more than one block long), and if you are lucky enough with your ticket in your hand another triple line of one block long again just for get in, under the freezing rain and chilling wind.
Enough for us.
We admired this technological marvel from the ground, taking some photos meanwhile I was thinking: "next time not in Easter".
- Budget Travel
The EYE that sees the most
Going to London and not seeing through London eye is the biggest mistake a tourist can make. It is not only the eye but heart and soul of London. One should avoid visiting it when the weather is cloudy. Otherwise great sightseeing tool. One can recognize it from far far away. Wrestling to get onto it for a nice spin is worth the wait in the line. Tickets vary but are quite affordable. But the best part is this landmark is just HUGE. In fact one can tell easily its the busiest place in London as well. A must visit place in London. Many would say that it is expensive but I believe it is something one has to experience at least once.
Tallest no longer
The London Eye is one of the city’s more immediately recognizable landmarks, despite the fact that it is not much different from similar attractions in other cities, such as Vienna. The Eye was built in 1999 and was the tallest Ferris wheel when constructed, although it has now been bypassed by ones in Nanchang and Singapore. It is still the tallest wheel in Europe. It is now one of the most popular attractions in the entire city. Unlike smaller Ferris wheels, the pods on the London Eye allow up to 25 people to congregate at a time, making the experience slightly less personal, but also allowing (because of the size of the pod) for more movement and a greater ability to contemplate various sections of the skyline. The London Eye has a particularly important role in New Year’s celebrations.
AVOID CLOUDY DAYS
Tickets for the LONDON EYE experience range from around £17 for standard ticket to as much as £35 for a fast track ticket, so make sure that you choose a day that is not cloudy and hopefully you will have a superb panoramic view. It opens at 10 am and closes early at 3pm in the winter and can stay open much later at other times of the year. Private capsules can also be arranged--- at a price, of course!!! AND of course there are the normal gift shop and cafe. I was there in December and even then there were long queues waiting for there turn on the big wheel.
One interesting fact is that the wheel weighs 2100 tonnes, the same as over 1200 black cabs, and the structure is 135 metres high and has a diameter of 120 metres, the biggest in Europe. It also boasts being the most visited paying attractions in Britain with 3,500,000 visitors a year. There are 32 capsules, each accommodating 25 passengers and each one representing one of the London Boroughs. Each revolution takes 30 minutes and passengers walk on/off as it slowly rotates. It gives you a 360 degree view and you can see up to 40 kms away
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