WOW - Worthing Observation Wheel: Frequently Asked Questions (2021)

Background information:

Worthing WOW - large


Why WOW?

WOW stands for Worthing Observation Wheel and also accurately describes the return of our seafront attraction!

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When does the build for Season 3 start?

The build will start late April 2021.

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When will it be open to the public?

We expect the WOW to be open for Season 3 shortly after Monday 3rd May 2021; once all the safety checks have been completed and certification is in place.

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How long will it take to build?

The build time for the wheel will be approximately seven days. This is much quicker than Season 1 as the foundations are still in place. They have been sitting under the shingle beach, protected over the winter period.

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Will the WOW be noisy?

No, Lamberink wheels are remarkably quiet. The wheel is powered by electricity and is no louder than that of an electric car driving along a road.

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Will the promenade be open to pedestrians and cyclists during the construction phases?

While the wheel is being constructed the promenade will be closed entirely (except the pedestrian route) for two days. This is to allow the two cranes to lift the wheel structure into place.

The pedestrian access route will be well sign-posted via an existing footpath to the north of the promenade. The footpath has ramped access at either end.

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What does the WOW look like?

The WOW is a beautiful, elegant structure. It is entirely white with open-air 'pods'. Only white lights are used on the wheel and these do not flash. During the evening, when the wheel is partially illuminated, the illuminance level either horizontally or vertically down to the promenade is fixed at less than 10 Lux. By way of example a street light used for an area populated by cyclists and/or pedestrians (such as Worthing promenade) may be anything from 12 to 7.5 Lux.

PR21-066 - The Worthing Observation Wheel is back and operating on the seafront

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How do I buy tickets?

Tickets are available at the WOW. Just turn up and ride.

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How much are tickets?

The operator will confirm ticket prices nearer the time.

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Is the WOW wheelchair accessible?

The operator will confirm this nearer the time.

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What are the opening hours?

The wheel will be open:

  • 7 days a week
  • 11am to 7pm (Monday to Saturday)
  • 11am to 6pm (Sunday)
  • The wheel may open later at peak times

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How far can you see from the top?

On a clear day up to 10 miles in all directions.

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How long is the wheel staying in Worthing?

The WOW will be with us until 1st October however, should the weather be kind the operators may keep the wheel in situ until 8th November.

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What happens if it's very windy or rainy? Will the WOW close? 

The WOW has strict manufacturer's guidelines within which it is allowed to operate.

These include maximum wind speeds.

The WOW will stop operating should the foreshore experience constant wind speeds of 33mph (Beaufort Scale 7).

Anything over this wind speed then some of the gondolas are removed to increase the wind resistance to the structure.

If the wind speeds reach 68.2mph (Beaufort Scale 11) then twelve or more gondolas are placed on the base of the wheel.

By way of comparison wind speeds in excess of 47mph (Beaufort Scale 9) require Worthing Pier to close to the public.

In practise Wheel operators halt operation at considerably lower wind speeds than the manufacturer's guidelines.

At all times Council's Senior Coastal Warden has the authority to ask for the WOW to stop operating.

Rain does not affect the operation of the wheel but may restrict visibility.

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How will the WOW operate safely during COVID?

Every aspect of the WOW’s daily operation during COVID has been risk assessed to ensure the safety of the public, customers and WOW staff.

Signage will remind customers to only ride the WOW if they are free of COVID infection and/or COVID symptoms.

Social distancing will be applied to both queuing and ticketing.

Staff that interact with the public will be provided with PPE including gloves (as a minimum) and face masks where there is closer contact.

Regular cleaning of the wheel and gondolas will take place throughout operating hours, including frequent cleaning of all high touch surfaces.

Customers will only be allowed to board once the gondola is clear of the previous customers.

As COVID guidance is reviewed the WOW Safety Handbook will be updated and changes implemented regularly.

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Who is running WOW?

WOW is operated by a private company, de Koning Leisure Ltd. Worthing Borough Council's involvement extends to providing the land, monitoring overall activity and working on joint promotions via our Comms team and Time for Worthing.

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How did WOW happen?

Worthing Borough Council piloted an Observation Wheel in 2018. Due to the wheel's success and a positive public response, the Council openly tendered the opportunity for a more permanent fixture. De Koning Leisure Ltd responded and were successful in securing the project.

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Who built the WOW?

The wheel was built in the Netherlands by observation wheel specialists, Lamberink.

Lamberink observation wheels are built according to the European and British standard EN13814.

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Just how big is the WOW?

The wheel is 33 metres high.

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How do they get the Wheel onto the seafront?

The wheel will be transported on articulated lorries. Joining Worthing Promenade at the gated entrance opposite Heene Road the lorries, travelling in pairs, will be escorted down the promenade by the Council's foreshore team, along a designated access route.

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How do you know that the base and the wheel are strong enough to withstand the elements?

The technical drawings of the piling design and structure have been informed and tested by a team of expert structural engineers.

Both the technical drawings and the mathematics supporting the design have been rigorously inspected and verified by independent structural engineers, HOP Associates, acting on behalf of Worthing Borough Council.

The final part of this engineering assessment is a pre use inspection and initial test onsite before the WOW is signed off for operation.

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Will the WOW be back every year?

The wheel operators have a lease agreement for a three-year residency, operating from 1st April to 1st October (or 8th November as a maximum stay) each year, 2021 is the third year under this agreement.

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What is the cost to the Council?

The cost to the council is minimal as the land is leased to the wheel operator and owner de Koning Leisure Group Ltd.

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For further information ...

For further general information about the WOW please contact:

For information relating to noise problems: including an online form to report noise nuisance, please see the Council's noise help page.

Worthing WOW - large

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Need assistance with this service?
Get in touch:

WOW - Worthing Observation Wheel: De Koning Leisure Group Ltd

TelephonePlease send any questions you may have by email to info@giantwheel.co.uk

Full contact detailsFull contact details (WOW - Worthing Observation Wheel: De Koning Leisure Group Ltd)

Page last updated: 16 August 2021

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