Vault Disney

DMK Files – Mickey’s Fun Wheel

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love the new Disney Magic Kingdoms game for mobile and I write about it often.  “But what about us?” say my longer term readers who maybe don’t play the game or miss the types of articles I used to do before clicking on buildings for potions consumed my life.  Well, I’ve decided that from time to time, (And if you guys like them, maybe more often then not) I will write an article exploring the history of a ride, attraction or maybe even character in the game.  That way, everyone wins!  So without further ado, let’s start off with a ride that is one of the first you get to build in the game, Mickey’s Fun Wheel!


Mickey’s Fun Wheel originally opened in the Paradise Pier area of Disney’s California Adventure back in February of 2001.  Back then, there was no Mickey on it, simply a large sun, which might be why it was then called the Sun Wheel.  This ride was fashioned after the 1927 Wonder Wheel at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park in Coney Island, New York.

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Photo from Disney Wikia. Aww, look at that cute little sun face. I just want to pinch his fiery hot little cheeks!

It wasn’t until May 4, 2009 that the ride reopened with the iconic Mickey face plastered in place of the sun.  The ride itself stands 160 feet tall and is known as an Eccentric Wheel.  This is because 16 of its 24 gondolas ride on a different set of interior wheels so that they go in towards the center of the ride and then back out again.  The other gondolas run on a normal track for anyone not looking to get sick while spinning around Mickey’s face.  As a fun aside, barf bags are provided for those riding in the shifting gondolas.  Whatever gondola you ride, they all can hold up to 6 people.


Photo from Here you can see why you might get sick on this ride.

The Mickey face was not all that was changed.  Each gondola now has a picture of Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Daisy or Goofy.  Several new LED lights were also installed to reflect the themes of nearby California Screamin’ and Toy Story Midway Mania.


Mickey photobombs the ol’ sun face.

The ride lasts approximately 9 Minutes and the queue itself is located a few feet underground.  In fact, it’s actually located underneath the lagoon so feel free to sing “Under the Sea” as you wait.  It’s fairly accurate.


That’s all for this little history and info tidbit.  Two questions for this one.  Which experience do you prefer?  The slow moving gondola or the one that zips around the track like Pluto chasing his tail?  Also, where is your version of Mickey’s Fun Wheel located?  Come on, I know someone has it in Tomorrowland.  I know you’re out there!

For more thoughts on Magic Kingdoms, go HERE!




2 replies »

  1. Great article, Jaysen! I loved learning more about Disneyland’s history. I haven’t ever been to Disneyland, but am wanting to in the very near future. Have you ever been?

    Oh, and my Fun Wheel is in the same area as yours, based on your photo!

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