Calling itself Asia’s entertainment capital, the nearing completion casino, Studio City Macau, is a $3.2 billion resort that has enough glittering amenities to claim such a title. But as we know from Las Vegas, no casino sprawling out over the size of a mini city is complete without some sort of amusement park flourish, and Studio City doesn’t disappoint, boasting the world’s first figure-eight Ferris wheel.
Hovering 427 feet above the ground, the so-called Golden Reel is the crown jewel of the $3.2 billion complex. With a gold-tinted structural system that carries round cars on the novel journey, switching them between rings along the way, the spectacle is sure to be as pleasing from the ground as for visitors spinning up above.
The Golden Reel was inspired by an idea right out of a disaster action flick. Melco Crown Entertainment CEO Lawrence Ho, who is developing the project, envisioned the dramatic storyline: “not one, but two flaming asteroids crashed through the building facade in tandem to create an almost perfect figure-8 form,” according to the company’s press release.
“The Golden Reel is a ‘world’s first’ technological innovation that reinvents the gondola-ride and Ferris wheel experience for our visitors,” Lawrence Ho said in a statement. “As a new iconic landmark in Macau, the Golden Reel is a totally unique entertainment offering to Asia, and indeed the world, and we continue to deliver on our commitment to expanding the non-gaming leisure and entertainment offerings available in Macau, as a continuing strategy in supporting its evolution into a highly-diversified and world-leading leisure and tourism destination.”
Besides holding title as the first figure-eight wheel, the Golden Reel will also be the highest Ferris wheel in Asia. Seventeen pods, each large enough to accommodate ten people, will traverse the amusement ride. Visitors will spend 15 minutes making the round beginning on the building’s 23rd floor.
The attraction is situated between what developers are calling “Art Deco meets Gotham City” hotel towers designed by the Goddard Group, designers and master planners of theme parks around the world.
But if such a spectacular Ferris wheel isn’t enough to satisfy your interest in the bizarre, Studio City has also built a replica of the towers and Golden Reel out of LEGOs, filmed it in time lapse, and put it online for the world to see. Take a look below.