Deno’s Wonder Wheel turns 95 years old

Wheelin’ in the years

Brooklyn Daily
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Photo gallery

Light it up!: Steve and Denos Vourderis set fire to candles to celebrate the occasion.
Feels like the first time: Anna Hu, Peggie Wang, and Mavis Yue take a spin on the 95-year-old thrill ride.
Tastes like fun: Ismael Flores enjoys a Wonder Wheel birthday cupcake — and got a special pin as one of the first 95 riders that day.
Along for the ride: Joanne Rolon and Valeria Flores wore their Wonder Wheel birthday hats when they went for a spin.

This rotator finished another revolution.

Deno’s Wonder Wheel — Coney Island’s iconic Ferris wheel — turned 95 years old on May 25. Thrill junkies and amusement ride buffs gathered at the 150-foot-tall big wheel to wish it a happy birthday and go for a spin. The ride was one for the books, a passenger said.

“It was awesome — it’s always good to be part of history,” said Carlos Flores, who rode a moving car on Monday and said he has been on the Wonder Wheel more times than he can count.

The first 95 riders got a commemorative pin and a slice of birthday cake.

Charles Herman designed the ride, and Eccentric Ferris Wheel Amusement Company built it between 1918 and 1920, according to city records.

Deno Vourderis bought the amusement in 1983 and renamed it Deno’s Wonder Wheel. Six years later, the city designated it a landmark, city records show.

The ride weathered Hurricane Sandy relatively well — operators had the thing up and spinning less than a month after the historic storm rolled over Coney Island, and it re-opened the following summer.

The Memorial Day birthday marks the start of the ride’s “birthday season” organizers said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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