Studio City Macau is a giant new casino rising in Macau’s glitzy Cotai Strip (the peninsula’s answer to the Vegas Strip). And smack-dab in the middle of the development is the world’s first figure-8 Ferris wheel.
The whimsical ride is a sign of the times in Macau: As mainland China’s anti-corruption campaign and visa restrictions loom, developers are scrambling to bolster the peninsula’s non-gaming attractions.
With its faux Art Deco design, the $US3.2 billion casino apes the golden age of Hollywood in all the signature ways — glitzy gambling floors, movie-themed entertainment options, a 1,600 room hotel, and finally, a Ferris wheel built to look like a gigantic 35 mm film reel.
Stretching 425-feet high, the “Golden Reel,” as the ride is called, also happens to be Asia’s highest Ferris wheel. It’s sandwiched between the two huge towers that house the casino’s many hotel rooms.
You can board one of the wheel’s 17 cars (each with space for up to 10 passengers) on the 23rd floor of the hotel. As the ride moves, it snakes around the steel gold circles in a figure-8, similar to the movement of a film’s reel. There’s no crossover in the middle, however, so it’s not a true figure-8. To get a sense of the movement, imagine two number threes facing each other.
Spectacular views of the city and the South China Sea are guaranteed.
Built by Liechtenstein’s Intamin Amusement Rides, Studio City Macau’s Golden Reel is a clear response to Chinese regulators’ demands for more non-gaming attractions.
The casino will also include a themed ride called “Batman Dark Flight,” a variety of live magic shows, a nightclub, shopping outlets, a number of fine dining establishments, and a Warner Bros.-themed kids’ center.
The Ferris wheel is currently undergoing mechanical tests and the entire casino is slated to open later this year.
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