Mickey's Fun Wheel

Paradise Pier, Disney California Adventure

  • Land: Paradise Pier
  • Type: Fun for Everyone
WhereParadise Pier
ExperienceFun for Everyone
Duration9 minutes

Sail 'round the glimmering face of iconic Mickey on this spin-sational Ferris wheel! On Mickey's Fun Wheel, the rotating rays of the wheel spokes twinkle like a kaleidoscope on this spectacular experience that rises to the occasion - in fact, up to approximately 150 feet into the air - for 9 exhilarating minutes! Ride with up to 5 other brave souls in one of the 8 traditional gondolas mounted to the outer rim that sway as the wheel spins. Or dare to board one of the 16 "free-mounted" gondolas that slip and slide back and forth along the tracks inside the spokes.

Mickey's Fun Wheel may look like an ordinary Ferris wheel, but it's not. As the 150' wheel turns, the attached gondolas revolve with it. While the cars on the outside (those with Mickey's face) are stationary, the inner Donald, Goofy, and Minnie cars hang on an interior track, and they move in and out and swing as the wheel turns.

Mickey's Fun Wheel is an eccentric wheel, differing from conventional Ferris wheels in that 16 of its 24 gondolas ride on interior rails so that they slide inward and outward as the wheel rotates. This results in a more intense experience, and motion sickness bags are provided in each gondola due to the disorienting nature of the ride. The other eight gondolas are fixed to the rim of the wheel and do not slide. Guests may choose to ride in sliding or fixed gondolas, each of which can carry six people.

The loading area can load three cars at a time - two swinging cars and one stationary car. Riders get to go around the wheel twice - it takes one revolution of the wheel (eight stops) to get all the cars loaded/unloaded, and then the wheel makes one complete revolution without stopping. Then the stop-and-go starts again as the cars are unloaded/loaded with the next set of passengers. The gondolas are completely enclosed and there is no way to fall out, nor even to lose small items. There's an excellent view of DCA, Disneyland and the surrounding area, though the wire mesh makes it difficult to take pictures.

Touring Tips

  • There's no Fastpass for this attraction, and the queue is completely outdoors. There are two lines - one for the stationary (Mickey) cars, and the other for the swinging cars. The gondolas hold up to six people, three on each side.
  • This is a slow-loading attraction, and it's best to ride early in the day. When the line is long it can overflow the queue and spill out into the Paradise Pier area.
  • This ride is not recommended for those who are afraid of heights. Those prone to motion sickness might want to consider riding the stationary cars only. And it can be a bit of a shock when the car starts sliding toward the outside of the wheel and swinging back and forth.
  • This attraction can be fun for the entire family, but those with younger children or those who might be bothered by the motion might want to choose the stationary cars.
  • The complete load/unload cycle takes about 15 minutes. There will be a total of 8 stops - depending on your position in the load cycle, you might have 4 stops before the complete revolution and 4 after, or you might get on and immediately make one revolution, then experience 8 stops.
  • Wheelchairs and ECVs enter the attraction through the regular queue then transfer into the car.


  • Mickey's Fun Wheel is modeled after Coney Island's Wonder Wheel which opened in 1920.
  • This attraction was originally known as the Sun Wheel and featured a golden sun face in the center. As part of the DCA expansion project it was re-themed to Mickey's Fun Wheel, and opened in May, 2009.
  • On Mickey's face, notice his eyes - they are the "pie-eyes" of the early Mickey Mouse cartoons.
  • Part of the loading area is actually below the water level of Paradise Bay.


The ride was inspired by Coney Island's 1927 Wonder Wheel at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. Both attractions feature swinging and stationary gondolas while Mickey's Fun Wheel has a large Mickey Mouse face in the center. The attraction was formerly known as the Sun Wheel (February 8, 2001 - October 14, 2008). Mickey's Fun Wheel was expected to open April 24, 2009, but due to delays the attraction opened May 4, 2009. This renovation is a part of the new Paradise Pier placemaking including the Silly Symphony Swings, World of Color, Goofy's Sky School, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, Games of the Boardwalk retheming, the removal of Maliboomer, and enhancements on California Screamin'.

Disney California Adventure Park underwent a $1.1 billion renovation between 2008 and 2012. One of the subprojects was to retheme the former Sun Wheel as the new Mickey's Fun Wheel. The ride experience has not been significantly changed, but the sun face has been replaced by a giant Mickey Mouse head, the color scheme was changed from mainly yellow to mainly red, and each gondola now has a picture of Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, or Goofy to be consistent with the introduction of classic Disney characters into Paradise Pier, the area where the attraction is located. In addition, new LED lighting effects now illuminate the attraction, and some Victorian theming echoes the elaborate architecture of the nearby Toy Story Midway Mania! attraction.

Hidden Mickeys

  • While waiting in line for the Mickey's Fun Wheel there are three signs, they show what kind of cart you want to go in- stationary or the funky moving kind. On the sides of the stationary sign are three circles, one larger circle and two smaller circles, which make a hidden Mickey.
  • The Mickey's Fun Wheel's face Mickey is a hidden Mickey. The bottom of it's nose is the top of the central circle, while the mouth makes the rest. Then those cheeks make the rest.