Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review of New Wheel at St. Louis Union Station

St. Louis Wheel photo by mbgphoto
The Wheel at St. Louis Union Station was opened on September 30th, 2019 to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Union Station.

Facts about the Wheel

  • 200 foot high observation wheel
  • 42 fully enclosed and climate controlled gondolas that each seat 6 adults
  • 3-4 rotations high above the St. Louis skyline during the 15 minute ride
  • The wheel is  now open from 10 am to 10 pm till October 31st when the hours will be changed to noon to 10 pm for the rest of 2019
St. Louis Wheel photo by mbgphoto

My Experience on the Wheel

photo by mbgphoto
When my granddaughters visited in mid October, I decided to take them to Union Station to ride on the new "Wheel" that had just opened in late September.  In the photo above you see my friend DeAnn, my sister Julie and my granddaughters Ella and Rachel waiting for their turn on the wheel.

I had seen on the news that there could be rather long waits to ride the wheel, but the day we went we were able to walk right up, buy our tickets and ride the wheel when it stopped for the next rotation.  It was a rather chilly day but the gondolas on the wheel are all climate controlled so it was nice and warm.  There were five of us in our gondola and we had plenty of room to be comfortable and even move around a bit so I could get photos from all angles.

I am sometimes a little leery of heights but this  did not bother me at all.  I felt very secure in the enclosed gondola and thoroughly enjoyed the views of the city.  It was a cloudy day so I'm sure you would see more on a clearer day but I still thought it was fantastic.  I would like to go back at nighttime and take photos of the city lights from up on the "Wheel".

Views from the Wheel

Enterprise Center in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto
This is the view looking east.  Directly in front you see the Enterprise Center where the Blues play.  Farther in the background you get a glimpse of the Gateway Arch. Also if you look close on the far right side of the photo you see the red brick of Busch Stadium where the Cardinals play.

Old Train Depot in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto

This view is to the north/east.  Here you see the tops of the old train depot  and the red roof of the top of Union Station.

View from The Wheel in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto
This view is looking to the south.

Information about St. Louis Union Station

St Louis Union Station photo by mbgphoto

St. Louis Union Station was first open to the public on September 1, 1894.  At one time it was the biggest and busiest train terminal in the country.  It is on the registry as a National Historic Landmark.  Today it is being renovated as a family entertainment complex.

Inside of Union Station you will find the St. Louis Union Station Hotel.  A beautiful hotel that serves guests from out of town along with many meetings, weddings and other celebrations of St. Louis residents.

The Grand Hall is a wonderful meeting place for people.  It is beautiful and the architecture is truly amazing. After our ride aboard the "Wheel"  we visited the Grand Hall and as we stopped to rest at one of their many comfortable seating areas the lights dimmed, we heard a sound of a train coming, and then a fantastic 15 minute 3D light show began.  We weren't expecting it so we were pleasantly surprised.  Beautiful music played and the ceiling was transformed with an different light scenes.  The photos below show two of the scenes.

Union Station Grand Hall photo by mbgphoto

Union Station Grand Hall photo by mbgphoto

More to do at St. Louis Union Station

There are several places to eat in the complex and we chose to stop at the new Soda Fountain Restaurant which also opened on September 30th.  It features "Freak Shakes, Boozy Shakes and Remedies".  We were however a bit cold to try the shakes so we enjoyed their delicious cheeseburgers and fries.  They also have a gift shop and a candy counter with lots of barrels and bins of old fashioned candies.

The outdoor area at Union Station also includes a carousel, a mini golf course and in the evenings a fire and light show with dancing lights, water and fire.

A big coming attraction for Union Station will be the 120,000 square foot St. Louis Acquarium.  It was under  construction while we were there but should be open by the end of 2019.  

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. What beautiful views from the new St. Louis Wheel! I'm with you, I would love to see it at night. I'll bet it is gorgeous.

  2. Wow, I didn't even know they were building this (The Wheel). And an aquarium ~ that I definitely would like to see in St. Louis. I will have to have my daughter let me know when it is ready so I can come for a visit. What fun.

  3. Wonderful photos of those amazing views and terrific descriptions of The Wheel, the Grand Hall and other aspects of your delightful visit. Thanks for bringing us along! If John and I ever get out that way, I hope we can fit a visit to St. Louis Union Station.

  4. What a fabulous attraction! We have been considering a trip to St. Louis soon. We will definitely have to add the New Wheel to our must do list. Can only 2 people go in a gondola or would they combine us with other riders to fill the gondola? How awesome that it is climate controlled. Very cool

    1. From what I saw anywhere from 1-6 can go on a I don't think they would combine you with others.

  5. Mary Beth, this looks like an attraction with many other attractions right at hand. What a great way to spend a day or two. You know St. Louis isn't too far from home, maybe it will become a weekend destination or now that I'm retired a mid-week destination! Looks like fun to me!

  6. I think I would enjoy that ride on the Wheel. You're description makes it sound like a comfortable and beautiful experience. I've only been to Saint Louis once and only for a couple of hours. We didn't have enough time to see more than the Gateway Arch.

  7. Wow, absolutely gorgeous! The wheel looks amazing too, similar to the wheel in London England maybe? Very beautiful city too.

  8. What a gorgeous view I bet from The Wheel! Would love to stay at the hotel!


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