50 million milestone for the EDF Energy London Eye
- Wednesday August 21st 2013
- Press Release
Just over 13 years ago in March 2000, the London Eye opened its doors to the public for the first time and has since welcomed everyone from homeless charities to Royalty and guests of all ages from countries all over the globe, on the 135m high observation wheel.
To commemorate the milestone, London Eye staff greeted the Anderson family, as they prepared to board and treated them to a special celebratory Champagne Experience in their own private capsule. It was an extra special experience for the Andersons as three generations of the family were at the London Eye, with visiting American grandparents Gregg and Sandy joining their UK based son Eric, wife Heidi and their children Stefan, Caroline and Marta.
In the past 13 years, the London Eye has become the symbol of modern London, hosting the New Years Eve fireworks each year since 2001, being the centrepiece for the Olympics closing ceremony and turning red, white and blue for the birthday of HRH Prince George, positioned proudly at the heart of everything happening in the city. It has become as synonymous with London as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, or the Opera House in Sydney.
Originally only due to open for five years, people the world over have taken the London Eye into their hearts and the great wheel has now been granted lifelong permission in its position on the South Bank of the River Thames.
Being a feat of engineering, innovation has always been a priority at the London Eye and the experience continues to be improved upon. Over the years a 4D cinema experience has been introduced, capsules have been upgraded to improve air temperature control and reduce overall carbon emissions, as well as the introduction of interactive touch screen guides in several languages, giving guests more information on the breathtaking views. Exciting new products such as a Pimm’s Experience and Dining at 135, a three course dining experience, are also now on offer giving guests plenty of reasons to return, with an impressive 24% of guests currently doing just that.
David Sharpe, Divisional Director at Merlin Entertainments, commented: “To reach 50 million visitors since our opening in March 2000 is a testament to the popularity of the London Eye, a structure that has become one of the most recognisable and well-loved sights in the London skyline. It is now as integral to the capital’s silhouette as Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament and we are very proud to reach this milestone. London is the best city in the world and the London Eye is the best place to see it from; we are looking forward to welcoming the next 50 million guests in the years to come."