ST. LOUIS — The wait is over.
The St. Louis Wheel and Soda Fountain restaurant officially welcomed visitors for the first time Monday morning.
The St. Louis Wheel opened at 10 a.m. for the first rides. The Soda Fountain followed shortly after at 11 a.m.
The inaugural day included several special exhibits, activities and visitors. Purina was there with their famous Purina Performance dog team. They also had dogs who are available for adoption.
The St. Louis World's Fair Society featured a display on the wheel plaza with historical information about the 1904 World's Fair Ferris Wheel.
The St. Louis Wheel is 200 feet tall and features 42 gondolas that are climate controlled, meaning heat in the winter and A/C in the summer. They can hold up to eight people or six adults comfortably. The VIP gondola has glass floors, leather bucket seats and other amenities. The rides will last about 15 minutes.
The observation wheel also lights up with 1.6 million LED lights.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Tickets can be purchased in advance online here.
The VIP gondola costs $50 a person. The VIP gondola offers private seating for up to four people. Riders will be able to relax in leather captains chairs. During the ride, they'll have a view unlike anyone else on the wheel—the floor is glass. VIP riders also will walk away with a complimentary photo.
The St. Louis Wheel will be open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. through October. Click here to learn more about the wheel.
The Soda Fountain
The Soda Fountain is a retro restaurant located in the spot where the Hard Rock Café once stood. It’ll serve up extreme ‘freak’ shakes, sundaes, smashburgers and handcrafted sodas.
Seating will be available inside the restaurant and outside on the patio. Guests sitting outside will be able to enjoy a fire and light show, which happens every half hour from 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
The Soda Fountain is expected to be open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Click here to learn more about the Soda Fountain restaurant.
The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station hasn't announced an official opening date yet. It is set to welcome its first visitors sometime in December.