Japan has a soft spot for Ferris wheels. Children, of course, enjoy the excitement of taking a ride into the sky, and young lovers also appreciate the quiet privacy and romantic views, especially since Japan’s most popular wheels revolve at a very leisurely pace. There’s nothing particularly kid-friendly or romantic, though, about the Zombie Ferris Wheel of Hell.
Located in Expo Commemoration Park in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, the 123-meter-tall Osaka Wheel is the highest Ferris wheel in Japan. As of this month, it’s also the most terrifying. A haunted house in Ferris wheel form, the Osaka Wheel rebranding means that while you and up to five other friends will board the gondola, there will be zombies along for the ride too. There’s even a backstory in which you’re asked by the Ferris wheel operators to investigate some mysterious happenings, as laid out in the teaser text here:
“If you chant the mystic words while riding the Ferris wheel, your wish will come true…
Hoping to have her wish granted, a young lady stepped aboard the Ferris wheel. After getting into an argument, she’d become estranged from her parents, but now wanted to find them. So she, along with her best friend, sat in the Ferris wheel clutching her memento broach, as their gondola slowly climbed towards the highest point.
Was her wish granted? The sky turned an unsettling shade of purple. The gondola was enveloped in inky shadows. A howl rang out.
Just what is this place…”
The gondola is completely closed off from the outside world, encasing you in darkness and equipped with a screen from which the zombies appear.
Rumble effects in the seat let you feel when something goes bump in the dark, and riders are required to wear headphones, ensuring that in addition to not being able to physically run away from this haunted house, you can’t even escape its spine-chilling sounds until the 18-minute ride is over.
While you will at least have the ability to shut your eyes from the horrors occurring, you’ll actually want to keep them open as much as possible. The Zombie Ferris Wheel of Hell is an interactive experience with multiple conclusions, and your team’s actions will determine whether you get the good or bad ending.
▼ Or the “true end” or “bad end,” since this is Japan, after all.
The facility will also be selling special “Zom-Beer” and a non-alcoholic “Zombie Drink” (blackcurrant soda). But remember, the Zombie Ferris Wheel of Hell takes 18 minutes, which is a long time to have to wait to change your pants if you’ve peed them from fear, so saving the liquid refreshments for after your ride is probably the smart idea.
Tickets cost 1,500 yen per person, a slight premium over the 1,000 yen for Osaka Wheel’s normal gondolas, which will remain available during the Zombie Ferris Wheel of Hell’s run to Sept 30. Advance ticket purchases can be made online here, and while not required, are recommended in order to cut down on waiting times, as only four of Osaka Wheel’s gondolas will be haunted.
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