The world’s tallest observation wheel, the British Airways London Eye, welcomed its ten millionth visitor last week.
Simone Coles of Marlow, Bucks, was celebrating her tenth wedding anniversary with her husband and their two sons Joshua, 4, and Samuel, 2, on the 450ft high Eye. She was given a private champagne capsule to mark the milestone.
Mrs Coles said: ” We chose to take the family to the Eye to celebrate our tenth anniversary. It made it very special. It will be wonderful to come back and do it all again but this time with champagne.”
The milestone for the UK’s top paid-for visitor attraction comes as Hollywood prepares to honour the London Eye at an awards ceremony this weekend.
London Eye architect David Marks will accept the award for Outstanding Achievement for Creating an Icon from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) in Los Angeles, CA.
David Marks said:” This award means the Eye has truly become a symbol for London worldwide. I am proud to accept it on behalf of everyone who helped turn the dream into a reality and make it a fantastic experience for our visitors.”
The Themed Entertainments Association Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in the entertainment and experience design industry. The awards programme is for the architects, artists, engineers, designers and technicians who invent, create and produce attractions.
The London Eye opened in March 2000 with five years planning permission. This month its future was secured for at least 25 years following approval from Lambeth Council, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and the Secretary of State, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
á The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) has 500 member companies in 35 US states and 16 countries around the world and was established in 1991 Its supporters include Hollywood studios like Walt Disney, Universal and Paramount. Its members play a key role in the development and production of the world’s most recognisable theme parks, entertainment centres, museums, hotels and attractions.
á The 450ft high London Eye was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects.
á It is managed and operated by The Tussauds Group, Europe’s leading operator of visitor attractions.
á It has won over 20 awards for national and international tourism, outstanding architectural quality and engineering achievement, including the People’s Choice award in 2001 and 2002.
á To book tickets, call 44 (0) 870 5000 600 or visit the on-line booking system at www.ba-londoneye.com