June 15, 2024
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June 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Riding High: The Dream Wheel Experience

Iconic attractions at amusement destinations can leave a lasting impression on visitors even before they step foot inside. For Disney World, it’s Cinderella Castle, for Universal Studios, it’s Hogwarts Castle, and for the American Dream Mall, it’s the Dream Wheel. The Dream Wheel at the American Dream Mall is an attraction not to be missed. With its towering height and spectacular views, this observation wheel offers an experience that is truly unique and unforgettable. My wife, Ahuva, and I had the opportunity to ride this awe-inspiring attraction, providing us with unparalleled views of the New York skyline. Whether you’re visiting the mall for the first time or are a seasoned local, a lift on the Dream Wheel is a must-do.

The Dream Wheel is located on the top level of the mall. Tickets for the wheel can be purchased near the food court, where visitors can also buy Dream Wheel merchandise such as t-shirts and clocks that replicate the Dream Wheel. After scanning our pre-purchased tickets, we walked through the automatic doors to the rooftop of the mall, where we were greeted by the massive Dream Wheel. The setting of the wheel, with its silver steel overhang bars and thousands of mini light bulbs, made us feel as if we were walking onto a space shuttle. In the distance, we were able to see the bright orange lights emanating from the New York City skyline. There were also tables and chairs outside for visitors to sit and enjoy the surreal scenery. (I made a note to myself that Ahuva and I should return to this spot in the summer when the weather is warmer for a great rooftop date.)

We boarded the observatory wheel by following a queue. I have ridden on more than a dozen Ferris wheels at various theme parks and national landmarks. Most Ferris wheel passenger cars can hold up to six people and are cramped, requiring me to duck my head to enter. However, the Dream Wheel cars are much larger than any I have ever seen. Each car has tinted black glass windows on all sides and the doors open automatically. I walked into the car with plenty of room overhead. Additionally, I saw a sign that said each car could hold up to 16 people. Inside, there were no benches as we were encouraged to stand and soak in the sights. However, there was a large table in the middle where we could place our belongings or take a seat if needed. For an additional cost, VIP cars are available and come with four leather Ferrari-style seats and holders for bottles of champagne.

Once we boarded, the wheel began to move, lifting us off of the main landing platform. Our car was fully insulated with heat, allowing us to take off our jackets. There was a TV screen on one of the walls, displaying an aerial view of the Dream Wheel. The glass windows all around us offered incredible 360° views. The front side faced New York City, which was beautifully lit up at night. The back side faced MetLife Stadium, and on both the left and right sides, we were able to see views of different sections of the American Dream Mall. As we climbed higher, we also had views of distant cities, including Teaneck where we could see the Glenpointe Marriott in the distance on the left side.

Initially, as we began our ride, we were given a bird’s-eye view of different sections of the mall through the glass ceilings that had been installed to allow natural light to enter. We saw the DreamWorks Water Park, complete with its water slides, wave pool, and lazy river. As we continued to ascend, the view of the New York skyline became more distinct. From our vantage point directly across from the iconic Empire State Building, we were able to take in the stunning cityscape and appreciate the grandeur of this world-famous landmark. Surrounding us, the Hackensack River shimmered beautifully from the reflections of the skyscrapers’ lights.

At the halfway point, we reached the summit of the wheel, which was 300 feet up in the air. On the way down, we passed by the American Dream Mall’s logo sign hanging above the parking lot. However, we were unable to go high enough to look inside the massive MetLife Stadium which means that unfortunately, you can’t watch the Giants/Jets game from the wheel.

Lasting around thirty minutes, the entire Dream Wheel journey passed very quickly. It was not at all a thrill ride; it was more of a luxurious observation wheel offering breathtaking views of New York. After the ride ended, I asked the staff what their favorite time of day to ride the wheel is and they all agreed that sunset is the best time.

To cap off the evening, Ahuva enjoyed Häagen-Dazs ice cream, while I munched on some candy from It’s Sugar, and we grabbed a few Cinnabon Bites to bring home. Only at the American Dream Mall can you partake in a fun activity and then complete your visit with delicious kosher food at places such as Cinnabon, It’s Sugar, Goldie Lox, Häagen-Dazs, Cotton Pop Shop, A’Jar Sweet Cream Factory, Dunkin Donuts, Red Mango, and Oreo Cafe. A few more kosher restaurants will be opening this year on the Kosher Food Court on level 3.

While not as scary as I had hoped, the Dream Wheel was a lot more relaxing than expected, offering even better views than I had imagined. My wife Ahuva was a bit frightened being so high up, but even she admits it was a great time. If you haven’t tried it yet and aren’t afraid of heights, I recommend taking this wheel for a ride.

Admission: Admission: $29.75 ages 12-65, (For a limited time—Bergen & Hudson County Residents)—$27.75 Seniors 65+—$27.75, $18.75 ages 5-11, under 5 free.

Located: Coca-Cola Eats Court C, Level 3

Hours: 2-9 p.m.; opens early Sundays at 10 a.m.

Unique Feature: 300ft wheel offering magnificent views of the New York skyline


Zachary is currently a consultant at Semler Brossy and also the TABC Track Coach. In 2019, he served as the lighting director for the YU play “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.” Additionally, he recently finished the Netflix series Wednesday. If you have any recommendations of fun places for Zachary to cover, please email him at [email protected].

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