Ferris Wheelers Owners Aim to Break a Guinness World Record

The owners of Ferris Wheelers are inviting people to help them break a world record for their namesake.
The owners of Ferris Wheelers are inviting people to help them break a world record for their namesake.
Brian Moore
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In the two years since its opening, Dallas-based Ferris Wheelers Backyard and BBQ has accomplished numerous feats.

It has been ranked as a top barbecue restaurant in Dallas, and it's one of the best places in town to catch live musical performances. Now, the owners of Ferris Wheelers are looking to add another accolade to their honors.

With the 50-foot Ferris wheel in the back patio, they want to break the Guinness World Record for the longest Ferris wheel ride.

The world record for longest Ferris wheel ride is held by Clinton Shepherd, park operations manager at Navy Pier in Chicago, who spent 48 hours, 8 minutes, 25 seconds riding Navy Pier's Ferris wheel in 2013.

The team at Ferris Wheelers is hoping to break that record by inviting participants to ride the namesake Ferris wheel for an extended period of time.

“We’ve put some feelers out there to see if we could get the public interested in breaking the record,” says Phillip Schanbaum, co-owner of Ferris Wheelers Backyard and BBQ. “We want to give ourselves a bit of a cushion on the time, so we’re going for 72 hours. We need to do a little bit more research on some of the stipulations for Guinness, but to our knowledge, there is a five-minute break per hour.”

Guinness World Records have been broken locally, including the record for largest Frito pie at the 2012 State Fair of Texas, as well as the record for the most people making sandwiches simultaneously, held by TangoTab. Should Ferris Wheelers break the record of longest Ferris wheel ride, this would be the newest addition to the list of records broken in Dallas.

Schanbaum first announced the idea on Facebook earlier this month. The post received much attention, and several people commented, expressing interest in participating in the attempt to break the world record.

“We’re going to narrow down some of the people and make sure they understand what the rules are,” Schanbaum says. “We’ll have them come out and take a look at the Ferris wheel and make sure it's suited for them well. And then, we’re going to figure out the right time for them to do it.

“What we’re offering, on top of the fact that they would get their name in the Guinness Book of World Records, ... (includes) unlimited barbecue, Red Bull and beverages for the guests who decide to take on this challenge.”

As of now, there is no set date for the world record attempt, as the team at Ferris Wheelers is working to make sure conditions are optimal for all participants.

“Obviously, the heat is a factor here in Texas,” Schanbaum says. “It’s hot, and it’s only going to get hotter. We’re going to provide some shade for the participants and make sure everything is comfy for them.”

As many are interested in participating in the attempt to break the world record, Schanbaum and crew plan to make sure the experience is pleasurable and secure for everyone involved.

“All guests who ride the Ferris wheel sign a waiver,” Schanbaum says. “There’s no rocking, there’s no drinking alcohol. All Ferris wheel rides are fun, but you’ve got to be safe while doing them.”

Ferris Wheelers, 1950 Market Center Blvd. (Design District)

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