Oktoberfest - ein Fest der Landeshauptstadt München
Photo: Janine Gondi

Giant Ferris Wheel Awarded for Accessibility

Signet rewarding barrier-free attractions for the Oktoberfest Ferris Wheel

One Wiesn for all! This is the motto of the Willenborg family, who runs the Giant Ferris Wheel at the Oktoberfest. On Thursday the traditional exhibitor received the plaque "Bayern barrierefrei" from the Bavarian Minister of State Kerstin Schreyer and Mayor Manuel Pretzl. What the Ferris wheel does when it comes to accessibility...
• Photo: Janine Gondi

The Ferris wheel as a pioneer for accessibility

"The Oktoberfest is there for everyone - and we must not exclude any population groups," explained Kerstin Schreyer, Bavarian State Minister for Family Affairs, Labor and Social Affairs. Since the Ferris wheel has had a barrier-free entrance and disabled toilets since 1979, it was high time to honour the operators Gabriele Willenborg, son Sebastian and Eckehard Vogel for their commitment. Together with Mayor Pretzl, she presented the signet "Bayern barrierefrei" to the family, who were visibly delighted and soon wanted to attach the board to the driving gear. The signet is intended to set an example and serve as a role model for others.

(Pictured above from the left: Christian Löhr, Representative for Disabled Persons of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Minister of State Kerstin Schreyer, Eckehard Vogel, Mayor Manuel Pretzl, Gabriele and Sebastian Willenborg.)

Christian Löhr has been going on the ferris wheel for many years Christian Löhr has been going on the ferris wheel for many years • Photo: Janine Gondi

Two wheelchairs together in a gondola

Christian Löhr, the disabled person's representative of the Ministry of Social Affairs, who has been using the Ferris wheel enthusiastically as a wheelchair user for decades, also attended the award ceremony.

Two people in a wheelchair can ride in a gondola in the Ferris Wheel at the same time as their companions, and two gondolas with wider entrances are available for this purpose. In addition, there is a ramp which allows wheelchair and rollator riders to reach the two gondolas on their own.

What the Wiesn does for accessibility

The City of Munich, as the organiser of the Oktoberfest, is particularly interested in making a visit to the festival attractive for people with disabilities and limited mobility. Mayor Pretzl explains: "I am extremely pleased that Wiesn is the market leader in terms of accessibility. This ranges from special places in the marquee to carnies who design their rides in such a way that people with reduced mobility can also use them".