Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Parque Aztlán’s new ferris wheel lights up Chapultepec Park

Parque Aztlán, the new amusement park on the site of the former Chapultepec Fair in Mexico City, was scheduled to open on Aug. 30. However, Mexico City Mayor Martí Batres Guadarrama said on Wednesday night that there’s still no confirmed date for the park’s inauguration.

During the lighting ceremony for Aztlán 360, the park’s giant new ferris wheel, Batres added that installation and testing of various rides still need to be performed before the park is ready to open.

Feria de Chapultepec
The site of the old Chapultepec Fair, with the Quimera rollercoaster, has been replaced with Parque Aztlán. (Cuartoscuro)

At 84 meters tall, Aztlán 360 already lights up Chapultepec Park with more than 218,000 light bulbs. According to Batres, the lights will never turn off. 

“With this, we are starting a story that is not going to stop,” Batres said after turning on the ferris wheel’s lights with a crowbar. “[The lights] are going to stay on permanently,” he added.

Aztlán 360 will be an icon of Mexico City, just like the Azteca Stadium or the Torre Latinoamericana, Batres said. It will be “a symbol of culture, recreation and the [park],” he added. 

According to José Miguel Bejos, head of Mota-Engil Mexico, the company developing the amusement park, the ferris wheel will serve a double purpose. Aztlán 360 is meant to entertain as an urban icon and to accompany the city during “important celebrations for chilangos” he said, as it will light up with different colors depending on the occasion.  

The opening of the new park is highly anticipated by city residents. (Cuartoscuro)

The ferris wheel will have 40 air-conditioned cabins, heating and Bluetooth for listening to music. 

During his speech, Batres mentioned another icon that used to stand on the same premises: the Chapultepec Fair roller coaster Quimera, which was in the park for over 50 years.   

Built in 1964, the rollercoaster derailed in 2019, causing the deaths of two people and severe injuries in others. Mexico City’s Attorney General’s Office ordered the park’s eviction, and when investigations revealed lack of maintenance to the roller coaster, the city government revoked the concession granted to the fair’s managing company and shuttered the fair.

Two years later, construction of the new amusement park began in the second section of Chapultepec Park. With an investment close to 4 billion pesos (US $227 million), the park will be part of the cultural and recreational corridor of the four sections of Chapultepec Park.

The park, named after the mythical place where the Mexica and other Nahua peoples are said to have come from, will be able to welcome 15,000 people at a time. Unlike the former Chapultepec Fair, entrance will be free of charge, though visitors will have to pay to go on the rides of their choice.

 With reports from El Universal, Expansión and Capital 21

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