A wet and windy day doesn’t seem like the best conditions for a harrowing tip-toe across the edge of a Ferris wheel. But daredevil Nik Wallenda wasn’t fazed.
He walked Orlando’s newest attraction, the Orlando Eye, Wednesday morning, without a tightrope pole or a safety net. Wallenda even wore moccasin-style shoes his mother made for him, the Orlando Sentinel added.
TV crews captured every minute of the Ferris wheel walk, including The Today Show, as Nik eased his way along the 400-foot high moving observation wheel, 20-mph winds whipping through his hair, WFTS reported.
He stuck to the 6-inch, curved out rim, Click Orlando added, and had to step over ladders and other obstacles along the way.
“Because of that structure in the way, there’s no way I can use a balancing pole. This is the first time I will be doing a public walk without a pole.”
Despite the danger, Wallenda was casual about the stunt – so casual, in fact, he took a selfie in the middle of it. Overall, the Ferris wheel stroll took a few minutes.
— Nik Wallenda (@NikWallenda) April 29, 2015
— Marc R. Masferrer (@MRMasferrer) April 29, 2015
Though Nik’s daring act lured a crowd, the spectacle was mostly a publicity stunt. The Eye opens in May, the largest gem in the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex developed by Unicorp National Developments. The complex will also include a Madame Tussauds wax museum and Sea Life Aquarium.
Publicity stunt or no, once he heard about the new Ferris wheel, it became an obstacle he had to surmount, Nik told WFTS.
“I just had this vision of how cool it could be to tackle it and on top of that it’s just really an amazing structure to behold. There are so many (actual) moving parts to this walk that I think people are going to enjoy watching it as much as I’m going to enjoy taking part in it.”
Wallenda, 36, has pulled this kind of feat before – he traversed the Grand Canyon and Niagra Falls via wire, and walked between two Chicago skyscrapers, also on a wire, sans safety net or harness.
In a rather morbid side note that should probably deter Wallenda from any more morning strolls along Ferris wheels, his great-grandfather fell to his death in Puerto Rico during a tightrope stunt. He was 73.
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]