The thrilling Whirlpool Aero Car Ride, also called the “Spanish Aero Car” is a spectacular journey high above the swirling Niagara Gorge whirlpool, just a little over five miles from Niagara Falls. The Whirlpool Aero Car Ride takes 35 visitors at one time about 180 feet above the boiling and bubbling waters of the mighty Niagara river.
The Whirlpool Aero Car Ride was designed by a Spanish engineer, Leonardo Torres Quevedo and has been in operation since 1916. The cable car is suspended from six sturdy cables and takes about ten minutes to travel across the 3,600 feet.
At first glance one may think the Whirlpool Aero Car Ride takes visitors from Canada to the United States, but the entire journey is all on the Canadian side. There have actually been people attempting to cross the border illegally who have boarded the Whirlpool Aero Car Ride thinking they would it actually make it undetected into the USA, only to find out they never left Canada. Not to mention the fact the ride never unloads riders at the opposite side of the Gorge, only stops and reverses direction.
The Whirlpool Aero Car Ride opened on August 8, 98 years ago with upgrades to the design and functionality in 1961, 1967 and 1984.
The Whirlpool Aero Car Ride gives spectators a close up view of the Niagara Whirlpool which is formed at the end of the rapids where the gorge turns abruptly counterclockwise, and the river escapes through the narrowest channel in the gorge.
Riders must rotate around the carriage as it takes it’s journey across the whirlpool, allowing each spectator an opportunity to view both the American and Canadian side of the Gorge. The attendant on board will urge the riders to slowly walk around the carriage during the trip should an individual rider stops for a longer look in one particular spot. For this reason the Whirlpool Aero Car Ride is not wheelchair accessible.
The Whirlpool Aero Car Ride is $13.50 per adult and $8.50 per child between the ages of six to twelve.