Scaled down versions of adult rides have been a staple of amusement parks, with kid sized Ferris wheels being some of the most popular.  The very smallest wheels that are too small for adult passengers have to be designed with extra safety precautions to prevent children from getting out during their ride, and the cars often look more like cages than ride vehicles. 



The Little Big Wheel was added to the park in 1979 as part of an expansion of the Kiddie Kingdom area of the park.  This was the park's third and smallest Ferris wheel, following the Giant Wheel and the Panorama Wheel, offering a Ferris wheel sized for every family member. 

The small six car Ferris wheel was originally located near the entrance to Kiddie Kingdom and was painted brown with bright orange cars.  In 1984 it was relocated to the center of the children's area as it was updated and expanded with its transformation to Shirt Tales Land. With the new theme, the ride was renamed Tyg's Swirl Twirl. 

Technical Information
  Wheel Rotation: Clockwise
  Maximum Ride Height: 19 Feet
  Number of Units: 6 Gondolas
  Unit Capacity: 4
  Cycle Capacity: 24
  Riding Time: 90 Seconds
  Loading Time: 2 Minutes
  Unloading Time: 1 Minute
  Cycle Time: 4 Minutes 30 Seconds
  Cycles Per Hour: 13.3
  Hourly Capacity: 312
  Weather Forcing Shutdown: Lightning
  Restraining Devices: Seat Belts & Door Locks
  Manufacturer: San Antonio Roller Works- San Antonio,TX
  Ride Restrictions: Under 54 Inches
Little Big Wheel Names
1979 - 1983 Little Big Wheel
1984 Tyg's Swirl Twirl
1985 - 1987 Elmer Fudd Ferris Wheel
1988 - 2004 Marvin the Martians Space Chase
The Shirt Tales theme only lasted one season.  When Six Flags acquired Great America in Gurnee, Illinois from Marriott, they acquired the licensing for the Looney Tunes characters, and for the 1985 season the children's area was renamed Looney Tunes Land. With the new theme, the wheel was renamed the Elmer Fudd Ferris Wheel. 

For the 1988 season, Looney Tunes Land received another makeover becoming Bugs Bunny Land.  The ride was given a fresh new look and new name as part of the makeover, and the vaguely futuristic Ferris wheel was given the new name Marvin Martian's Space Chase. 


At the close of the 2004 season plans were announced for the demolition of Bugs Bunny Land as part of the reimagining of the area of the park to become The Golden Kingdom for the 2005 season.  The new themed section of the park would be home to Balin's Jungle Land, a new children's area utilizing some of the Bugs Bunny Land rides.  Sadly,  the wheel was not among them, and it was retired at the end of the 2004 season to the park's boneyard.

Click below to watch a video of the Little Big Wheel: