Theme park pairs Dutch windmill with Ferris wheel


A rendering of Harry’s Windmill Ride planned for Nelis’ Dutch Village in Holland. Courtesy Dutch Village

A well-known Dutch theme park is adding a new spin on tradition.

Nelis’ Dutch Village in Holland, established in 1958, said this week that it is adding Harry’s Windmill Ride to the park, and it expects to open the ride during its annual Community Day event on April 26.

Harry’s Windmill Ride is a blending of a 1940 Eli Bridge #5 Ferris wheel and a reproduction of the de Grosmolen windmill in Hoogmade, Netherlands.

The ride will hold two to three guests on each of its 12 chairs and ascend 45 feet, or four stories, in the air.


The de Grosmolen windmill was originally made in in 1640, which is 300 years before the Ferris wheel was initially produced.

The windmill was chosen based on its style and scale, which would align with the project.

Construction of the new ride entails finalizing renovations on the Ferris wheel, which will then have fins added to it, and the reproduction of the de Grosmolen structure.

Restoration of the fairly well-maintained Ferris wheel includes cleaning, painting and replacing a couple missing parts.

Once complete, the Ferris wheel will look as though it’s attached to the windmill and create the illusion of “riding on the fins of an authentic Dutch windmill.”

Family friendly

Joe Nelis, owner of Dutch Village, said the park has added more activities targeted at families with young kids.

The success of the new attractions was what drove the decision to take on a bigger step with the windmill ride, according to Nelis.

“We have been transforming the park in recent years from just being an educational Dutch experience to a family fun experience,” Nelis said. “We haven’t taken anything away from the park. We still do all the things that we have done for years.”

Other recent family friendly additions to Dutch Village include Petal Pumper Cars, Dutch dance lessons, Old Dutch cheese making and a miniature zip line. 

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