Top Tips For Avoiding Queues at the Coca-Cola London Eye

When asked what he wanted to do for his 13th birthday my son had no hesitation in asking if he could ride on the world famous London Eye. We've walked past it so many times en route to blog events and he was desperate to see the view from the top.

Coca-cola London Eye review

I booked tickets via a third party website and thought I could just waltz up to the main queue. Mistake number one! My "tickets" meant I had paid in advance but we still had to queue twice - once to collect actual tickets and again to  board the capsule.

Booking via the official Coca-Cola London Eye website you can still save up to 15% on the walk up price and save yourself one queue at least if you choose the print tickets at home option. You can even book your time slot in advance and be guaranteed a place on the attraction.

We didn't even have a time slot booked and although we quickly realised while still queuing that the first available slot was a couple of hours after the time we would pick up our tickets at least we could still ride that day. Any later than lunchtime and I'm not sure that would be guaranteed especially at busy periods. We were astounded how busy it was on a very chilly day in February.

Coca-Cola London Eye from Westminster Bridge

You can upgrade your ticket to a fast track ticket which would be useful if you are prepared to pay the extra especially at weekends and during British school holidays and if you have limited time in the Capital and want to make the most of your stay.

We made a decision to book our slot towards dusk when we hoped to see London both in daylight and lit up. In the end it was a little too early for that but if you plan ahead it is possible.

Our second mistake was waiting until around 11.30am to go and collect our tickets.  I know from experience of walking past that queues are much smaller first thing in the morning when the London Eye ticket office first opens. This time varies throughout the year so check the website to find out when that is when you plan to visit.

Another useful tip is that if anyone in your party is disabled a carer rides free. You collect the free careers ticket on production of reasonable proof of disability at the ticket office. More details here.

The queue to board the London Eye looked quite long, crossing the walkway and continuing on the other side but it only took about half an hour before birthday boy could board with his Dad and his best friend. Queue times vary depending on the time of the day, week and year

madmumof7's son at Coca-Cola London Eye

Once on board the queuing boredom was quickly forgotten and they immersed themselves in spotting famous landmarks. They had a lovely day for the experience with fairly good visibility. You can buy a guide which would also make a nice souvenir and helps you identify buildings.

Here are a few do's and don'ts which are useful to know:

  • You have to fold down any pushchairs and buggies which can be taken into the capsule but you will have to carry your baby. Prams which don't fold have to be left at the ticket office.
  • No large suitcases or rucksacks are allowed onto the London Eye and there is nowhere to leave them so visit before you check out of your hotel.
  • You cannot picnic on the London Eye. You are not allowed food and drink unless it has been provided by London Eye, e.g. as part of their VIP, wedding or Champagne experiences.
  • No skateboards, roller-skates or motorbike helmets allowed and no camera tripods without prior arrangement,
  • There are security checks and no sharp items or anything which might be considered a security risk are allowed including metal nail files, replica guns, scissors or penknives.
My son thoroughly enjoyed his trip on the Coca-Cola London Eye and even though my husband had been before he felt it was well worth while booking the second trip as with different weather and at a different time of day it was a completely new experience.