Daredevil to walk on moving, 400-foot-high ferris wheel

Nik Wallenda Talks About His Latest Feat: A Walk on the Orlando Eye Observation Wheel While It's Moving

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- In the days leading up to one of his craziest stunts ever, tightrope walker Nik Wallenda has done the following: drop his kid off at school. Paint windowsills. Mow the lawn.

"It's not like I'm preparing for the end of my life," laughs the 36-year-old Sarasota, Florida, resident. "I'm a father, a husband and a homeowner."

One with a highly unusual, risky job. Born into a famous family of daredevils, Wallenda has traversed a tightrope stretched across the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and in between skyscrapers in Chicago.

32 PHOTOS
Nik Wallenda tightrope - latest - Chicago
See Gallery
Daredevil to walk on moving, 400-foot-high ferris wheel
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 02: Residents watch from their balconies as tightrope walker Nik Wallenda walks along a wire, slightly more than a half inch in diameter, blindfolded, between the towers of the Marina City condominium buildings following his walk from the west tower to the top of the 671-foot-tall Leo Burnett building on November 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The Marina City towers are 588 feet tall. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Onlookers watch as Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope across the Chicago River between Marina City's west tower and the Leo Burnett Building in Chicago on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 02: Nik Wallenda speaks to the press after walking a high wire more than 500 feet above the city on November 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 02: Nik Wallenda is lead into a press conference blindfolded after walking a high wire, also blindfolded, more than 500 feet above the city on November 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 02: Nik Wallenda speaks to the press after walking a high wire more than 500 feet above the city on November 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL- NOVEMBER 02: Daredevil Nik Wallenda gets a hug after walking a tightrope between buildings on November 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Wallenda has performed numerous high-wire feats that include being the first person to cross Niagra Falls on a tightrope. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope across the Chicago River from Marina City to the Leo Burnett Building in Chicago on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope across the Chicago River from Marina City to the Leo Burnett Building in Chicago on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Nik Wallenda celebrates after walking a tightrope blindfolded on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, between the Marina City towers in Chicago. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL- NOVEMBER 02: Daredevil Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope between buildings on November 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Wallenda has performed numerous high-wire feats that include being the first person to cross Niagra Falls on a tightrope. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL- NOVEMBER 02: Daredevil Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope between buildings on November 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Wallenda has performed numerous high-wire feats that include being the first person to cross Niagra Falls on a tightrope. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 02: Residents watch from their balconies as tightrope walker Nik Wallenda walks along a wire, slightly more than a half inch in diameter, blindfolded, between the towers of the Marina City condominium buildings following his walk from the west tower to the top of the 671-foot-tall Leo Burnett building on November 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The Marina City towers are 588 feet tall. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Congrats, @NikWallenda on pulling off the breathtaking daily double in the skies over Chicago. #SkyscraperLive http://t.co/oUj4lrR444
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 02: Residents watch from brdges and a passing L train fortightrope walker Nik Wallenda to begin his walk from Marina City's west tower to the top of the 671-foot-tall Leo Burnett building on November 2, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The walk, which spans 454 feet, is the highest and steepest skyscraper walk in the history of the Flying Wallenda family. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 01: A general view of the location Nik Wallenda will walk a high wire from the 588-foot-high Marina Tower west (R) and the 671-foot-tall Leo Burnett Building (L) on November 1 in Chicago, Illinois. The walk will be broadcase live on the Discovery Channel on November 2. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 01: Willie Geist (L) and Natalie Morales rehearse on top of the Marina City east tower before their live broadcast of the Nik Wallenda walk across the Chicago skyline on November 1, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The Discovery Channel will broadcast the record-breaking walk between the 588-foot-tall Marina City west tower and the 671-foot-tall Leo Burnett Building on November 2. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)
SARASOTA, FL - OCTOBER 08: Nik Wallenda walks up a high wire at a 15-degree angle while training for his upcoming walk across the Chicago skyline on October 8, 2014 in Sarasota, Florida. Nik Wallenda's walk across the Chicago skyline on November 2nd will be broadcast live by the Discovery Channel. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)
Photographers and TV journalists make their reports on Nik Wallenda walks without any harnesses or any safety precautions on a tightrope stretched across the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon on June 23, 2013. The two-inch (five-centimeter) thick wireline starting from a Navajo reservation just outside of the Grand Canyon National Park is suspended 1,500 feet (450 meters) above the ground (about 50 feet higher than the Empire State Building) and is 1,400 feet long (about the length of five football fields). US daredevil Nik Wallenda became the first man to cross the Grand Canyon on a tightrope Sunday, completing his latest record-breaking feat in just under 23 minutes. AFP PHOTO /JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
GRAND CANYON, AZ - JUNE 23: Nik Wallenda walks a high wire over the Grand Canyon at The Grand Canyon on June 23, 2013 in Grand Canyon, Arizona. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)
Nik Wallenda walks the tightrope above Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 12, 2013, with his sister, Lijana, 140 feet above pit road during the pre-race show at the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Jeff Willhelm/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
Nik Wallenda walks the tightrope above Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 12, 2013, with his sister, Lijana, 140 feet above pit road during the pre-race show at the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Jeff Willhelm/Charlotte Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
NIAGARA FALLS, NY - JUNE 15: Aerialist Nik Wallenda tighropes over the Niagara Falls June 15, 2012 in Niagara Falls, New York. Wallenda walked across the 1,800 foot 2 inch-wide wire Friday night as the first person to cross directly over the falls from the U.S. into Canada. Wallenda, 33 and a father of three, is a seventh generation member of the famed Flying Wallendas who trace their roots to 1780 Austria-Hungary, when ancestors traveled as a band of acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, animal trainers and trapeze artists. ABC televised the event and insisted the daredevil wear a teathered harness to prevent live coverage of a potentially deadly fall 190 feet into the churning torrent below. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NIAGARA FALLS, CANADA: JUNE 15: Nik Wallenda walks the rope over the Niagara Falls on June 15, 2012 in Niagara Falls, Canada. Following in the very careful footsteps of his forefathers, Nik Wallenda has successfully completed the FIRST ever tightrope walk above Niagara Falls. Casting a lonely figure surrounded by heavy mist spewed out by the world's biggest waterfall by flow rate, the daredevil completed his amazing feat at 22:41 eastern standard time. American Wallenda, who wore a safety tether at the request of live broadcasters ABC Television, was suspended 173 feet above the raging waters of one of the world's most famous natural wonders. In just 26 minutes the 33-year-old delicately stepped one foot at a time along the 1,550 wire hanging over the falls. The brave adrenaline junkie even managed to finish the last few metres holding his long balancing pole with one hand and running. PHOTOGRAPH BY Laurentiu Garofeanu / Barcroft USA /Barcoft Media via Getty Images
SARASOTA, FL - JUNE 06: Nik Wallenda trains for his upcoming walk across the Grand Canyon during Tropical Storm Andrea on June 6, 2013 in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)
People watc daredevil Nik Wallenda during his1,500-foot (457 meters) tightrope walk 100 feet (30.5 meters) above the beach August 9, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages)
Tightrope walker, Nik Wallenda crosses Niagara Falls on a wire, June 15, 2012. Famed tightrope walker Nik Wallenda completed June 15, 2012, the first walk across Niagara Falls in over a century, braving winds and heavy spray in his historic feat. Tens of thousands of spectators were packed on the US and Canadian sides of the falls to watch Wallenda, 33, complete the stunt. Wallenda's walk on a cable suspended 196 feet (60 meters) up over a never-before-traversed rim of the biggest waterfall in North America took under 30 minutes, considerably less than expected. AFP PHOTO / Geoff ROBINS (Photo credit should read Geoff ROBBINS/AFP/GettyImages)
People watch daredevil Nik Wallenda during his 1,500-foot (457 meters) tightrope walk 100 feet (30.5 meters) above the beach August 9, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages)
MEGASTUNTS - On June 15th, daredevil Nik Wallenda will walk approximately 1,550 feet on a tightrope wire, suspended 173 feet above the raging waters of Niagara Falls, between the United States and Canadian border - an unprecedented feat that has been banned for over 125 years. Wallenda's long-planned event will air live during a night of MEGASTUNTS specials starting with 'Countdown to Niagara: The Greatest Megastunts of All Time' (8-9pm, ET) and will culminate with Wallenda's walk on 'Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls - Live!' (9-11pm, ET) on FRIDAY, JUNE 15. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) NIK WALLENDA practices at the Seneca Niagara Resort in preparation for his walk over the falls.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda walks on a high wire in the Quarter at Tropicana Casino on Friday April 29, 2011 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia/FilmMagic)
SANTA CRUZ, CA - JUNE 2011: EXCLUSIVE Nik Wallenda performs a walk on top of the Ferris Wheel at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in June 2011 in Santa Cruz, California. Just don¿t look down! With nothing separating him from the long drop to the ground, world famous high-wire artist Nik Wallenda balances precariously on the frame of a moving Ferris wheel in Santa Cruz, USA. The professional daredevil has just been granted permission to walk a wire strung above Niagara Falls after an exception was made to a century-old ban prohibiting performing at the famous falls. The stunt will be the jewel in the crown of what has already been a glittering career performing death-defying high wire stunts in front of amazed spectators. In 2008, Nik wire walked 150ft between two 20-storey buildings without a safety net, doing the return leg on a bicycle to earn himself Guinness World Records for the longest distance and greatest height ever traveled by bicycle on a high wire. However, it is the Niagara Walk which Nik says he has been in training for his whole life. Nik is the seventh generation of renowned wire walkers the Great Wallendas, who made their name perform amazing high wire routines in circuses throughout Europe. And Nik is proud to be carrying on the tradition as his wife and three young children also perform as part of his act at fairs and circuses in the US. (Photo by Nik Wallenda / Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
MEGASTUNTS - On June 15th, daredevil Nik Wallenda will walk approximately 1,550 feet on a tightrope wire, suspended 173 feet above the raging waters of Niagara Falls, between the United States and Canadian border - an unprecedented feat that has been banned for over 125 years. Wallenda's long-planned event will air live during a night of MEGASTUNTS specials starting with 'Countdown to Niagara: The Greatest Megastunts of All Time' (8-9pm, ET) and will culminate with Wallenda's walk on 'Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls - Live!' (9-11pm, ET) on FRIDAY, JUNE 15. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) NIK WALLENDA practices at the Seneca Niagara Resort in preparation for his walk over the falls.
MEGASTUNTS - On June 15th, daredevil Nik Wallenda will walk approximately 1,550 feet on a tightrope wire, suspended 173 feet above the raging waters of Niagara Falls, between the United States and Canadian border - an unprecedented feat that has been banned for over 125 years. Wallenda's long-planned event will air live during a night of MEGASTUNTS specials starting with 'Countdown to Niagara: The Greatest Megastunts of All Time' (8-9pm, ET) and will culminate with Wallenda's walk on 'Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls - Live!' (9-11pm, ET) on FRIDAY, JUNE 15. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) NIK WALLENDA practices at the Seneca Niagara Resort in preparation for his walk over the falls.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

On Wednesday, Wallenda will walk - untethered - atop the 400-foot high Orlando Eye, the city's new, flashy observation Ferris wheel.

As it spins.

He won't use a balancing pole and won't have a safety net. The walk will be broadcast live on NBC's "Today."

"As far as events for me, fairly stressful and demanding. I guess there's more of a comfort zone on a wire," he said.

Wallenda will board the giant Ferris wheel like any normal spectator, taking a passenger capsule to the top. He'll then have to climb out of the capsule and down a ladder, he said, then walk on the outer rim as it spins. Wallenda estimated that the rim is about six inches wide. The walk could take 3 to 5 minutes and he said he must avoid parts of the Ferris wheel as it rotates.

He said that unless there's a "torrential downpour" he will perform the stunt as planned.

"I'm prepared to walk on it, expecting it to be damp or moist, it's just something I'm gonna have to face," Wallenda said during a news conference Monday. "My actual concern with the dampness is not the actual walking part. It's actually getting to the point where walking it, because my hands have to grab onto those ladders and work my way there. I don't want to slip on the way there."

Wallenda, who is married with three children, doesn't take his events lightly. He prays, thinks about death and practices rigorously while coldly calculating risks.

His great-grandfather, family patriarch Karl Wallenda, died in a fall during a stunt in 1978 in Puerto Rico. Two other family members also died decades ago while performing.

Being a daredevil performance artist is in Wallenda's blood. Wire walking is his specialty, and in recent years, his talents and scary stunts have been televised.

Last year, Wallenda walked on two wires between Chicago skyscrapers, at one point blindfolded. He didn't use a safety harness or net.

In 2013, Wallenda successfully walked a tightrope stretched across the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon. That walk was televised by the Discovery Channel. There was no safety net and Wallenda didn't use a tether.

In June 2012, Wallenda was the first person to walk over the brink of Niagara Falls. Other daredevils have crossed the water farther downstream but no one had walked a wire of the river since 1896. He did that walk with a tether because a TV network requested it for safety.

Wallenda said last week that he hopes he is an inspiration for others. People don't need to risk their lives, he said, but they should push themselves to do better, be greater.

"I think people become very complacent these days," he said. "I've always been a strong believer in pushing myself in everything I can do. Be a better husband, father and person in general. I hope that what I do inspires people to step out of their comfort zone and do greater things."

More from AOL.com:
Survivors of Colorado theater shooting begin testifying
National Guard called in to keep the peace in Baltimore
Coast Guard identifies victims of weekend boating disaster

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.