Ferris Bueller: Possible or Not?

Ferris Bueller: Possible or Not?

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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Possible or Not?

     Ferris, Sloane, and Cameron spend one amazing day ditching school, exploring the great city of Chicago and take time to visit many landmarks and take part in many exciting activities. The day depicted in the movie would be a great and exciting day for anyone, but is it possible for them to have done all of the things they did in one day? I believe it is reasonable to believe that Ferris and company may have been able to do all the things they did in the movie in one day.
     The first thing that needs to be looked at is where Ferris lives. Ferris most likely lives within 10 minutes of his school considering he lives in the Chicago area and there are many high schools, he wouldn’t live too far from his high school. That is all just logic. Ferris’ school was shot at Glenbrook North High School which is at 2300 Shermer Road Northbrook, IL 60062. Using this site and assuming Ferris’ house is ten minutes away the journey begins. It is assumed that Ferris and Cameron pick up Sloane at 10 a.m. from school so this is when the timing starts. From school they head to downtown Chicago in Cameron dad’s 1961 Ferrari GT California, which has a top speed of 155 mph . Despite this we can assume that with Ferris driving, and him being a very daring and confident teenager, he was likely driving between 80 and 90 mph on the open freeways to downtown. Ferris had to travel about 22 miles to the parking garage in downtown Chicago, 18 of which were on a freeway. Assuming Ferris drives about 80 mph it would take him less then 15 minutes on the freeway and probably another 10 minutes on surface streets to get to the parking garage. The parking garage was located on the corner of Madison and Wells in downtown Chicago. This would make the time about 10:25 a.m. when they reached the parking garage to drop off the Ferrari.
     From the parking garage Ferris and his friends go to the top of Sears Tower and look down. It is approximately a half of a mile from the parking garage to Sears Tower. Walking briskly because they are excited about ditching school it can be assumed it took them about 10 minutes to walk that half mile.

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Considering that these are teenagers they couldn’t have been entertained by looking at the city from really high up for long. There are, of course, things to do on the sky deck of Sears Tower, but these were probably not too amusing to Ferris. Including time to take an elevator up 110 stories, I would estimate that Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane spent about 25 minutes at Sears Tower. This would make the time about 11 a.m. when they step out of Sears Tower.
     The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where Ferris heads next, is less than 1/5th of a mile from Sears Tower. We can guess this took about 5 minutes and that they spent no more then 20 minutes in the stock exchange. These may seem like short time periods, but they were excited teenagers ditching school for a day in the big city and would not likely spend too much time in any one place when they wanted to see the entire city. Assuming these time intervals they would be leaving the stock exchange around 11:25 a.m. heading for the Art Institute of Chicago.
     It is approximately 1.3 miles from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to the Art Institute of Chicago. They probably spent the money to take a taxi this distance assuming they have spending money since they live in a fairly wealthy part of town. In a taxi driving downtown it could take about 5 minutes to travel this short distance. This makes it 11:30 a.m. when they arrive at the museum. They probably spent about 45 minutes in the museum because they must have been interested in art or else they wouldn’t have gone there in the first place. After exploring the museum for 45 minutes or so they go to Chez Quiz for lunch.
     This exterior scene was shot on Schiller 22 W between State and Dearborn , so this is the reference point I will use for the restaurant. Using this site, which is 2.1 miles away from the Art Institute of Chicago , it can be assumed that they took a taxi here as well. Another reason to believe they took a taxi here is that they took a taxi to leave. After dealing with the doorman and ordering, and assuming they received excellent service since they were treated so disrespectfully when entering, I have allotted them an hour for lunch. This is reasonable because by now they haven’t eaten for a few hours and are most likely very hungry. After spending 45 minutes in the museum, about 10 more getting to the restaurant, and an hour eating, it is now about 1:30 p.m.
     After leaving the restaurant Ferris, Cameron and Sloane go the Cub’s game at Wrigley Field. Wrigley Field is about 3.2 miles from the restaurant . We know that they took a taxi to the game because of the scene of them getting into the taxi right behind his dad as they are leaving the restaurant. Assuming about a 15 minute time frame for them to get to Wrigley Field and buy tickets because of game time traffic it is about 1:45 by the time they get to their seats. When Rooney talks to the guy in the pizza shop he says it is the 3rd inning and assuming that Ferris just got to his seat when he caught the foul ball, the game probably started around 12:30. Assuming this and that they don’t stay for the whole game for a few reasons. First they were sitting in the sun and this would be a deterrent from spending the entire game there. Another deterrent would be that in 1986, the year this movie was made, the Cubs were 70-90 , which means they were more likely to have lost this game then to have won it. If they were losing then it is safe to say that they left somewhere around the 7th inning to continue their journey. This would make it somewhere around 3:15 p.m. when they left Wrigley Field.
     After the game they head to the parade. The parade was in downtown Chicago and couldn’t have been far from Wrigley Field so I will allow 10 minutes of walking time for Ferris to get to the Parade. His two songs and time spent at the parade could not have lasted more then 30 minutes so this would bring the time to 3:55 p.m. when they leave the parade. After the parade they head home, but not before Cameron has a mental breakdown.
     Assuming that traffic may be a little heavier at 4:00 p.m. then it was at 10 a.m. I will allow a little more time for travel on the return trip. Allowing 35 minutes for travel home time it is about 4:30 when they reach Sloane’s house to swim.
     A reasonable amount of time for them to be swimming is about an hour. This would give Cameron adequate time to recover from his shock, which he obviously did, and allow plenty of time to relax after a very eventful day. Sloane, Ferris, and Cameron all most likely live in the same neighborhood because they all have high class houses, Sloane’s having a swimming pool and Cameron’s having its own separate garage. Keeping this in mind they probably spent 5 minutes driving the Ferrari back to Cameron’s house. This brings the time to 5:35 p.m. when they get to Cameron’s house.
     The scene at Cameron’s house where they kill the Ferrari probably lasted about 15 minutes between them trying to reverse the miles off the Ferrari, realizing it was not working, and then Cameron killing the Ferrari. Ferris probably did not want to hang around for long after the Ferrari was killed so he probably walked Sloane home in a matter of a few minutes after the unpleasantness. It is now 5:50.
Once he walks Sloane home he quickly realizes that he needs to be home and runs home. Ferris looked like a fairly athletic guy and he did take a great shortcut through numerous backyards and a house. This would get him home exactly at 6:00 p.m. Just in time to throw the baseball to turn off the snoring and get off without a single consequence.
Ferris had a very eventful day traveling throughout Chicago and took part in a great deal of exciting things. Ferris Bueller’s day off was possible and could have been done by a man as creative and confident as the one and only Ferris Bueller.
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