A few days before heading to New York we learned about the imminent opening of the One World Observatory. The opening was scheduled for May 29, 2015 and we happened to be in NYC on that particular date. Luckily for us there were still tickets for sale for the opening day.
The observatory is located on floors 102-100 of the 1,776 feet skyscraper, the tallest in the Western hemisphere.
We booked tickets for 12:15pm. Tickets are dated and timed, available in 15mn increments.
So today was the day. After breakfast, we headed to One World Centre. While approching the skyscraper we saw a long line with people around the building. It took us more than 1 hour from the point we started queuing before entering the elevator.
At the Global Welcome Centre you have to pass a security check before going up.
A large screen shows the number of visitors to date and a world map where they originate from.
When you think you’re done waiting, in fact it is only the beginning. We wondered if we were at Disney… Maybe it is because it was the first day, but they have to improve this. To ease the wait, the corridor is filled with huge HD screens showing interviews of people who contributed to the building of the tower. At this point, you’d better not suffer from claustrophobia!
The 5 Sky Pod elevators bring you atop the nations highest skyscaper in less than 60 seconds. The experience inside the elevator is second to none. I don’t want to reveal too much but it is really amazing! Just watch the video:
Once on floor 102, we entered the See Forever theatre where we were shown a 2- minutes video about New York City. At the end, the screens vanish and in front of us, a mind blowing view over the city. People were oh-ing and ah-in and clapping their hands in awe. The escalator took us down to the Main Observatory (floor 100) or Discovery Level from where we had a 360 degrees bird eye view over Manhattan and suburbs, up to 50 miles. The weather couldn’t be better on Friday. We were really lucky!
A and C enjoyed stepping and obviously lying on the Sky Portal – a disc that shows a real time footage of the streets below.
The One World Explorer is a view-enhancing iPad experience bringing you closer to New York’s most important sights. Touch a red dot and you’re flown to the location. It has a special section for kids.
City Pulse is an interactive skyline concierge, where an ambassador slides images to the screens, providing guests with close-up views and information.
There is a shop selling souvenir gift items as well as a casual café or the fine-dining restaurant ONE. In total we stayed around 2 hours at the Observatory taking in all the sights. We also got our picture taken. Once we were on the ground level again, we bought the picture as a keepsake of our visit.
What you need to know before you go:
Location: One World Observatory: Enter on West St. at Corner of Vesey St.
Book in advance to get the date and time you want. However, if you book long in advance you can’t be sure about the weather, so take this into acount!
Open 7 days a week, from 9am until 8:00pm/ until midnight during summer hours!
Prices: Adult: $32, Child $26
The One World Explorer iPad experience comes at an extra cost of $15.00
Photo Packages: 8*6 Photo: $19.99 or a package at $29.99