Empire State Building

Sep 27th, 2006, 07:23 AM
  #1  
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Empire State Building

I was going to purchase tickets to the ESB but noticed that tickets online only allow you to go to the 86 floor. If you want to go to the 102 floor you have to purchase them there. Do I want to go to the 102 floor? Is it worth standing in line? The only thing ordering online does is I get to go straight to the elevator waiting.
joelst is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 07:35 AM
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If you plan on going to the 86th floor you might as well go on up to 102... that's always been my take on it. My experience has shown it doesn't take that long to get the rest of the way there but maybe I've been lucky.
npurpleh2 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 08:40 AM
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It's not a matter of getting the rest of the way there, but of having to wait in line to buy tickets.

I don't know the details for certain, so hopefully someone else will jump in, but I believe the 86th floor is the open air deck you see so often in movies, while the 102nd is cramped and indoors. I don't really know what being 16 stories higher would buy you in terms of view, but I can't personally imagine that it would be worth the wait in line or the extra cost.
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Sep 27th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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The wait for tickets can be can be over an hour (depending on time of day), so yes, go ahead and buy 'em.

You have to switch to a new set of elevators on the 82nd floor, and there is another wait. At that point, many people just decide to climb the last 6 flights to the top, and skip the wait, even if they pre-paid.

So .... you definitely want to go all the way up, but you may not want to buy the elevator ticket. How strong are your legs?
capxxx is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Oops, I got my floors wrong. You want the 86th floor observation deck. But there is a switch of elevators 6 floors below that,and you can take the stairs up.
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Sep 27th, 2006, 11:10 AM
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So the 86th floor is the observation deck right? What is the 102nd floor? We are young and in pretty good shape for walking.
joelst is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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They're both observation decks.
jlm_mi is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 02:12 PM
  #8  
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Great. Since both are observation decks I might as well buy my tickets in advance to avoid the lines. 86 floors are high enough as it is. Thanks
joelst is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Even though you buy tickets on-line, you will still have to wait in line for quite awhile. You have to snake through a line to get to the elevator line and then wait for an elevator. We were in line on a Saturday evening a couple weeks ago with our tickets we bought on line for about 1 1/2 hours.
If going to the top of the ESB is important to you do it, but if you don't want to spend a lot of time waiting in line and still get a fab view, go to the Top of the Rock, no waiting at all!
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Sep 27th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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As mentioned before, one of the most beautiful sights in New York is that of the Empire State Building. Unfortunately you can't see that from the top of the Empire State Building! But you can from Top of the Rock.
 
Sep 27th, 2006, 04:07 PM
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And you probably won't have to wait long to get to the Top of the Rock. And I think it's even cheaper.
doug_stallings is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 09:54 PM
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Actually, I think you make an appointment for Top of the Rock when you buy the ticket, so you don't have to really wait at all. That's what I've been told anyway. Haven't been yet, but it's on my list!
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Sep 28th, 2006, 06:49 AM
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Yes that's correct, when you buy Top of the Rock tickets, you get a specific time to come back.

We bought our tickets the afternoon of, for 30 minutes before sunset.

There was absolutely no wait, and it was fabulous. The views of the ESB definitely make it worth it (along with no line!).

amelie is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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Here's another solid endorsement of the Top of the Rock. And, yes, for maximum enjoyment, get there just before sundown to take it the views at both day and night.
The specifics given by the previous two posters are correct.
HowardR is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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bookmarking
Keith is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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Visiting the Top of the Rock's website, they mention that you have to look through transparent safety glass.

How clean & clear is it? It sounds like it would interfere with taking good photos.

Keith
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Sep 28th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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Keith,
Actually the first observation deck has that glass, and it was drizzling at the time so we were there for a bit. There was a large enough crack for me to get pics though in between each section of the glass. But then the rain stopped right at sunset and we were allowed to go to the very top observation deck (you go up stairs) and there is no glass up there. Wide open views (waist high railing - http://www.flickr.com/photos/tammima...31285?edited=1).

My pics are here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tammima...7594186431285/
amelie is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 10:26 AM
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Amelie's "crack" between the glass is 2-3 inches wide, so it works for cameras and looking yourself. And yes, one flight up there is no glass in the way. I loved my recent visit to the Top of the Rock, especially for the view of the ESB and Central Park. You may not get as high as the ESB's 86 floors, but you do get to 78 floors--and in only one elevator ride.
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