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NYC- Advance tickets for Top of Rock, ESB, & Statue of Liberty?

NYC- Advance tickets for Top of Rock, ESB, & Statue of Liberty?

Old Apr 18th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 24
NYC- Advance tickets for Top of Rock, ESB, & Statue of Liberty?

Our first trip to NYC is coming up next month and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed trying to plan our itinerary.

I've been reading other posts & trip reports here on Fodor's and they've been very helpful - however, I keep reading suggestions to purchase advance tickets online for several attractions to save time but I'm feeling apprehensive about nailing down specific dates and times. What if I purchase advance tickets, but it's pouring rain during that day/time? Obviously we won't want to go out onto an observation deck during a thunderstorm.

I want to be prepared & save time, but I also want to have some flexibility.
Out of TOR, ESB & the ferry to Liberty & Ellis islands, which one do you think is *most* important to purchase advance online tickets for? Are refunds or exchanges a hassle if you purchase in tickets in advance?

FYI - we will be staying at The Michelangelo from Thursday afternoon - Sunday morning. I did already purchase our WICKED tickets online a couple of months ago.

neurotically yours,
shoppegirl is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2007, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Lines at the SOL and ESB can be truly horrendous - think hours. Even if you buy adance tickets both also have long security lines.

I would bag ESB and do Top of the Rock instead (there's little point in doing both). They have timed tickets with little or no wait. Check the web site and you may be able to buy them only a couple of days in advance, when you have an idea what the weather may be.

I also would not bother with the SOL - since there's not that much to see inside (most is closed off for safety reasons). If you get advance ticket for the ferry (get the earliest time slots you can get a close up view of the SOL and then go on to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum - which is brilliant - and not affected by the weather.

Separately, although we do tend to get spring showers we rarely get thunderstorms before late June or July - it's just not hot enough - and the rain is usually showers rather than downpours. Although - with weather there are no guarantees.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2007, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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If you want the Statue of Liberty, advance tickets are absolutely necessary. There is no point in going there unless you get the access passes. Otherwise just take the free Staten Island Ferry.

I agree, get the earliest Access pass available, get there an HOUR prior- at least. Expect to be 2 hours in security lines- line for the boat, another to enter the base.

I disagree- getting into the base is WELL worth the trip and my opinion only, I wouldn't go there without it.

Tickets available via Circle Line.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2007, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
You don't need advance tix to TOTR.

For ESB, if you want to go, buy online. There's no specified date/time for ESB and I don't think they expire. Go at an off hour. They're now open til 2 am.

The only one that's a commitment of a specific day/time is SOL/Ellis Island. I agree if you go to SOL you should go inside and to do that you really do need to reserve otherwise there may be no passes left. If you really just want to go to Ellis Island, it's not nec. to buy or book in advance. More info here
mclaurie is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2007, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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So what are the off hours or good hours to go to the Empire State? I'm thinking we may do a CityPass this time and since it's "free", and I haven't been up there in years. . . Is 8 or so in the evening a good time crowdwise -- or bad? It would be nice to go at dusk and stay long enough for it to become dark.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Thank you! All of your responses have been very helpful.

I just purchased circle line ferry tickets for 8:45 am and we'll plan on arriving early.
I also purchased the audio tour and registered for the Monument Access pass. I know the opinions are heavily divided about whether or not to go inside the statue, but I think we'd like to experience it once.

thanks again!
shoppegirl is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2007, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You might also consider that if you are thinking about taking the double decker bus tours, that you can purchase these with an option of SOL and ESB. When I did this, we cut to the head of the line in both locations because the Gray Line folks had it all worked out ahead of time. Also, the bus tour allows you to use the bus for 48 hours, which is another plus.
EmilyC is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2007, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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NeoP., on the ESB website they claim the best time to visit is....
.." on a weekday when we first open at 8am or between 3-5pm" They are now open til 2 am I think last elevator at 1:15 or so.
mclaurie is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2007, 03:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,585
Did TOR last week and was so glad we did. I think the views are fabulous....much better views of Central Park. We did the NYParty Shuttle with only 30 other people- much better IMO tan on a huge, impersonal bus.
LLindaC is offline  
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