White House Tour - Lines in December?

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Dec 7th, 1999, 10:01 AM
  #1
dan woodlief
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White House Tour - Lines in December?

I posted earlier with questions about photography in Washington. Well, I have now decided that I would also like to see the White House while there. I would rather not be there when the visitor center opens for ticket distribution, since I will be taking photos that time of morning (sunrise and good light, you know). The White House site says that advance tickets are not necessary this time of year. Can anyone tell me whether it is likely that I can just get to the White House between 9:00 and 10:00 on Saturday (this week) and be able to get in?
 
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Dec 7th, 1999, 10:24 AM
  #2
ilisa
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Dan, no offense, but I think you are confused between the timed tickets and advance tickets. During peak season, March through Labor Day, it is necessary to get timed tickets to enter the White House. They are given on a first-come, first-serve basis on the day the visitor wishes to tour. They are not advance tickets. The only advance tickets given are the ones you obtain from your congressman or Senators. At this time of year, timed tickets are not given. You just go to the gate and line up. Having said that, Dan, the White House has just been decorated for the holidays. It is always a magnificent sight and very popular with the tourists. While you don't need to get tickets, the lines still promise to be very long. In addition, public tours do not begin until 10:00am, so don't count on a 9:00am entry. Whoever is on line by 12:00, the time tours officially end, will be admitted. Email me if you have any questions. I have taken enough people through the White House that I feel like I live there.
 
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Dec 7th, 1999, 11:51 AM
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Dawn
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Ilisa, Is this daily or just on the weekends?
 
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Dec 8th, 1999, 04:10 AM
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ilisa
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Hi, Dawn! It's Tuesday thru Saturday. No tours are given on Sunday and Monday.
 
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Dec 8th, 1999, 04:41 AM
  #5
dan woodlief
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Thanks Ilisa. I had it right in my mind, but I didn't get it right when I typed it. I meant timed tickets but called them advance tickets. I meant be there by 9:00; I know the tours start at 10:00. The information about getting in if in line by a certain time was just what I was looking for. Do you have any feeling for how long it would take me to get in if I arrived at about 9:00 to 9:30 to line up?
 
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Dec 8th, 1999, 04:57 AM
  #6
ilisa
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You know Dan, it's so hard to tell. Personally, to be on the safe side, I would get on line earlier than 9:00 if at all possible. I honestly don't know how long it will take to get inside. I've seen the lines move really quickly, and sometimes they are as slow as molasses. Sorry I can't be more specific. You would think that people would stay away from waiting on line because it can be cold, but because of the decorations, the White House is immensely popular. When you get inside, be sure to purchase a White House Christmas ornament from the White House Historical Society booth. The ornaments are beautiful and make great collectibles, gifts, etc. I think they are lighting the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse tonight. It always proves to be the tackiest tree on earth; be sure to check it out.
 
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