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Best ever tip - Empire State Building

Maidstone, United...
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Best ever tip - Empire State Building

Firstly, thanks to all of the ‘New York Crowd’ who give great (accurate) information and helped make my 4 nights over New Years Eve go perfectly.

Now I loathe standing in queues, particularly long ones with no definitive end so for me, this tip is not only the best one for New York but in my top three of world wide tips throughout all of my travels.

Before you visit the Empire State Building, go on-line and book an Express Ticket for each person. Sure it practically doubles the price but boy will you appreciate it.

When we arrived at about 10.30am on 2nd January the queue to get in the building was around the first corner. Inside, the queue for tickets filled a large room. The queue for security clearance filled a huge room (possibly 200 – 300?). The queue for the first elevator was extremely long and the queue for the second elevator was very long.

With the Express Pass, we were not only immediately ushered to the front of each queue but we were almost rushed at speed, with rope barriers being removed for us all the way. From arriving outside the building to standing at the top could not have been more than 10 minutes at the most. For those standing in line, it must have been hours! It also meant that most of our time at the top was relatively quiet and roomy as most people were obviously still trying to get there.

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1. Re: Best ever tip - Empire State Building


If you tell everyone then the express queue (or as we call it here in the States - express line) will become as long as the non-express.


Seriously, glad you had a great time on your trip!

Newcastle Upon Tyne...
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2. Re: Best ever tip - Empire State Building

I totally agree with you there, I visited NY in November for Thanksgiving in 2008 and we did the Golden Ticket Pass as I like to call it. You feel like a VIP and your up to the top in less than 7 minuets!

I wrote a review about it when I got back I was soo pleased with it lol

Well worth it.

Booked up for my second trip June this year! Cant wait!

New York
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3. Re: Best ever tip - Empire State Building

Well, it doesn't bother me for visitors to share tips like this. But I hope nobody spills the beans about the Knickerbocker Bypass Provision. Once tourists learn about that, we're all in trouble!

Maidstone, United...
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4. Re: Best ever tip - Empire State Building

My goodness, a fellow Maidstonite! Hope you've got the central heating up high!

Great tip but you can still get up the ESB in under 10 minutes if you're prepred to get up early. We got there at 07:45 in May '08. We were 3rd in the queue and had to wait until 08:10 before they let us up the escalator. My first photo from the top was timed at 08:17 which wasn't too shabby I thought! Then again, I never like to pay too much if I can help it!

Glad you enjoyed the experience - I still think that everyone should go to the top of the ESB at least once in their life - I've been 5 times and it's right up there (if you'll pardon the pun) for my next trip later this year.

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5. Re: Best ever tip - Empire State Building

We visited the Empire State Building on Sunday 3rd January 2010, got there early 9.15 and had no wait at all. Did the same for the ferry to Statue of Liberty, 9am, again no wait. Save your money and get there early. Good restaurant Duane Park in the Finance District, great food, very friendly, see their web site.

new york city
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6. Re: Best ever tip - Empire State Building

It really is a crap shoot as they say sometimes my wife insists that I go on line and buy movie tickets knowing that the show is going to be sold out. So after paying the 2 or 3 dollar premium per ticket we print them out and head to the theater only to find that only about half the seats are taken and there was no need at all to buy ahead. Same with this if there is a line and you must go to the top then you are a hero to your family if not it is a stiff price to pay but hey that's what vacations are all about right.

New York
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7. Re: Best ever tip - Empire State Building

Another good time to go, probably the best, is six or seven in the evening when everybody else is having dinner. Other things close in the afternoon, like the Statue of Liberty and museums, but the ESB is open all night, till 2 in the morning (last elevator goes up at 1:15).

Depending on the time of year, you can great sunset vistas, daylight definition, or romantic night-light looks.

Manchester, United...
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8. Re: Best ever tip - Empire State Building

how much is the express line?

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9. Re: Best ever tip - Empire State Building

Thanks for that fantastic tip. We will be in NY in may and as we are only there for 4 days we really dont want to waste prescious time in queues. Great idea. Greg Evans

Cambridge, UK
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10. Re: Best ever tip - Empire State Building

I always think that there must be some days where so many people are paying for the express that it's just as slow as normal!