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.