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Ellis Island timing question

Dallas
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3,213 posts
20 reviews
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Ellis Island timing question

We have purchased timed tickets for 1:00 PM a week from Friday. We will have them printed out and therefore head straight to the security tent (right?). We are NOT getting off the boat at the SOL, just heading to EI. We need to be back to the UWS by 6:00 PM, so I'm a bit concerned that too much of our time will be spent queuing & riding the ferry rather than seeing the exhibits.

If we are in line at 1:00 and target getting back to the South Ferry subway station by 5:30, do we really have enough time to enjoy the visit? Corollary (related) question: is there a significant wait time for getting the return ferry?

Toronto, Canada
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1,906 posts
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1. Re: Ellis Island timing question

I last went to Ellis Island two years ago but I think you will have enough time to enjoy your visit. Here are a few suggestions to save some time:

Normally the time on your ticket is the time that you can join the line (queue) that takes you to the security tent where you are screened prior to boarding the ferry. Arrive at Battery Park before 1:00 pm if possible. Even though your ticket is for 1:00 pm security officers will often allow you to enter the line a little earlier. No harm in trying, especially if you can get there at 12:30pm; that will at least gain another 1/2 hour of time for you. Even if they first say " Come back at 1:00 pm", try explaining your situation politely because they may reconsider. If they persist and say that you must wait until 1:00pm there are some memorials worth looking at in Battery Park for 15-20 minutes while you wait for your time slot: the Korean War Memorial, the WTC Sphere that survived the 9/11 disaster, and an interesting sculpture called The Immigrants.

When you arrive at Ellis Island check to see how many people are waiting to get on the ferry at that point. It might give you some indication of how busy it will be when you are ready to leave and if needed you can head back earlier.

Also prioritise your visit on Ellis island. If there are certain aspects that are more important to you then view those first. The island was closed down after major damage sustained during Sandy and exhibits are re-opening gradually. I'm not sure whether everything is back to normal again.

Finally when heading back home there may be an express train that will get you to the UWS more quickly and it may be worth waiting for instead of one that will make all the stops.

Enjoy your visit!

Dallas
Level Contributor
3,213 posts
20 reviews
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2. Re: Ellis Island timing question

Thanks for the tips. We'll just have to see how it works out!

3. Re: Ellis Island timing question

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