One World Observatory

June 7, 2019 | Sarah Funky


As a New Yorker, I never consider being a tourist in my own city. When my mother came into town on a chilly winter weekend, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to experience One World Observatory.

When we arrived, there was a long line going out the door to buy tickets. Luckily we had purchased them in advance and could skip the line, something to keep in mind if you’re visiting. I’ve also heard it gets crowded in the afternoon. To beat the crowds we went in the morning when they opened, which allowed us to have a more enjoyable experience overall.
Entering the building felt similar to the Space Mountain ride entrance at Disney World. The interior of the space is futuristic and has an interesting walkway illuminated in blue light with videos of those who worked constructing this building.

The “sky pod” elevator to the top was surprisingly entertaining. They have covered the interior of the elevator in TV screens and during the short ride up they showed the construction of NY from farmland to modern day. Every floor passed brought a change in scenery. It was one of my favorite parts of the visit!

Once you get to the top, guests are directed to the “see forever” theatre that shows a fun video on the rhythms of the city. The grand finale of the video wall was that it was pulled into the ceiling, revealing windows with panoramic views of the city. The entire crowd gasped in delight when this happened. It was amazing!

Next we were invited to explore the main observatory. They offered us an opportunity to purchase an interactive iPod that would reveal information about the views. Tourists would love this, as they may not know much information about the surrounding buildings; however, my frustration with the iPod was that it is only populated with major buildings and monuments, which we already knew about. We had questions about other buildings in the area and it was unable to provide that information to us. Nonetheless, the views from the top of One World Observatory were stunning and we could not stop taking photos of the beautiful view. Seeing New York from this angle puts things into perspective. It makes you feel small and that you are part of a greater calling in life.
At the top, they have a café, bakery and bar. We did not stop there for treats; however, I imagine it would be breathtaking to have a glass of wine while the sun is setting.

After taking in the view, it was time to head back down. I expected the elevator ride would be the opposite; modern day back to farmland, however, it was completely different. This time, the elevator video replicated being launched out of the building and glided down ground level of modern day New York City. It was fun, and seemed more like an amusement park ride than a means for transportation.

If you’re planning on visiting One World Observatory, I recommend buying tickets in advance and going first thing in the morning. It’s the easiest way to see the area plus you will beat the crowds. Becoming a tourist in your own city gives you a new perspective and makes you appreciate where you’re from. It’s an interesting and fun activity to do with family & friends visiting the area! 

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