Empire State Building

fredandkell

I'd rather be cruising
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Last time I tried to do ESP it was in 2004 and the line was so absurdly long we didn't bother. Going to NYC soon with the kids pre-Bermuda sailing and they want to do it. From what I'm reading it sounds like if we get there right when it opens that is the best chance of having a short line. Can anyone weigh in on that?
 

3 Hobbits 2 Disney

Working Our Way Home
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Last time I tried to do ESP it was in 2004 and the line was so absurdly long we didn't bother. Going to NYC soon with the kids pre-Bermuda sailing and they want to do it. From what I'm reading it sounds like if we get there right when it opens that is the best chance of having a short line. Can anyone weigh in on that?
Buy a NewYork Pass - front of the line for a lot of popular attractions.
 
  • Marc D

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2016
    We’ve never seen long lines there outside of Christmas week in all our NYC visits. Try to go before sunset time since a lot of people go at that time to take pictures.

    I think Top of the Rock is a better skyline view. You’ll get the Empire State Building in your pictures from there. The best one in the city is surely One World Trade Center, but that’s far from the other two. The elevator ride and the ‘pre-show’ are worth the trip downtown.
     

    kkayluvsdis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2008
    We’ve never seen long lines there outside of Christmas week in all our NYC visits. Try to go before sunset time since a lot of people go at that time to take pictures.

    I think Top of the Rock is a better skyline view. You’ll get the Empire State Building in your pictures from there. The best one in the city is surely One World Trade Center, but that’s far from the other two. The elevator ride and the ‘pre-show’ are worth the trip downtown.
    Second Top of the Rock for a better overall experience!
     

    fredandkell

    I'd rather be cruising
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    I totally agree with you all that it’s an expensive tourist trap but it’s one of those things the kids are begging to do. I try to accommodate them on at least one thing per trip that I would personally prefer not to do, ha!
     
  • disruptor32

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 11, 2019
    Agree with others that Top of the Rock is a superior attraction because, primarily, it gives you the absolute best view of the Empire State Building itself, which you obviously cannot get from inside of ESB lol. If they insist that they have to go to the top of ESB, I would say buying a CityPass sounds like a good bet, or else just getting there early.

    Enjoy your cruise! I might be one of the weirdos waving at the ship as you sail out.
     

    fredandkell

    I'd rather be cruising
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    Agree with others that Top of the Rock is a superior attraction because, primarily, it gives you the absolute best view of the Empire State Building itself, which you obviously cannot get from inside of ESB lol. If they insist that they have to go to the top of ESB, I would say buying a CityPass sounds like a good bet, or else just getting there early.

    Enjoy your cruise! I might be one of the weirdos waving at the ship as you sail out.
    Come wave! How fun! I’m super excited!
     

    alexce

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 30, 2014
    ESB has a VIP ticket option that, if you buy it online prior to arriving, will get you from the front door to the top of the building in about 5 minutes. It is double the main ticket price, so obviously not going to be everyone's idea of money well spent. But we did our visit that way at 'prime time' in the mid-morning on a very busy day and didn't regret it for a moment.
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    I know the kids want Empire State Building, but I'm going to differ with the Top of the Rock is the best. One World Trade's Windows on the World is breathtakingly beautiful!!
     
  • KdKyA

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2017
    I just recently did Top of the Rock and One World. Top of the Rock gives you a harbor downtown city view which is incredible. The elevator ride is awesome. Top of the Rock was better for my kids though. That one has city, river, and Central Park view. The contrast of the park to the city is amazing! I enjoyed that view much more than One World. You can purchase your ticket ahead of time to guarantee a time slot for just about every attraction in NYC.
    Edited to add a photo from Top of the Rock.
     

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    fredandkell

    I'd rather be cruising
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    ESB has a VIP ticket option that, if you buy it online prior to arriving, will get you from the front door to the top of the building in about 5 minutes. It is double the main ticket price, so obviously not going to be everyone's idea of money well spent. But we did our visit that way at 'prime time' in the mid-morning on a very busy day and didn't regret it for a moment.
    I saw that, and normally I am all about time tickets but it’s already $160 for four people to go out to the top which really makes me gag as it is without doubling the price. 😳
     

    fredandkell

    I'd rather be cruising
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    Buy a NewYork Pass - front of the line for a lot of popular attractions.
    Thanks for the suggestion. I looked it up, and it won't work for us this time, but I will definitely look into this next time! The ESB was the only thing we were planning to do that particular day (in the morning, before we board our ship) so it wouldn't make sense to buy it for just one attraction, but I can definitely see cost savings potential!
     

    fredandkell

    I'd rather be cruising
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    I just recently did Top of the Rock and One World. Top of the Rock gives you a harbor downtown city view which is incredible. The elevator ride is awesome. Top of the Rock was better for my kids though. That one has city, river, and Central Park view. The contrast of the park to the city is amazing! I enjoyed that view much more than One World. You can purchase your ticket ahead of time to guarantee a time slot for just about every attraction in NYC.
    Edited to add a photo from Top of the Rock.
    That's a really cool picture, thanks for sharing!
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    It sounds like your mind is made up but I am another person who is going to chime in and say save your time and money. We waited two hours in the line only to leave 5 minutes after we got up to the top. View was not good, platform was miserably windy, and the gift shop was full of garbage.
     

    Jack_Sparrow_NJ

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2018
    Don't do City Pass or New York Pass or any of the other combination deals as you won't have time to visit the other attractions.
    Top of the Rock is in the heart of Midtown and in my opinion has the best view. (but I am biased)
    Not sure if one of your kids is a young girl bur the American Girl store and Lego are right in Rockefeller Center.
    As far as waiting online goes, tickets are all timed. You can purchase up to a year in advance at topoftherocknyc.com
    Enjoy the view and enjoy the cruise

    Edited to add the view
     

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    skyblue17

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 4, 2017
    New Yorker chiming in to say that if you are only doing one big thing before boarding your ship, check with the kids to see WHY it has to be the Empire State Building to BE on instead of SEE. If you do Top of the Rock, there's a few little pitstops in the area, including a few places to get breakfast/lunch before heading to over to board. Plus you're seeing Rock Center and, if time allows, a few fun stores. Also keep in mind that a rainy or low cloud morning is going to nix these plans anyway.
     

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