New York Skyride at the Empire State Building
If you’re looking for an exciting introduction to New York City – or are simply pressed for time and want to experience as many city thrills as you can – the New York Skyride at the Empire State Building is a perfect way to “see” the city without having to travel farther than the second floor of the Empire State Building.
Using virtual-reality technology, the 30-minute simulator experience allows visitors to “fly over” 30 New York City sights while sitting on a specially designed platform that moves in sync to an 18-foot high-definition screen.
The program begins with two pre-shows: I am New York is a perspective on the history of the Empire State Building, and Top 10 Things to Do in New York presents the most popular attractions in the city.
Then comes the real fun. The Skyride’s flight simulation, narrated by actor Kevin Bacon, takes you across the skyline to more than 30 New York City landmarks, including Yankee Stadium, Roosevelt Island, retrospective footage of the World Trade Center, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. At one point the flight takes a “haywire” detour through the subway and Coney Island, making the tour not suitable for pregnant women or those with other health issues.
The New York Skyride runs all day from 8am to 10pm, 365 days a year (with limited hours on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day).
Approximately 30 minutes
Good for kids?
Kids who aren’t afraid of heights will definitely like learning about New York City’s history and its attractions in this virtual tour simulator. There are some restrictions, though: kids must sit in their own seats (no lap-sitting) and must be at least 36” tall.
Did you know?
The Empire State Building was the world’s tallest building for 41 years, from its completion in 1931 until the construction of the World Trade Center’s North Tower in 1972.
The American Society of Civil Engineers named the Empire State Building one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
New York Skyride at the Empire State Building Location Information:
350 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10001
Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue (at 34th St.)
New York, NY 10016
The entrance to the Skyride is from the building’s 33rd St. entrance (not the main Fifth Ave. entrance); turn left up the escalator.
B, D, F, M to 34th St./Herald Square; N, R to 28th St.; 6 to 33rd St.
Empire State Building Details
While you can purchase the Skyride separately, combination tickets are also available that include access to the Empire State Building’s observatories. The main deck observatory features a 360º wraparound terrace outside and a protected indoor space in the case of inclement weather. A second, smaller, observatory is indoors on the 102nd floor of the building and, as of 2012, is the highest public spot in New York City.