Whilst in NYC we decided to check out the brand new One World Observatory after several friends had raved about the experience. It is recommended you purchase tickets in advance, which we did and turn up fifteen minutes before the allocated slot. It was chaos when we arrived as they had sold far too many tickets per time slot.
We entered the line at our slot time and proceeded to wait for 45 minutes in the freezing cold temperatures before being given access to the buildings warmth. It wasn't really on, you turn up 15 minutes early to then be kept waiting 45 minutes. This was a bad start to the experience and reminded me of the corporate greed of the West. There were no food, drink or toilet facilities whilst in the 45mins holding queue and no shelter from cold, wind, rain etc etc.
After entering the building you then queue for security (15mins) and then again to access the lifts (another 15mins). So all in all we had been kept waiting a long time. The lift itself is quite gimmicky highlighting how the New York skyline has changed over the years. Guests are then herded into a room to watch a short video before a surprise occurs. To be honest the end of the video was great and did make me smile.
The observatory itself is wicked. The views are incredible with huge floor to ceiling windows overlooking Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. We went at night time and New York looked beautiful. The Observatory views are worth checking out but the performance to get to the top is absolutely ridiculous so maybe try and research a quieter time to visit. Standard admission is $32, however, you can buy queue jump passes too for more money!
We also decided to check out the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Again, you can pre-book tickets online for $24 per adult. The queues weren't as manic for the museum as the Observatory but I would still recommend booking in advance. The museum was incredible and very moving. There was lots of information, which I had not discovered before included in the exhibits. The museum itself is built into the basement of the south tower. It is quite an insane feeling to be stood at the bottom of the original World Trade Centre.
Whilst in the area also check out the memorials. Twin reflecting pools stood in place of the North and South towers. The pools are calm and peaceful and a great place to spend some time reflecting.
All in all the World Trade Centre area has been reworked magnificently. Everything there is worth a visit when in NYC.