Take In The New Year With A New View From The Empire State Buildings 80th Floor Experience

The Empire State Building Observatory has completed the final phase of its four-year, $165 million-dollar project, just in time for a new decade. The new 80th-floor observation experience adds engaging and informative exhibits to orient visitors on their visit to New York City and showcases the building’s unique place at the center of it all.

In partnership with NYC & Company, the official marketing, tourism and partnership bureau for New York City, the experience is unlike any other in the building. The 80th floor features five interactive video blades which allow visitors to utilize NYC & Company’s expertise to design itineraries for their visit using a massive inventory of destinations in all five boroughs. The itineraries automatically download to a visitor’s phone with the use of a QR Code reader or can be sent via e-mail.

Photo Credit: Empire State Realty Trust

Furthermore, interactive augmented reality scenes from New York City are housed inside the classic binoculars you would find on the upper decks. This brings visitors directly to the sights and sounds of popular destinations from Central Park to Wall Street and Times Square.

If you’ve ever wondered how the Empire State Building’s music-to-light shows are created, there is a short film that explains just that. The film, which is narrated by world-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman, features highlights from his designs, such as the first-ever music-to-light show with Alicia Keys in 2012, and a holiday light show synced to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Photo Credit: Empire State Realty Trust

Hanging on the walls are different artworks, including Stephen Wiltshire’s incredible drawing of the city. In 2017, the famed British artist took a 45-minute helicopter ride above Manhattan. He then drew an incredibly detailed landscape drawing of the city while in residence on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building, completely from memory. A three-minute film documents his process, from the 45-minute helicopter ride to the four days in which he created the original piece of art.

Photo Credit: Empire State Realty Trust

Excited to see the photos taken in front of the green screen on the 2nd floor? The pictures are captured from 25 different angles utilizing 25 different HD cameras to create an immersive experience to tell a visual narrative. The new location for pick up has also been redesigned with facial recognition technology to speed the retrieval and purchase process through self-service kiosks.

As visitors enter the exit queue, they are encouraged to share their pictures on their social media platforms by four screens that create mosaic shadows of each visitor with images shared by other guests that use the hashtag #empirestatebuilding.

Photo Credit: Empire State Realty Trust

“What began with the new Observatory entrance opening in August 2018 is now as we intended–a fully educational and immersive journey which connects visitors from around the world to their emotional connections to the World’s Most Famous Building and helps them design their entire visit to New York City from the center of it all. The completed Empire State Observatory elevates our Guests’ experience, from out new entrance to the dramatic and exciting new 102nd floor,” said Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust. “At 88 years young, the Empire State Building remains the icon of innovation, aspirations, and dreams and the vibrant ancestor of all tall buildings around the world.”

Tickets to the 86th-floor Observatory start at $38 with tickets to the 102nd-floor Observatory available for an additional $20. Tickets can be pre-purchased online or in real-time on-site at kiosks located on the second and 86th floor.