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“Skydeck FastPass a Must!”

Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower
Ranked #7 of 699 things to do in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: No trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago! Treat yourself to a "one stop Chicago" experience on your journey to the 103rd floor. Enjoy 360-degree views spanning up to 50 miles and 4 states and our most spectacular view - 1,353 feet straight down! "Dare to Stand Out" on The Ledge - glass balconies extending 4.3 Feet outside the building provide a thrilling, once in a lifetime experience!
Reviewed August 1, 2009

My family and I toured the Sears Tower Sky Deck yesterday. It was a great day to spend the morning, before taking a cab to the Wendella Chicago River & Architecture tour. Fortunately I read several reviews on tripadvisor that suggested paying a bit more and purchashing the Sky Deck FastPass online before going. I am beyond glad that we did as the lines are unbelievably long! And not just one line either. As other reviewers have noted, just when you make it through one line and they empty you into another room in which you think you are done...surprise, you're not...you're just in another room in another long line, starting the process all over again. We saw this as we passed all those lines by as we had prepurchased FastPasses. Whew!! We went about 1045 and while you still have to stand in the line outside the building, once through the door, the guides start calling out for patrons with "FastPasses." Ok, enough about the two hour lines and onto the Skydeck. It was great! Once up there, it is large enough so no matter how crowded it is, you will have ample room for photo shots and viewing. There are lines to stand out on the new suspended glass floors, but those move quickly and are only about 10 minutes long. Make sure you bring a camera...the outward and downward view from those is something you'll definitely want to capture on film! There is also lots of Chicago trivia on the walls so this trip is enjoyable and educational as well..for all ages i think!

19  Thank Mom468
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10,901 - 10,905 of 14,806 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2009

My teenage boys and I decided that since the weather was great in Chicago we would check out the Sears (now named Willis) Tower. Be prepared for lines. First there was a line to go down to the entrance of the elevators to get tickets. Then there was a line to purchase tickets, then there was a line to see a 5 minute movie about the Tower, then the line to enter the elevators to ride to the top, After seeing the views, which were great, there was a line to enter the elevators to go down. We spend 2 hours in lines and my boys probably only stayed about 1/2 hour looking at the views. All this for $15.00 a person. I would not do this again. There is no refund if the views are clouded.

3  Thank ncmom51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2009

My wife and I had a fantastic time and the Sear Tower. We got their as the sun was setting, but just missed the twilight by the time we got up. We had a short wait, but nothing as dramatic as some reviewers. The video presentation before the elevator ride up is very well done. It is entertaining and informative for all ages. I was very impressed with it. It was short, fun, and an interesting commentary on how society has changed in corporate America as well as the history of the building. The ride up also has a brief and fun video. The views were fantastic. Even though we missed the sunset, the night time scenery was clear and magical. The new sky boxes are very cool. I did expect this to happen, but when I stepped out onto the clear ledge, my brain briefly kicked into overdrive seeming to say, "What are you doing, crazy?!" We went on a Thursday night and the crowds were not bad, but there was still a patient wait to get on one of the sky boxes.

2  Thank VacationSleuth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2009

After a long day, we still had some time to kill so we decided to take a water taxi ($3 for adults, $2 for kids from Michigan Ave.) to the Sears (now Willis) Tower. We had a hard time finding the entrance to the SkyDeck...it's around the corner from the main Tower entrance. Once we got there, we had some sticker shock because it was $40 for the 3 of us (2 adults, 1 child). After that, we went through a security check, then waited to see a movie. We would have gotten in to the movie right away, but we had to make a potty stop and missed it, so we waited 15 minutes for the next one. The movie was informative and gave some background about the building. My son was impressed when they started flashing huge numbers like how many windows, how many miles of pipes, etc. Then we went in the elevator up to the 108th floor. They said that the elevator goes about 20MPH and reaches the 108th floor in less than a minute. My ears kept popping. I didn't like that they crowded so many people onto it at one time. When we got to the top, the view was incredible. We had just missed the fireworks, but I'll bet that's the best place in the city to be during the fireworks show! We walked around each side looking at all the twinkling lights until we got to the new ledge. For me, that was the highlight of the whole trip! I took some neat pictures of the people in the box across from me. There was a cloud that was hovering right in front of us, and at first I was afraid it would ruin the view, but it was fine...it just added a dramatic effect.

I think next time I will go to the Hancock Tower because it is a little bit cheaper, but I'm really glad we got to come here first. My son thought it was cool that we were higher than almost anyone else in the world!

9  Thank joshmom03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 16, 2009

The new skybox ledge was worth the long line after all. I wish I had researched this excursion before going....thought it would be an elevator ride up, look around, ride back down. Was not prepared for the lines and movie that was not an option. If I had known better, I would have paid the $15 extra for the express which skips the line and movie. The Sky Ledge was VERY COOL and a highlight of our trip.

5  Thank clintk18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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