Yes, it's touristy and the lines are very very long. But on a clear night, the views from the 86th Floor observatory are gorgeous and it's quite an experience. (We didn't pay the extra admission fee to go to the smaller, 102nd floor observatory, so I can't comment on whether that's worth the extra). The building itself has been extensively renovated and is a showpiece of Art Deco style. We did this on a whim at ~ 10pm on a Friday night, and it took us about 30minutes to get up to the observatory. It was crowded, but manageably so, and the staff really know how to keep things moving. Once there, you can spend as much time as you want. The observatory is open until 2am (last admission 1:15am). NOTE: If you hate waiting in line or are pressed for time, consider paying more for an Express pass to by-pass all the lines. If you want to visit during prime-time (weekend days), definitely buy your ticket ahead of time. You'll still have to wait to get up to the observatory, but at least you'll skip the lines waiting to get their tickets.
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