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“Organisational shambles but the views are fantastic”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center
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and up
TV and Movie Locations Tour with Official NBC Studios Tour
Ranked #21 of 1,078 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Rockefeller Center is a national historic landmark in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Home to Top of the Rock Observation Deck, NBC Studios, Radio City Music Hall and much more. Shop, dine and explore at one of New York's most inspiring locations.
Adelaide, South Australia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Organisational shambles but the views are fantastic”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

Had not purchased an advance ticket so understood the delays could be lengthy. When purchasing the ticket at about 10.15am was advised that my visit time would be 11.50am and that there was no point waiting around as that would only add to the crowding in the area. On returning shortly before my allocated visit time I found the queue stretching a considerable distance through the passageway in the centre. Many of the people in front of me in the queue had visit times later than mine but this did not bring about a restructuring of the line of people. We moved at a snails pace for over an hour until we entered the actual waiting area for the lifts. Staff in this area told us that once we had entered the lift our visit would be straightforward with no more delays. As it turned out this was absolutely untrue. Full of expectation we entered the lift only to travel a short distance where we disembarked and went through a security check. Fair enough - but why not tell people this is part of the procedure. Then, and even more annoyingly, we had to queue to see three movies (compulsory) about the centre which further delayed our visit to the top. Several people near me in the queue had made the visit to the Top of the Rock their last activity before leaving NYC for overseas destinations. Like me they had accepted the time they were given as being the time they would travel to the top - not just the beginning of an extended waiting period. As they had taxis booked and international flights to catch a delay that extended more than two hours threw their plans into disarray. Only when a native New Yorker in the queue became quite belligerent with staff on behalf of the international travellers did staff do anything to assist the people with tight schedules.
All of these issues could have been overcome with honest and open provision of information. When I visited Disneyland more than 20 years ago they used the simple technique of signs showing how long people should expect to wait as they passed certain points. This system would have worked perfectly at the Rockefeller Centre. Alternatively allow the staff to tell the truth. The fact they lied to the waiting visitors in a very polite manner doesn't make the customer any happier.
Having eventually reached the top the views were exceptional and well worth seeing. It's a shame that a little bit of organisational competence could have made the whole experience so much more enjoyable.

Visited September 2013
Thank GMA1950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Richmond Hill
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“loved it”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

its a great building. it costs 25 $ to go up to 86th floor. its fun whn going in the escalator to the topn seeingthe breath taking view with the city n empire states infront of you

Visited February 2013
Thank Aye S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
275 reviews
157 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“Wonderful at Christmas Time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

Although I've been to Rockefeller at all times of the year, there is nothing quite like going during the Christmas Season. I was there last just before Thanksgiving and the Christmas decorations were up. There were people ice skating and people shopping. This area has such a wonderful atmosphere. After exploring we went up to Top of the Rock which gives you a beautiful view of the city. Definitely a place to check out when in this amazing city.

Visited November 2013
Thank tdtid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burgess Hill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“The Rock Rocks”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

Book online for a time before you go and save the queue. Better view than the Empire State plus you can take a good picture with those with you in the same view of it. Great overview of Central Park and all round down to the Statue of Liberty in far distance. Going in top lift also fun. At holiday times (Xmas, Easter etc) gardens in front have decorations/tree. Busy all around and great satues on walls and surrounding area.

Visited April 2013
Thank kenhol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Loved the Buzz During the Holidays!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2014

You can't *not* go to Rockefeller during the Christmas season! It's packed to the brim with people taking pictures of the enormously lit Christmas tree (not to mention the art deco statues and decorative adornments on the surrounding buildings) and watching the skaters on the rink below. It's an amazing feeling to stand amongst the bustling crowds, but definitely not for those who are claustrophobic... If that's the case, you can still get a good view of the tree and the throngs of people from 5th Avenue; plus, from this perspective, you can turn around and watch the Christmas light display on Saks Fifth Avenue (that is, whenever they have it scheduled).

Visited December 2013
Thank citydwlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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