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“Fantastic views but be prepared to wait”

Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower
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US$ 24.00*
and up
Skydeck Chicago Admission
Ranked #16 of 683 things to do in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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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 18 August 2017

I will preface this review by saying we did go on a Saturday morning, so not sure what the wait is like on a week day. (I did notice that downtown Chicago was much quieter on Sunday morning.) Anyway...you stand in a long line that winds all around and you think you are close when they put you in a room for an informational movie. (We already had our tickets but it looked like part of the line was waiting in a different line for tickets inside the building. I assume that was for people who had not purchased them ahead of time??) Then once again, you continue on in the endless line to wait for the elevator up to the Sky Deck. We had an 8 year old with us and luckily she was OK throughout but I might think twice taking a young child or an elderly family member who has issues standing for a long time. When we entered, the sign said our wait would be 45-60 minutes and it was about 90 minutes until we got up to the 103rd floor. (We got in line at 10:45am and left the building at 2:00pm). Once up top you can stay as long as you like and the views are spectacular. The Sky Deck boxes are great if you can do that (completely glass, even the floor). But be prepared to wait again to snap a picture in on of the 4 deck boxes while teenagers and families take 65 selfies with their phones at the end of a stick while you wait patiently to take the one family photo you wanted. There is a small gift shop in the Sky Deck area. When you are done...guess what...another line to get back down. On the bottom floor you will go through 3 more gift shops before you wait in a small line to take and elevator up one flight to get to street level to leave. When we left the sign said that the wait was now 2 hours...so I can't image how long those people had to actually wait. Think about investing in the Fast Pass but that looks like it is double the regular price. We did the Explorer Pass but that does not include the Fast Pass for the WIllis Tower. The "City Pass" gets you Fast Pass entry but that pass gave you access to 5 specific attractions whereas the Explorer Pass gave you 15-20 options and you could pick 3, 4 or 5 to see. I liked the diversity of the Explorer Pass but that's just me. So...pack some snacks and be prepared to wait b/c the views up top are awesome. Enjoy!

Thank MaryleeJam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
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"sky deck"
in 986 reviews
"glass floor"
in 462 reviews
"glass box"
in 325 reviews
"fast pass"
in 387 reviews
"afraid of heights"
in 323 reviews
"city pass"
in 623 reviews
"elevator ride"
in 319 reviews
"tallest building"
in 133 reviews
"hour wait"
in 175 reviews
"views are amazing"
in 151 reviews
"long line"
in 219 reviews
"gift shop"
in 256 reviews
"take pictures"
in 263 reviews
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in 109 reviews
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in 195 reviews
in 1,715 reviews
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784 - 788 of 13,878 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2017 via mobile

Guess the crowd and 2 1/2 hour wait in line took the anticipation and excitement out of the experience. Once we got to the top it was so crowded you couldn't see and appreciate the view. Then.... the line going back down was about as long as going up. After taking two elevators and detouring through two gift shops we finally made our way to fresh air!
We went on a Monday and was told it was busier than usual for that day. If doing again I would buy tickets ahead and choose a later time of day. Would not discourage anyone from doing this, but definitely research and be prepared for long lines and crowds. Probably not the best thing if you are claustrophobic.

Thank Cindy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2017

I visited the Willis Tower again after 15 years.
Now, there is more attractions, there is the deck!
Everybody wants to go there and take a picture.
It would be good if anybody from staff could organize it better. It looks like people don't respect the others., taking many pictures, spending there even 10 minutes, don't care that other people are waiting...
I didn't like it!
..But the view from the Tower is beautiful. I wish to stay longer and catch the sunset.
If you are in the city, come and visit the Willis Tower, former tallest building in the world.

Thank Roman P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2017

Such long lines I would not do this again. By the time we were up to the top the weather had turned hazy!

Thank voyageurfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 August 2017 via mobile

Personally, I think they let too many people up there at one time. It makes it quite overwhelming to be that high in the sky and have people everywhere. Amazing views of the city though. You can see for miles. And the sky deck ledge is pretty cool. Not for the faint of heart though. DON'T LOOK DOWN!!!

Thank localyokel1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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