With signage and a working marquee up, we knew the opening of One World Observatory, was imminent, and this morning, the official opening date was announced: Friday, May 29. Tickets, which cost a whopping $32 for adults, will be available for purchase starting tomorrow, Wednesday, April 8 at 10 a.m. In the days before the official opening, there will be special visits for school children and World Trade Center construction workers, as well as "an open house for the general public on a first-come, first-served basis" on Thursday, May 28, details of which have not be released.
The observatory will sit 1,250 feet above the street, on the 100, 101, and 102 floors of One World Trade Center, and the trip to the top will only take 60 seconds, thanks to the high-speed elevators called Sky Pods. The show starts before guests even board the elevators. From the official press release:
"Upon entry, guests will be greeted in the Global Welcome Center, where a large video board will feature salutations in an array of languages, and a dynamically generated world map will highlight the hometowns of visitors. Guests will then proceed to a pre-show program, titled Voices, which tells the personal stories of the men and women who built One World Trade Center, and Foundations, which displays facts about the very bedrock on which the building stands."In the elevators, you can expect: "Immersive, floor-to-ceiling LED technology in each cab invites guests to experience a virtual time-lapse that recreates the development of New York City's skyline from the 1600s to present day." The Sky Pods drop you off at the See Forever Theater on the 102nd floor (note: OWO has trademarked "See Forever"). Here, you'll watch a two-minute video "that combines bird's eye imagery, time-lapse shots with abstract textures and patterns to present the unique rhythm and pulse of New York City to dramatic life in three dimensions." Huh?
Next comes the good part: the Main Observatory on the 100th floor, where you'll experience "City Pulse," "an interactive skyline 'concierge' that allows guests to deeply connect with the landmarks and neighborhoods they observe from above." This space is wrapped with HD video monitors outfitted with "gesture recognition technology" so the "global ambassadors" (aka human OWO employees) can summon whatever imagery you want. This floor also hold "the Sky Portal where guests are invited to step onto a 14-foot wide circular disc that will deliver an unforgettable view, using real-time, high-definition footage of the streets below."
There will be three dining options on the 101st floor, and a 9,300-square-foot event space on the 102nd floor will offer catering services for up to 300 people.
TL;DR? Watch this video:
· One World Observatory [official]
· One World Observatory Moves One Step Closer to Opening [Curbed]
· All One World Observatory coverage [Curbed]
· All World Trade Center Redevelopment coverage [Curbed]