Edge, Hudson Yards Observation Deck Review – Everything You Need To Know About New Yorks Newest Observation Deck!

The Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project is a hugely ambitious and stunning project that has transformed a huge wasted chunk of Manhattan Real Estate into an ultra-modern state of the art business, retail and entertainment complex. The Center Piece of this complex is 30 Hudson Yards, the Sixth Tallest building in the City. Atop this is the Cherry on top the Whole Development, Edge, New Yorks Newest and Highest Observation Deck.

We take a look at the latest way to get up and above everything in New York and find out is Edge is worth your time with so many other, more iconic observation decks in the City, Is the Edge any good are the “Gimmicks” worth it and should you spend your money and time here or stick with the more vanilla Observation Deck experience. Find out EVERYTHING you need to know about the Edge Observation Deck

Edge, Hudson Yards Observation Deck Review
  • Height: 100th Floor – 1,131 Feet – Tallest Outdoor Deck in the Western Hemisphere
  • Cost:  Adults: $36 – Child $31 – Senior $34 – Anytime Pass + $20
  • Location: New, Hudson Yards Development MAP
  • Prominent Landmarks: All Of Manhattan!
  • Indoor or out: Both

What is Edge?

Edge is an All-new Observation deck for New York City. This mindblowing feat of engineering sees the deck actually stick out of the side of the colossal 30 Hudson Yards Tower. Positioned hair-raisingingly on the 100th floor some 1132 feet above the streets the Observation deck is the Highest Open Air Deck in the Northern Hemisphere (The One World Observatory and 102nd floor Empire state building are both higher but both enclosed).

The Triangle Shaped deck is surrounded by glass giving the impression of being fully exposed to the incredible heights and views all around. There is a Glass Floor, the Eastern Point where you can be alone with the skyline, Angled glass, and a Champagne Bar.

It all points to being an incredible, high-tech, and mindblowing experience offering potentially the BEST views in the City, there are drawbacks however and we are still to be convinced this will be able to beat the Empire State and the Top Of The Rock?

Hudson Yards Development

Manhattan is one of the most highly contested real estate spaces in the world. every Square foot being worth nearly $2000. Any wasted real estate is literally losing billions of dollars. So when checking the maps for real estate space a huge area of land, over 26 Acres, right by the Hudson River adjacent to midtown was being used to store empty railway carriages!

This clearly a really poor use of such a huge piece of prime real estate but the Metropolitan Transport Authority was completely unwilling to give up the space as the Storage of the Long Island Railway Carriages was necessary. This was not to stop the canny real estate investors however and a $25billion dollar project was launched to erect a giant platform above the yards and build onto that!

The Project was not going to be Subtle with 5 huge skyscrapers, including 3 of the 25 tallest buildings in the City and the huge 30 Hudson Yards, the sixth Tallest Building in New York upon which the Edge resides.

Hudson Yards Development

As well as these there is the humongous 7 story Mall, the Shedd, and the Vessel along with extensive Greenspace. It is a phenomenal redevelopment and has quickly become a Must-See in any New York itinerary. The Highlight of which is the Edge.

30 Hudson Yards

30 Hudson Yards is the Sixth Tallest Buiding in Manhattan. The Tower forms the highest part of the new Hudson Developments Supercluster of buildings rising high out of a sea of fairly (by New York standards) low rise buildings. The Cluster adds a further lift to an already constantly rising Skyline. The big exception to this is the terribly placed 1 Manhatten West!

When does the Edge Open?

Tickets are available now for the March 11th, 2020 Opening, but there is limited availability.

How to Get Edge Tickets

There are two main tickets available, a Timed Ticket or a Flex Anytime Ticket. The Timed slots are 1 Hour arrival time slots and a Flex Pass means you can arrive anytime on a given day. Whichever Ticket you choose, once up there you are free to stay as long as you like.

Buy Tickets Direct from the Edge website

  • Adults – $36 Timed – $56 Flex
  • Child – $31 Timed – $51 Flex
  • Seniors – $34 Timed – $54 Flex

For Over 21’s there is also Champagne Admission, this is a regular Flex Ticket with a Glass of Champagne to sip during your visit. At $16 a glass we have drunk more expensive champagne in New York, but it’s not cheap.

  • Adults – $52
  • Seniors – $50

Premium Admission – Flex Admission with a Glass of Champagne and a personalized Photo book. Really we think this is pretty expensive at nearly 3 times the price of the Timed Entry and in the world of Smartphones and Selfies do you really need a photo book?

  • Adults – $90
  • Seniors – $88

As it stands unless you are hideously disorganized we definitely think the Timed entry is the best bet. $36 is not too much considering the incredible views you are getting. Then you can simply decide if you want to add a $16 glass of champagne on, but even if not the Champagne Bar is open to everyone, and while the Menu has not been released yet we imagine a glass will be about the same $16 it will be pre-booked. Also, there are cocktails and other drinks available so it might be worth just bagging admission and pay as you go with drinks.

Missed Slots?

The Policy regarding Missed Time slots is a little concerning. The State if you miss your slot then the team may be able to re-book you for a different time slot. This is a bit vague and seems to suggest you may lose your visit. We think, in reality, this will work similarly to the Top Of The Rock where all timed slots can simply be rearranged, but we are not sure and will have to wait and see what happens. We suspect the Edge feels the same and is kind of waiting to see how many people turn up late for the slots!

Inclement Weather

We are not too keen on their Bad Weather Policy. As there is an indoor and outdoor deck even in poor weather they do not shut the viewing deck. Only in really bad weather will you be offered a refund or exchange, by which we assume serious storms, not just a bit iffy. The big risk here is high winds and low clouds. If it’s windy you will still be allowed up, but the outdoor deck will be closed, which will be very disappointing. And in low cloud, a fairly regular occurrence in New York, you might as well not bother as any view will be completely obscured.

With the Top Of the Rock and Empire State Building, this is not usually an issue. With the Top Of the Rock, you can Rearrange your ticket and the Empire State you get the full day to use it (If Pre-Booked) so it normally improves at some point during the day.

Attractions Passes

The big city attraction Passes have not jumped on the Edge as fast as we expected and there is currently only one pass offering the Edge. The New York Sightseeing Pass has the new attraction along with the One World Observatory but no Empire State Building!

Edge Experience

Edge Dusk

The whole experience is really unlike any other observation deck in New York. The whole deck has been designed from concept to blow the competition out the water, but are the gimmicks enough to seal the deal and is the view better or worse than the current offering.

The Edge is yet to open and we have yet to make it to the top, Our ticket is booked and we are super psyched about it (despite the drawbacks). but as of yet we are relying on promotional material and “journalist” feedback, only people who have been paid to be up there have reported back and we are trying to cut through the publicity!

Journey to the Top

The Edge team are keen to you aware the experience is far more than just the deck, and the whole journey is an experience in itself. The High-Speed elevators whisk you up the 100floors in under 60 seconds and there are exhibits and displays in the enclosed observations deck that provide 360 Degree Views of the City.

Champagne Bar

We love the fact they have added an indoor Champagne bar, the lack of a toast has always been a downside to the other decks and we love the sophistication of having a glass of bubbles as we enjoy the staggering views.

The Deck

The star of the show is always going to be the outdoor deck. The highest anywhere in the western hemisphere and actually jutting out over the city giving a real sense of exposure.

Angled Glass

The Glass walls are all angles outwards. Only by a few degrees, but is enough you can lean up against them and get the most terrifying view 1000ft down to the street below, angle it right and you get the ultimate death-defying selfie, but in reality, it’s 100% safe!

The Eastern Point

The Whole deck is wedge-shaped and as it juts out over the skyline it naturally comes to a point, here you have nothing but thin glass and Air either side of you and the feeling you are flying over the City, expect to have your heart in your mouth and the Titanic theme tune in your head as you are completely alone high above the Manhattan skyline!

The Edge is a highly desirable part of the deck and it is not going to work as a free for all so there will be a Queue system in place for you to wait your turn for a few moments on top of the city.

Glass Floor

Edge Glass Floor from below

Another cool feature is the Glass floor portion. This small Triangular portion of the deck is made from glass and allows you to step out over the 1000ft drop below. It’s one fo these things that you know is perfectly safe but that primitive part of your brain is just not so sure, it’s exhilarating, to say the least!

Skyline Steps

The Steps are the connection between the upper-level viewing deck and the Main Outdoor deck. A staircase is not the most obvious attraction but from here you get up above the glass partition and find a full and unobstructed view of the city, A must for the photographers!

The View

View From the Edge

All the Gimmicks in the world are pretty futile unless the view is worth seeing. This is the let down of the One World Observatory and the Coup De Gras of the Top Of the Rock. The View from the Edge is nothing short of spectacular. The Whole City Skyline is visible from Central Park to the left through Midtown, right to downtown and the Hudson Bay, with the Statue of Liberty in the distance. Everything that is New York visible from one single vantage point, almost…

Overall

This could have been by far and away, the best observation deck in New York, everything about it is a plus, its higher, more fun, has a bar, stunning views across the city, everything, but, as we have alluded to, there is just one huge stinking great let-down that almost ruins the experience…

1 Manhattan West!

Who the $$$$ put that there!!!

Seriously, what were they thinking? Right Smack bang in the middle of the view is the sodding great lump that is 1 Manhatten West. This all but obscures the view of the Empire State Building, you know the most iconic building in the world. and breaks up the panoramic view and completely spoils the experience.

You can even see from all the Promotional photos and videos, they completely cut out the 1 Manhattan West Tower by clever angles and crops. It is a tragedy, without it the view would have been mindblowing, the Eastern point would have felt like a helicopter flight up the Hudson, the whole skyline in one glorious panorama.

With it, you just feel like you are looking at a building! Everything that makes the Top of the Rock so great, when really it is a sub-par experience, way down on the 70th floor, has been ignored by the Edge planners. In Altitude, Prominence is everything, and 1 Manhatten West just kills the Edge’s Prominence.

This could have been the Best Deck in the City, but this one factor kills it. And we will stick to the Rock and Empire State…That said the Champagne bar definitely shoots up our Best Rooftop Bars in New York List!

Other Observations Decks

There is no shortage of other options in New York so if the Edge is not your cup of tea consider the other options!

Empire State Building

The Original and Still the best. There is just something so utterly iconic about the Experience everyone heading to New York should go up. You just haven’t seen New York until you have seen it from up here.

Top Of The Rock

Inferior to every deck in every way, except one. And that one thing makes it king. The view is just unparalleled in the City (well with your feet still on the ground). The staggering all-round view makes it technically the best in the City, but there is just that legendary feeling of the Empire State that won’t go away.

One World Observatory

Well, at least the Edge stays off the bottom rung. The fully enclosed nature of the one world observatory just makes it feel sterile. Yes, it is the highest accessible point in the city but you just feel like you are in an office block. It just isn’t quite there and we skip it every time.

Have Your Say?

Are you looking forward to the New Observation Deck? Let us know in the comments below. Are you planning on some bubbles at the top or just heading up to take in the view? If you have already been up? How bad was the view impaired by 1 Manhattan West? was it a complete letdown or just a mild eyesore? Let us know in the comments below and also fire away if you have any questions.

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