While in Chicago last month I also had the opportunity to visit The Skydeck in the Willis Tower. We had a group of bloggers with us who each received a complimentary pass and a tour of the Skydeck for purposes of a review post. All opinion are 100% my own. The General Manager Mr. Randal Stancik was so very nice to give us a personal tour!
Willis Tower is the eighth-tallest building in the world; it remains the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, standing 1,450 feet and 110 stories tall. Willis Tower is known by most as the Sears Tower. Approximately 25,000 people enter the building each day. With approximately 1.3 million tourists visiting each year.
Before heading up there are different rooms you can check out with all kinds of information for you.
There are interactive pads on the floor that start ground level at different buildings/places in the world. When you press a button it takes you up 103 levels! Just like you are about to do in the elevators!! It really starts to get you excited about how high you are about to go!
On a clear day, you can see four states – Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. Visibility from the Skydeck is approximately 40-50 miles (65 – 80 kilometers).
The elevators are even a grand experience here. Look how impressive they look and to know you about to speed up the Willis Tower as fast as 1,600 feet (488 meters) per minute – among the fastest in the world! On your way up they have a great overhead informational video about how fast you are going and what floors you are passing at the time. Along, with a few other facts.
I really loved how the whole thing is a learning experience. It is not just about looking out to see the view, although that part is very impressive! Everywhere you look you are offered information or an interactive fact to keep you entertained and intrigued.
The views were so beautiful! Really! I thought I was going to be scared to enter the ledge box but, when I saw it I was just so taken by how wonderful the view was I just walked right out! Never thought twice about it! If going in the ledge is not your thing they have several windows to look out.
We had a lot of fun taking pictures in the look out ledge. You get this thrill high of being somewhere doing something you have NEVER done before in your life! I mean how many times in your life have you said you stood in a glass box 103 stories up!
They also offer images to be taken in one of the Ledge’s with a professional camera to get the perfect shot labeled and dated.
There are four Ledge glass boxes extending out 4.3 feet from the 103rd floor! Each box weights 7,500 lbs and are designed to retract into the building to allow for easy cleaning and maintenance. I still can not believe I stood out there so easily! It was the most fun and scary thing all at the same time!