If like me, you suffer from those silly daft moments then you will understand my confusion here...
It’s September 2005, and I’m off to Las Vegas on a hen weekend with 3 of my best friends. I had never been before, and I’m in my early 20s just starting out my travelling experiences. I’m a mum with a young child, so my life pretty much consisted of The Tweenies, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Balamory. So, when I get to Las Vegas and mistake the Stratosphere for the Space Needle, I think I can be excused. I can still name all the Tweenies though!
Now let us jump ahead to 14 years later when I get to visit the real Space Needle. You know the one in Seattle…
Seattle has been on my list for a long time. With so many people saying how Seattle and San Francisco are similar, I knew it would be a place I would love. So, because Jade wanted to visit the University of Washington, Seattle, we added the city of Seattle to our state hopping trip... any excuse!!
Although usually we always recommend pre-booking tickets for tourist attractions, we actually hadn’t this time. I had read and been told go up when the weather is good for the best views. So based on the weather forecast for our short stay, we decided which day would be best......and it turned out to be an overcast day. Despite this, visibility was still good.
We decided to walk to the Space Needle from our hotel as it was the best way to see more of the city in the short time we had there. It was only a 20-minute walk but easy to find (I mean you just look up and follow it if you get lost).
Upon arriving, it was quite something, seeing this HUGE structure...I had no idea how big it really was. I was shocked that there were no queue lines but thought maybe the weather had put people off, and it was also late afternoon/early evening.
Purchasing tickets was super easy, Jade did it all on the touch screen kiosks dotted around the base of the Space Needle. There are a few different tickets you can get as they also have botanical gardens you might wish to walk around. However, we just opted for the basic entry as it was getting late, and we would still need feeding.
As we were walking around to the entrance, a Space Needle Customer Advisor came running towards us asking if we had purchased tickets. Jade is holding them in her hand, and we respond flapping them around. He proceeded to take them off her and said give me a minute before heading back to a ticket booth. We were just stood there very confused, like what’s going on? When he returns, he gives us back some tickets and says you can go in for free. We were refunded the $70 back to my card.
Now I did have Rick (my white cane) with me, so we’re not sure if it was because I’m disabled or another reason, but either way, how very kind of them.
The Observation Decks
We walked up the winding slope to enter, there are lots of fun facts and interactive bits in this walk-up, so on a busy day, if there is a big line, it will keep you entertained. You walk through the gift shop to get into an elevator, which then takes you up to the viewing point. In the elevator, a staff member spoke about the Space Needle’s history and how it was actually built for the 1962 fair. There are two floors from which you can observe the city of Seattle, but the lift was only stopping on the top floor when we went. We were able to use the stairs to reach the lower deck.
Once you’re there, you can walk around at your leisure... or stand on the rotating floor and let it do the work for you. The rotating floor is called The Loupe and is known for currently being the world’s first and only rotating glass floor. This can be found on the lower level.
On the upper level, the whole perimeter is a slanted Perspex glass from floor to ceiling. If you are brave enough, you can lean back on this creating a great photo opportunity. However, although I stood in the glass box in the Sears/Willis Tower in Chicago, I wasn’t brave enough for this. We walked around the whole outside edge admiring the views.
The elevators were not working, so getting down the spiral stairs was a challenge, but we managed. We walked around looking at the views and getting photos at the Skyhigh Selfie photo opportunity stands. This is actually really cool; you pop your email address into the device, and it takes your photo and emails it to you.
There are lots of food and drink stands and more facts on boards and plaques about the needle scattered around. It wasn’t too busy, so we didn’t feel we needed to be up there that long. As the sun was going down, we decided it was time to leave as we needed to go and stuff our faces with some delicious local cuisine.