TILT provides visitors a 30 degree view of Chicago's skyline — Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes
Step up to the plate, grab the silver handrails on either side of you as you stand vertically and maybe even say a little prayer. You're about to hear what sounds like the roar of an airplane engine lifting off. Then, TILT - Chicago’s latest attraction on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center - begins to literally tilt forward.
TILT unveils to the public on May 10, 2014, providing visitors an awe-inspiring experience within an enclosed, glass and steel moveable platform that holds up to eight visitors per cycle.
Experiencing TILT, Chicago's newest attraction — Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes
Facing forward within one of the eight full-length bay windows seems innocent enough, and you’re immediately drawn to the spectacular, jaw-dropping views. Then, you find yourself grasping the handrails tighter, as you tilt forward first at 18 degrees. Then at 25 degrees, when your feet start to slowly slide forward along with you, you think to yourself, "It was not smart to wear heels today." Finally, you’re at 30 degrees, where you stay for a few seconds and allow yourself to take in the city’s skyline from a whole new view.
That’s when your biceps begin to shake. You’re tilted at 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile, after all.
Just about the time you feel like you got it, the contraption slowly brings you back upright, and your stomach starts doing somersaults since your equilibrium is off.
From start to finish, the whole thing lasts just 30 seconds, but it feels so much longer. Perhaps it’s the anticipation. Perhaps you’re not sure you’re going to make it, and you’re on standby mode ready to jump off at a second’s notice.
Although there are a total of eight bay windows, and you’re clearly not alone, you feel like you’re soaring above the world within your own individual bay.
TILT offers visitors a chance to see Chicago from a whole new angle — Photo courtesy of Pixel Pool / 360 Chicago
TILT is a fun and exciting way to take in breathtaking views of the city of Chicago from a never-before-seen angle. It’s part of 360 Chicago (formerly John Hancock Observatory), one of the city’s most visited attractions, located at 875 N. Michigan Avenue along the Magnificent Mile. From above, you can see the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier as well as Willis Tower.
On a clear day, it’s possible to see three states in addition to Illinois from 360 Chicago: Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. (TILT faces south.)
360 Chicago / John Hancock Observatory is open 365 days a year from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (The last ticket's sold at 10:30 p.m.) General admission is $18 for adults (ages 12+), $12 for youth (ages three through 11) and free for children under three. To experience TILT is an additional $5.