Home Travel Our Experience on TILT – Chicago’s Newest Thrill Ride!

Our Experience on TILT – Chicago’s Newest Thrill Ride!

by SharonKurheg

I’ve always been a risk-taker. I was the little kid who, when told, “Don’t make funny faces; your face will freeze that way,” would make funny faces in private, just to test the theory. When traveling to the Grand Canyon 20 years ago, I’d go right up to the edge in the area where there was no fencing to keep you relatively safer. And ANY time there has been an opportunity to go to the edge, or stand on the glass or wire floor a thousand feet up, I’m up for the challenge. So when Joe showed me this commercial for TILT before our trip to Chicago, I was all about it:

Speaking of Joe, I wouldn’t say he’s afraid of heights per se but he certainly doesn’t like them. He’ll still challenge himself, here and there, just to prove to himself that he can do these “daring” things. Plus I may or may not cajole him into it on occasion, as a loving wife may sometimes do 😉. So he was on board too, albeit a little more reluctantly than I was.

TILT is housed at the 360 Chicago observation deck of the John Hancock Building. We decided to go right after our lunch at Portillo’s because there’s no better time to look down 1,030 feet than on a full stomach. We hadn’t gotten tickets to go to the top of the building in advance because although we had a vague idea of how our day we going to run, we didn’t want to be saddled down with an exact time to be there. So we stood on line for our tickets. Between it being the start of a holiday weekend and the family of 15 who took forever to process, it was a long wait – probably close to 30 minutes, since the two cashiers were essentially cut down to one as the other cashier went through the large family group.

funnyfaceWe followed the queue to the “we’re going to take you picture in front of a green screen whether you want it or not and superimpose a scene behind you and maybe you’ll buy it later” (no we won’t – although with the funny faces both of us made, it might not have been such a bad idea – here’s an idea of what we did), and then to the elevator to the 94th floor. Tickets to Tilt were $7 more and only available on that floor, so we got those from the kiosk when we got up there.


Not knowing how long the Tilt line would take (it turned out to be about 20 minutes or so), we did that first. When it was finally our turn, we had to leave all bags off to the side, pick a Tilt spot and then pose for their photographer. Before we tilted, they played something that sounded like an action movie soundtrack (so if you weren’t already nervous, it would make you be?), and then the tilting began. We went out and back 3 times during the 90-second experience.

I was hoping to take some photos or even video of the experience, but, not surprisingly, it wasn’t allowed. But I had taken some photos and video of others while we were on line.

Although I think pre-attraction superimposed photos are a waste of time and money, I’m a sucker for “here we are, doing this” photos. So yep, I bought these:

So what was it like? If you just looked out, it was almost exactly like the view from any other tall building. But if you looked down during the tilt, it was a more interesting view because you were able to look straight down much better than you ever could if you just looked down from a building. Plus I guess the tilting effect could increase a person’s fear of falling, even though you were, of course, 100% safe the whole time. Joe did fine with the experience and said he enjoyed it. “I could have done without the sound effects at the beginning but I wasn’t scared.”

So what can I say…if you’re into heights and/or risks and challenges, go ahead and do TILT – it’s a novelty, albeit a bit too short of an experience and I wish we could take photos or video during the experience. If heights are not your thing, then yeah, it’s probably best to steer clear.

What do you think? Would you do it in a heartbeat or are you on Team No Way On Earth?

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