Monday, July 11, 2011

Intrepid Museum: 46th St and 12th Ave

It was over 12 years ago that I was last at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (Intrepid Museum) and boy has it ever been improved.  I went for the 10 am opening on Friday and there was already a long line to get in.  Luckily, I had pre-purchased tickets online (saving $2/ticket) and the will-call line was almost non-existent (Advance Purchase).  What a great way to start our exploration.

When we got through security and up to ticketing, I splurged and bought the special 3-pack for the simulators--after all, I was with my teenage nephew and the simulators were the real attraction for him.  Actually, we went straight there (obviously no lines with us being the first ones in) and I LOVED it. 

The G-Force Simulator puts 2 people in a pod at a time, one is the pilot while the other is the gunner.  The pod is on a kind of extended arm that allows the pod to be moved from left to right and even upside down.  There was a lot of excited screaming from inside our pod and we had a great time, although I don't think we were able to successfully shoot any enemy planes down.  It is a wild ride and for entertainment for those waiting in line there is a screen that shows all the stuff going on in the pod--quite embarrassing for those of us squealing like a baby!

We then went across the aisle to the XD Theater where there was a nice, lengthy 3D movie in a theater filled with chairs that are moved in synch with the film.  Combined with air pumped in to simulate wind rushing through your hair, the movie of traveling via a roller coaster in the future was so realistic I couldn't stop whooping and hollering with excitement.

We then took a tour of the rest of the ship.  The helicopters and planes (including a stealth bomber, an A-12 Blackbird, that can travel at mach 3 (3 times the speed of sound) see right) on the flight deck were impressive. 

The combat information center (see left), radar data room, and cryptology rooms let us step back into time and experience first hand what working on this ship among the 3,388 crew might be like.  The interactive stations explaining how ballast works and how Morse code was used were educational and interesting.

It was a warm day so we didn't spend as much time in the non-air-conditioned areas as we might have had we come on a cooler day, but we did manage to also check out the British Airways Concorde (from the outside only, as an inside tour is reserved for guided tours at an additional cost -- I have my limits to "add ons" and "extras"-- although I suppose the tour is much cheaper than the average transatlantic Concorde airfare at $6,000) which is capable of mach 2.04, and the Transporter FX Simulator (this was another 3D movie with some historical storytelling and the least dramatic of the 3 simulators) on the pier.

Due to the exceedingly long lines at the Growler Submarine (see right) (I would recommend doing this first if you are interested and are at the museum early and then jumping to the simulators on the Hangar Deck), we opted to skip it and head out for lunch.  There are lots of good neighborhood restaurants on 10th Street, and I highly recommend doing that and skipping the Au Bon Pain at the museum.

All in all, it was a great museum visit and I would recommend doing this with kids, interested adults, and people interested in trying out some great simulators (beware if you are prone to motion sickness).


  1. Intrepid is the right place to get more knowledge about modern technologies and others. People visit here from the different location. Intrepid museum events have great role to attract the people.

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