So here we are!It was a cloudy day, and we did get caught in a down pour when we were walking back to the hotel, but what a cool visit! Down the ramp you see behind Hubs and through the security detectors into the lower level to see the museum of westward expansion, and buy tickets to the top! We knew there were stairs so Hubs had to stay behind. I got my ticket ($10) and went to the line to wait a few minutes. The park employees are very thorough, and guide the correct number of people into each area to board the cars to go up.There are displays and photos of the construction along the way too.
These folks just got done and are leaving the area-see the person on the right side of the photo in the yellow shirt? they are climbing aboard their car to go up. The red boxes above the doors are TVs that show a short video about the construction of the arch to pass the time while waiting.
Here you can see how "cozy" the pods are, I took this right before I had to board with my new "friends"!
There are no windows on the way up so it's a lot like taking an elevator, slower though. It takes 4 minutes to go up and 3 minutes to come down. The car ride is smooth and when it gets to the curve of the arch it does a little jog, step, jog, step as it moves on.
And here's the West side view-St. Louis. That tan building next to the highway is our hotel, the Hyatt Regency.
This is the group of folks waiting to go down. You need to stand to the right side, on the yellow section of the steps to stay out of the way of the getting out of the cars. I liked the sign at the top of the steps when you get out of the car. It's lit up here, so you can't see it in the picture, but it says Welcome to the Top.
Here's a short video I tried to take of the car going down. I was in with a family and we were chatting as we went, you can see the inside walls of the arch and the stairs used by maintenance workers.