You can enter the gift shop for free, and you can see the curve from the parking lot - but not nearly as well as you can see it from the top of the hill. You can no longer just walk up the steps, you have to pay to enter. It is $8 a person, and that does include the incline and the museum. The museum is pretty small, but nice. They have free coffee there too!
This isn't nearly as tall as the incline in Pittsburgh, but it's still fun - I love how the cars pass each other in the middle of the track.
We had just missed a train when we got to the top... and we were told it would be another 40 minutes before the next one came through. But we were fortunate, another one arrived about 15 minutes after we got to the top.
On the opposite side of the parking area, along a very short paved path, is this view -
And the view of the curve from the parking area:
You CAN see the trains from down here, without paying the $8 fee, but it's not nearly as impressive. Still, if you have a large family, that $8 a person adds up fast, and you may want to just check it out from here.
While in the area, we also stopped in at the Gallitzen tunnel museum. We stayed for the movie, but I wouldn't really recommend that... just a quick walk through is nice. It's a very small room and won't take long. http://www.gallitzin.info/
The caboose museum, directly across from the tunnel museum, was closed while we were there - but there is a geocache here. :-)