One day at …NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre (the scene of numerous shuttle launches over the last decades)…not enough for the greatest space adventure on Earth
Watch out…the pass can be used over two consecutive days in a seven-day period!
This place truly captures the imagination…
While I thought the cost of tickets was a bit excessive (50$ per person + an extra 10 bucks for parking), we found plenty of sights and activities.
The entrance to the park/center has a large water wall with a quote from John F Kennedy. There’s also a large NASA sphere that you can get a good photo with the space shuttle in the background. We stopped to get our tickets & then went through security. They’ve got metal detectors & even you empty out your pockets & they’ll check your bag. They ain’t playing.
After the basic admission, without any optional upgrades we began our journey with a walk under the Rocket Garden with free guided tour (which is given several times per day). We saw here the America’s Space history from the very first unmanned missions and the first rocket to break free from gravity, to the earliest moon mission of the Apollo. We climbed inside of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules to get a feel for the extremely cramped conditions America’s first astronauts endured. They’ve got a lot of signage to tell you about the rockets.
All the rockets outside are replicas. The only actual rocket/shuttle from space is the Atlantis shuttle inside the Atlantis building & the Saturn V rocket at the Apollo/Saturn V center.
Next stop was the Atlantis theatre with some breath-taking IMAX movies, a close-up view of Space Shuttle Atlantis and more than 60 interactive exhibits.
It’s a moving celebration of humankind’s greatest achievements, and a great job at paying tribute to all of the people who sacrificed their lives in the name of exploration.
We discovered the sights, sounds and feelings of a real Space Shuttle launch in the Shuttle Launch Experience.
Then we took NASA’s KSC bus self-guided tour which is included with admission and departs every 15 minutes from the Visitors Complex. We experienced the behind the scene space centre working, we saw some of the most iconic NASA landmarks, the launch pads, the historic Apollo 8 lunch site and we visited the Apollo/Saturn V Centre where we stand under the largest rocket ever made – the mighty Saturn V, we touched a real moon rock, checked out a space suit used in an Apollo mission and we saw “Hubble 3D” and “Journey to Space 3D” movies. On the way back from NASA centre to Kennedy Space Centre we also saw alligators and birds in their natural environment.
We looked through the Mars building. The building has a video & a bunch of different interactive computers. You can try to land a thing onto Mars & dock a ship to the International Space Station. I thought the computers were too advanced for me, but I saw kids playing with them. Maybe I wasn’t patience enough for them. We didn’t spend too much time in the Mars building. We didn’t experience the IMAX movie because we thought it was too long to see for us and we wanted to experience the other things they’ve got.
My favorite thing about this place may have to be the employees. Every single employee was genuine and passionate about this place. Our bus driver told us about himself and how he loves his job, showing off launch pads and rockets, and even learned some more about Florida’s wildlife.
So if you want to enjoy this place as much as I did here are some tips:
1-Come early, I thought I was gonna spend half a day here and I ended up spending a whole day. There are not as many attractions, but if you spend time reading the exhibits or watching movies, it’s surprising how fast time flies by.
2-Take the bus tour (ends at 4pm) that comes with general admission. It takes you around to multiple launch sites and since this area is protected wildlife refuge your driver will point out all the fun wildlife. Large bald eagle nests. Manatees. There are lots of alligators, in fact there are so many they need to clear runways of gators before launches.
3-I read the reviews where people say the Atlantis area is mainly for kids. I have no kids and I spent a majority of the day here. Maybe that speaks to my maturity level. RIDE ALL THE THINGS!!
4-Meet an astronaut if you can. You either have lunch with them or go to a signing. Their stories are always interesting. Also you’ll note that they don’t seem to age, and they live longer lives than average. Something worth looking into.
Now some concerns:
1-Parking is $10 be ready for it
2-As with every other park or attraction, the food is expensive and meh!
We really liked it and it was very educational.