Kennedy Space Center – Florida


I will be quite honest with you…I never really found ‘space’ that interesting. I was never fascinated by it like some people are. Maybe because I am more of a practical person and space just seemed so..far off? So when we were discussing what to do for our next vacation and the Kennedy Space Center was brought up since it is on my boyfriend’s bucket list, I knew we had to go. After all, the last couple vacations had really been focused on hiking.=) I am always up to experience something new, so we headed to Florida!

fullsizeoutput_1163

We had heard that there is no way to cram everything there is to see and do into one day so we bought the two day pass which totaled just over $80 per person. Honestly, for everything that is included in that price, I feel like we got our money’s worth.

IMG_0406

I’ll share a few tips through this long post, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what to expect. My first tip is to arrive early! The park opens at 9, but the parking lot gates open at 8:30. Parking does cost $10. By getting there early, it allows you to experience a few of the park features before the gates actually open. First, snap a couple pictures of the iconic NASA globe without tons of people around.

Fvy4NKHHS4en1O8qzUVDvw

IMG_0411

After that, head over to the Information building and grab a brochure and browse the souvenirs. There is also a restroom outside of the gates, so head over there before entering the park. My next tip is to buy your tickets online! This will save time and you won’t have to stand in line to buy your tickets. As it nears closer to 9:00, begin to line up in front of the gates located under the EXPLORE sign.

IMG_0291

One thing the park did every morning was it started the day off by playing the National Anthem. Once the song finishes, the gates open. Head through security and scan your ticket. There is a brochure stand right inside the gate so grab a Daily Schedule here. This will tell you the location and time for all of the events scheduled for the day.

We snapped a few pictures of the Rocket Garden since we were the first few people inside the park.

pFkCPekATpy+p9CjfPfiYQ

IMG_0307

IMG_0310

My next tip is to head straight to the KSC Bus Tour! The bus runs every 15 minutes and I have read that later in the day the wait can be up to 2 hours just to board the bus.

 

The bus takes you on a 45 minute ride around Merritt Island past the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and past several launch pads. Be sure to sit on the right side of the bus (left side when walking onto the bus, right side when sitting) for the best views during the tour.

It was really cool because we were even able to see a rocket being built inside the VAB!

IMG_0333

The tour ends at the Apollo/Saturn Center. Before you enter the actual exhibits, you watch two movies. One of my favorite experiences was the second “movie”. The actual Command Room sits below you as you experience the launch of Apollo 8.

IMG_0344

You can spend as much time here as you like exploring the exhibits telling the stories of the moon landing.

 

I had also read that the food places get really busy around lunch time so while we were still at the Apollo center, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Moon Rock Cafe. Was it overpriced, yes, but that is expected.

I really liked the exhibit that featured space suits and even a moon rock!

 

IMG_0381

 

We snapped a few more pictures and then hopped in line for the return bus ride which is about 15 minutes. We spent about 2.5 hours here and arrived back at the main center around 12:45.

We headed over to the Universe Theater to catch a couple shows. This is a great option if it is hot outside, you need to rest your feet, or you want to avoid the likely mid-afternoon routine Florida rain shower. We watched ‘Eyes On the Universe’, ‘Mission Status Briefing’, and ‘Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo’. I enjoyed the ‘Mission Control’ the best. But the program that I would recommend not to miss is the ‘Astronaut Encounter’. A real astronaut shares their stories of space travel, answers questions from the audience and then after the show, takes a quick picture with families. We saw John Blaha, an astronaut that flew 7 missions.

IMG_0403

All of these shows filled our day from about 1:00 – 3:30. We then headed over to the The Space Shop to pick up a few souvenirs. At 4:00, the same astronaut signs autographs upstairs at The Space Shop so we did that as well.

That was our full Day 1 at the Space Center. While we packed a lot in, I was not overly tired. I think the best thing to do is to bring a backpack and pack drinks and snacks to keep you going throughout the day.

ulyYwp+SQmyzg58SNsddaw

We started out Day 2 by heading straight to the Atlantis exhibit.

IMG_0401

After watching two interesting movies about the space shuttle program, a wall rises and the space shuttle is suspended in the air. This is pretty cool!

IMG_0433

IMG_0440

 

We took our time exploring the different exhibits. If you have time I recommend the simulator. Situated in the center of the first floor, the simulator takes about 30 minutes and gives you a real life experience of what is is like to launch into space. This is included in your general admission!

Also on this floor is the moving tribute to the Challenger and Columbia. Take a quiet moment to reflect and pay respect to these brave individuals that lost their lives trying to further America’s space program.

 

On a more light-hearted note, I found a camper! Ha! It was used to transport astronauts to the launch pad on launch day.

IMG_0492

We explored the Mars exhibit and then took in one more IMAX movie. On our way out, we stopped at the Heroes & Legends exhibit and then the Hall of Fame all within the same building.

IMG_0544

 

We left the park around 1:00 on our second day, but I feel like we saw almost everything that was included in the general admission besides like 2 movies.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Kennedy Space Center. I thought it was going to be like a museum where you walk around and look and read about artifacts, but it was so much more than that. The Space Center is so thoughtfully planned out and keeps the guest entertained. All of the short movies and multimedia presentations within the exhibits were amazing! The park was very clean and everyone was very friendly.

IMG_0546

We headed back to our condo along the coast and enjoyed a nice night on the beach!

IMG_1066

Have you ever been to the Kennedy Space Center? What did you think? If you have any questions, please ask below! And also, search for Planned Spontaneity Hiking on Facebook and follow me there!

Categories: Kennedy Space CenterTags: , , , ,

3 comments

  1. Very informative post with great tips!
    Sounds like a fun trip!

  2. Very informative. Very nice photos of everything!

  3. Great place to visit! Looks like they have added quite a few new things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: