If you are visiting Florida for the theme parks and staying in a villa near Disney, don’t forget the Kennedy Space Center. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Orlando and is your chance to experience space. OK so you don’t actually get launched into the atmosphere but you can experience something very similar at the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s Gold Coast.
Kennedy Space Center is just 45 minutes from your Orlando luxury villa so close enough for a comfortable day out. It will excite youngsters and adults alike as this is a real working environment where you might be able to plan your visit to see a real live rocket launch.
If not there is still plenty to see. It’s a must for space enthusiasts.
What to see
You’ll want to see everything but here are some of the best bits:
Take the KSC Tour on a NASA bus which is included in the admission price. See the Saturn V moon rocket at the Apollo/Saturn V Center and the space shuttle launch pads at the LC39 Observation Gantry. There are additional tours not included in the ticket price.
The NASA Rocket Garden is not to be missed. It’s the resting place for old NASA Titan, Redstone and Atlas rockets standing tall with clever lighting effects. Squeeze into some of the capsules to experience the cramped quarters astronauts are given for their journeys into space.
Probably the biggest thrill is the Shuttle Launch Experience. You get to feel what it’s like to be shot into space in this simulated experience. You’ll get a pre-launch briefing before you go. Dramatic lighting and sound effects make this ride seem very real.
Other attractions include the US Astronaut Hall of Fame, Astronaut Encounter or Lunch with an Astronaut. The last two let you ask all the questions you want and get the answers straight from those who’ve experienced space travel.
Don’t miss Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and Early Space Exploration. There’s also the Hubble Telescope Exhibit and a Children’s Play Dome for the very young to explore space.
This year they are celebrating their 50th anniversary to note when John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.
When is the best time to go?
The Visitors Complex is open daily from 9am to 7pm. So you can enjoy plenty of time exploring the Center before making your way back to your Orlando vacation rental.