Kennedy Space Center – Florida’s most exciting theme park, according to many.
And everything is real, genuine. Do not miss!
Almost a part of Orlando, just an hour’s trip to the coast.
Affordable entrance and a visit (enough with 5-6 hours) you do not regret.

kennedy space center
©GETTY IMAGES

Kennedy Space Center is fun for all ages

When we write the “real and genuine” we mean a lot of exciting contemporary history at Kennedy Space Center. From the very first space journeys, through the now phased out space shuttles, to today’s high-tech efforts towards new goals.

We see KSC as a theme park geared to all ages, a family get-away, and that they (as opposed to some other Florida attractions) have human entrance fees.

It’s a pity that many Orlando visitors miss or forget to make the short day trip to the “Space Coast” at the Atlantic Ocean.

Ever since Nasa decided that this was the place where the race to space where going to have its base the area has been intimately associated with US space adventures. Not only through Kennedy Space Center – much else around here is space or astronaut oriented. The space industry is one of the most important livelihoods, not only tourism.

Something that can change drastically since the largest tourist magnet and indirect employer, space ferries, now for the last time landed on Merritt Island.

Despite the regrettable fact that the shuttles, the huge tourist magnet and indirect employer, for the last time has landed on Merritt Island Kennedy Space Center should be visited during a Florida vacation. Some say it is the best park experince, everything is genuine and fascinating 20th century history, for both old and young.

Do not miss the Shuttle Launch Experience

FloridaUSAguide has visited the space center several times, often with first-time visitors as a company. So we have some experience of guiding other visitors through the park.

A typical day can look like this:
First a look at the scale model of the area. It provides a good guide to future activities.
Inevitably we are then attracted to the “rocket cemetery”, an impressive collection, and we never cease to be surprised of how small the first rockets were compared with more recent Saturnus, the rocket that launched Apollo crews.

There are lots of exhibitions and experienced astronauts informs, both in space suits (being photographed with the children) and as themselves telling visitors about their space adventures and NASA programs.

READ MORE: Orlando activities outside the most famous parks

We aim at Shuttle Launch Experience to check out the queues. This ride needs to be experienced – a simulated space trip. Quite breathtaking and it’s worth the queue for the feeling of taking part in a launch of a space shuttle and seeing our entire planet from space perspective. If the queues are too long you might consider to finish the day here instead.

Then it’s time for the first bus trip. The buses leave every quarter. During the first stage, the guide will show you the enormous, and famous, eagle’s nest (pictured).

In the bus we are fed with interesting information and can see the giant Assembly Building, where all space ferries were assembled, and also see the special “crawlers” that used to take the huge rockets to the remote launching ramps.

The first stop is the Gantry Observatory from which you have a good overview of the launch area.

Educational about the Saturnus rocket

Next stop is the most interesting during the entire tour, the Apollo & Saturnus facility. Not only because there is a fantastic and educational exhibition of a Saturnus rocket and all related details and equipment. Also for the performance being played. First a realistic launch, which we follow at an exact copy of Houston Control Center, and the visit is terminated in the theater where a real moon landing is simulated.

When it is time to leave, the visitor has the choice to either take the bus back to the main area or visit the research facility. At the latter, space researchers are seen at work and one has the opportunity to get a feeling of living and working in a space station.

Note:
Order tickets for pickup in Orlando because Official Ticket Center does not deliver to the coast.

Make the trip a day trip from Orlando, it’s only an hour to drive. No time-consuming check-in and check-out at another hotel.

KSC is not necessarily a full day of 6-8 hours, there is time to do something more, for example, in nearby Cocoa Beach.

PETER SUNESON

ps. Kennedy Space Center is the official name, but the old name Cape Canaveral is still in use.

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All content on this page and other parts of FloridaUSAguide is based on information from the Scandinavian online publication Florida.nu, established in Clearwater Beach, Florida, 2006.

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