In a tribute to the thrilling history of United States space exploration, the Space Center welcomes visitors to climb aboard ... More
Kennedy Space Center
In a tribute to the thrilling history of United States space exploration, the Space Center welcomes visitors to climb aboard a full size space shuttle replica, view moon rocks, and get a hands-on look at the science beyond the drama. Take a tour venturing deep into NASA's spaceport facilities, or visit the Rocket Garden, featuring eight massive rockets from past eras. An IMAX Theater shows movies on a five-story screen. The complex is also home to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Please note that this is a working space flight facility; hours and operations may change without notice.
I worked for 20 years at Honeywell, and LOVE anything about space travel, space history, rockets and astronauts. I was so excited to go to the Space Center after visiting there in 1976 as a child. I thought $80 per ticket was steep, but even with the economy the way it is, I spent the money to visit. The tour was good - special through the end of the year to get up close to the launch pad. The tour guide was trying to provide the basics to the bus, but there were unruly kids on the tour that made it nearly impossible to understand the guide. The grounds around the launch pad needed to be manicured, and I think a little touch up to make the buildings a little more exciting. No need for bright cartoon-like paint and characters, but at least something to make the area appear special, instead of looking as if nobody cares for it. THIS IS HISTORY!!!!!!! The guide made sure we knew, repeatedly, that if we ventured from the path, we could get shot. Hmmmm. Probably didn't need to go to that extreme. He also let us know that if we stepped on the grass, we could get stung or bitten to death by fire ants, or if we dropped any moisture near the area around one of the buildings, the chemicals in the grass could cause severe respiratory distress. Why the scare tactics? I am sure there are risks of snake bites, ant stings, and chemical issues..so treat the soil, use Andro, and be done with it.
The space shuttle launch simulation was good, and the Apollo movie and simulation were worth sitting through. The 3D Imax theater Hubble was very well done. The imagery of the galaxies, stars, and star bursts were the best I've ever seen.
The tour price also came with food vouchers, and I found the food to be tasty and plentiful for the money. The gift shop was well stocked. There was an astronaut there to sign autographs, but unfortunately, my tour last too long to allow me access to the astronaut. Perhaps a suggestion would be to have several signings throughout the day. Once the tour was over, the park closed, leaving no time for gift shops, drinks or even converting my single day admission ticket for an annual pass. I was turned away at Guest Relations because there were "too many people in line, and the staff wanted to go home" said the young man guarding the door. Really? How sad that Guest Relations wouldn't stay open until the last guest left the park. I will convert my ticket, but I would like to see KSC tighten up their act before the Atlantis exhibit next year.
What tour was "Amanda" on? She says astronauts didn't launch there after 1968. KSC is where all astronauts were launched, except for the ones that caught rides on Russian spacecraft to the International Space Station. "Challenger" exploded off the Florida coast in 1986. The shuttles didn't always land ther, but they did take off from there! The tour may be dated and overpriced, but her information she supposedly learned is very incorrect!
For one thing, they said they havent sent up any astronauts from Kennedy space center since 1968. All of the manned shuttles go up in Texas. We paid 200 for me, my husband and daughter to see the vehicle assembly building. We were told a shuttle would be there to see, but when we got there, there was no such thing. The only thing in the vehicle assembly building was some guy ( a tile expert) talking about the tile they used. I couldnt have gave less of a crap. Then they said we were going to go to the launchpads. When we got to the location we were 6 or 7 miles from the launchpads. Like I said before they dont launch manned spacecraft from here only orbitors and such. The Johnson space center might be much more interesting. If you insist on going, I would go the cheapest route. The VIP tour sucks!
Sadly, this is a graveyard of rusting & faded rockets hosted by elderly retirees. Moderately interesting, but not worth half the admission fee nor waiting in the slow-moving line for. Star Trek ride is outdated & lame. Only thing worthwhile is the neck-wrenching shuttle launch simulation. We were unimpressed.
I've lived in Central Florida for almost 20 years but I haven't been back to the Space Center in years. My family used to take me a lot as a kid and I remember how much I used to enjoy the family outings out to the Cape.
Some family friends were back in town and we decided to do a two-family trip to KSC. As I said, it had been years for the adults and we thought the kids would love a trip out there. We met at the Space Center and were pleased with the free parking but fairly horrified at the cost. $38 per adult and $28 per child does not make for an inexpensive day out -- especially when you count the fact our children were 6, 4, 3 and 16 months (thankfully, he was free). Now, before you jump all over me about the cost... I remember when the KSC was really, really inexpensive (think... almost free)... and that isn't counting any sort of guided tour (which is a ridiculous $21 extra per adult).
I wouldn't have that much issue with the cost (as I do go to Disney often)... but there really wasn't anything to do there (especially for the kids). The shuttle mock up was pretty cool, as was the Rocket Garden. The Robots Scouter exhibit was lame (I remember it being lame the last time I went there... it has not improved) and had the kids antsy to get the heck out of there. We, apparently, were not the only ones as many families were walking past us just to get out of the show. The play area for the children was nice, but nothing better than you can find at any of the local parks (for free). The "Early Space" exhibit was nice, but it's essentially a museum. Great for adults interested in cool facts, boring for kids. The Mad Mission to Mars was closed. We saw an Imax show (which had technical difficulties at the beginning) and it was really cool with the exception that it is the same show (building the space station) that's been there for a decade. We couldn't find the Apollo exhibit that used to be there -- it's still on the KSC website but is not featured on the map... neither is the elevated platform that gives great views of the shuttle launching pad. We would have liked to have gone on the Shuttle Launch Experience, but they don't have a "Parent Swap" policy (that allows one parent to ride while the other watches the children, then allows them to switch places without having to wait in line again)... so only one person got to go on. She said it was pretty good -- there is a 48" height requirement, though, so most children will not be able to ride.
All in all, the Space Center is pretty neat for adults but it's still expensive at $38. I don't really feel there is $38 worth of interest here, honestly, especially considering that quite a few exhibits are old and outdated. However, I do feel charging $28 for children as young as three is nothing short of highway robbery. There was nothing for our three youngest to do except the play area, which can be found for free elsewhere. If the cost was less, the exhibits better maintained or if there was more to do, I'd recommend it... but I just can't (and that kills me). It was so disappointing that we weren't even willing to pay the additional $36 it would cost to upgrade all three passes to annual tickets.... and that's saying a lot.
driving around and being told what was in the buildings, nothing was up close and me and the wife paid 120 dollars...what a ripe am so glad the kids were not with us.
The Disney people need to go there and make it exciting...
on the positive if you like to ride a bus around this is great
Went on a Saturday in June 2008 with my Husband and 14 yr old son.
Drive from Orlando was great... on the way we had heard a boom which sounded like the sonic boom, my husband and I both agreed that's what it sounded like...without reading newspaper or watching news before we left, we dismissed the sound as a nearby car, what are the odds as we happen to be going to the space center today.
We got to the space center, about 50 mins drive from Kissimmee, parking was free and a breeze.
We were informed our tickets were good for a weeks re-entry.
Once inside we were informed as we boarded the tour bus, that the space shuttle had indeed landed that day, 2 hours earlier and while we were driving to our first stop along the tour, our bus was motioned off the road by NASA Security so the transport vehicle carrying the astronauts back from the just landed shuttle could go thru.
It was neat to see the astronauts and them waving to the tour buses pulled off to the side, everyone was pretty impressed. I mean, your at the space center, you might as well see the real deals going on and see just landed from space astronauts.
Then we started the tour, the exhibits were very informative and impressive. On our way to stop #3 on the tour, we were stuck at the front of NASA Security pulled to a stop traffic where they were slowly driving the "just landed" space shuttle back to the hanger. We were literally 30 yards from the shuttle which was followed by a parade of cars that was the different support crews. The camera crews were going nuts, the tourist were going nuts, everyone was filled with excitement to be so close to a just landed shuttle.
To happen to go to the Space center on the day the shuttle lands is a great thing as so much buzz is going on from the tour bus drivers and employees, even other guests.... really just made our trip very exciting so I HIGHLY recommend going on a day when the shuttle goes up or is coming down to land at Kennedy.
We got there about 11:30 am and left about 5:30pm as they close at 6pm, which in the summer I think they could stay open a bit longer for longer sun lit hours, but for $12.00 more as locals, we did decided to upgrade for a year pass as we didn't even get to see it all.... we go to Cocoa Beach often.... and we do look forward to the next trip and will certainly schedule it around a shuttle launch or landing day!
I highly recommend this to science, history, space & high tech buffs.
I personally wouldn't bring little kids...just lots of walking tours, movies and boring for those who are too young to understand.... waiting in line to board and re-boarding the tour bus in the heat would get tiring for little ones let alone parents, I didn't bring my 4 & 6 yrs old, day with grandma... but in a few years I think it would be a better idea! Not much for young kids to do, not even a smaller kids area. I HIGHLY suggest 10 and over! Not worth the admission price for the young little ones to be annoyed, hot and bored! Which is how I saw the majority of those 8 or so and under!
Cocoa Beach Pier is not far and a great place to enjoy a great meal after the Space Center, I didnt think the food was all that great for the value, overpriced fast food. Wear good walking shoes, you will do alot of walking and bring sunscreen and cool clothing!
Spent a full day at the center and enjoyed every minute there ... If you get there early, you can see everything in one day ... The Shuttle Launch Experience was very cool, but get there early when the line is shorter ... Overall we had a great time and learned a lot ... Staff was very friendly ...
I was very reluctant to spend the $110 but so glad I did. It was a highlight of our trip to Florida and very memorable for my 3.5 year old son. The center is very accessible for all ages, even the little ones. The passes are good for two days, which we took advantage.
My 3.5 year old is still talking about the Saturn 5 rockets and the Shuttle. We are thrilled with all he learned while he was there.
We can't wait to visit again.
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