I’ve always wanted to visit Florida to see the Kennedy Space Center. I’ve been fascinated by space exploration ever since I first saw the Apollo 13 movie back in the 90s. Imagine being weightless in space. I had so many questions. Coming out of Kennedy Space Center though, I am even more curious. I wanted to know more. I wanted to go back! If you’ve never been or have always wanted to go, I share with you today – 10 Tips for Visiting Kennedy Space Center. This will help you maximize your visit, save on tickets, and know which exhibits are a must see. Kennedy Space Center is a quick 1-hour drive from Orlando, make sure to add it to your Travel Bucket List.
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10 TIPS FOR VISITING KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VISITORS COMPLEX:
1. Get your Tickets Online
Save time by getting your tickets online to avoid lining up at the ticket booths when you arrive. Your time at the ticket booths can be spent taking pictures of the Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden instead.
2. Save on Kennedy Space Center Tickets by getting a Multi-Attractions Pass
Tickets to Kennedy Space Center cost $40 for kids and $50 for adults. Less for military and seniors. But I would suggest either getting the Go Miami Card or Go Orlando Card which enables you to visit Kennedy Space Center and 27 other attractions in Florida. You can purchase a 2 day, 3-day, or 5-day pass and visit any of the 28 attractions included within a 2-week time span from when you first use your tickets. As an example, The Orlando Card includes Legoland Florida, Daytona Speedway All Access Track Tour, and a lot of other Orlando and Miami attractions.
3. Plan a Full Day at Kennedy Space Center and Arrive Early
Kennedy Space Center opens at 9 AM every day and closing time varies by date (between 5 – 8 PM). There is so much to do that spending a full day or even 2 days to see it all would be ideal. The parking lot opens 30 minutes before operating hours.
4. Make sure to visit Space Shuttle Atlantis
I’d say this is the best part of the whole Kennedy Space Center – learning about the Space Shuttle Atlantis and watching it unfold. There’s also tons of interactive exhibit within the building like astronaut training simulators. The kids really enjoyed their time here.
5. Ride the Shuttle Launch Experience
There is only 1 Kennedy Space Center ride and it is included in your admission tickets. You will get to ride here after seeing Space Shuttle Atlantis. Strap in for a simulation of the space shuttle’s eight-and-a-half-minute ascent into orbit! Must be 44″ tall to ride. All personal items must be stowed in the complimentary lockers.
6. Ride the Bus Tour in the Morning or catch it before it gets Dark
The bus tour is quite long but for true blue rocketship fans, you get to see launch sites and the bus tour ends at Apollo/Saturn V Center where you get to see the 363-foot Saturn V rocket, touch a moon rock, experience the thrill of the space race with the launch of Apollo 8, and many more.
The line to the bus tour was quite long in the afternoon so we rode the bus tour just before it ended at 530PM and the sun has set by mid-tour so they cut it short and went straight to Apollo/Saturn V Center which actually worked for us. The length of the bus tour was too long for our young kids, I would suggest doing this last but do see it before it gets dark so you still see a glimpse of the launch sites.
7. Don’t eat at the first restaurant you see and do pack some snacks
Don’t rush to line up at the first restaurant or first snack stand you see when you enter Kennedy Space Center – the line will be long. Look for another restaurant with lesser lines. We ended up at Orbit Cafe and found a table and the line to get food was not as bad compared to Rocket Garden Cafe.
You also need snacks along the way especially when traveling with kids. Don’t forget to pack some snacks especially for the bus tour.
8. Take a Picture with an Astronaut or Meet one in Person
Seeing an astronaut in full gear was amazing. Make sure to take pictures with them as a souvenir or meet a veteran astronaut during a live presentation at Astronaut Encounter. Check the daily schedule upon arrival for show times and autograph opportunities.
9. Schedule your visit during a Rocket Launch
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers launch viewing opportunities for rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center and adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It is included on your admission pass if you watch it the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex next to the Atlantis exhibit but it’s for an additional fee on certain viewing areas. Learn more about it HERE.
10. Watch two movies in IMAX 3d
Two 3D space movies are available daily at IMAX Theater and are included with admission. See daily schedule once you arrive at the Kennedy Space Center for show times. You can even get theater snacks and drinks in the lobby before the movie begins.
Hope we brought a piece of Kennedy Space Center to you through our 10 tips for Visiting Kennedy Space Center. Got more questions? Leave your comments below.
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