One of the main places Hubby has always said he’d love to visit is the Kennedy Space Center. Seeing as our trip this time was going to be epic and probably a once in a lifetime experience, I decided to contact KSC to see if they would be interested in having us along for a visit. I was absolutely thrilled when they agreed so I scheduled our visit into our already busy itinerary.
Kennedy Space Center is along the East Coast of Florida. It’s actually about an hour from where we had been staying at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and as you may already know, we hadn’t hired a car for this trip. Getting to Kennedy Space Center was the main worry for me. There are things like a bus tour shuttle service which I’m sure is a lot of fun, but it was also quite expensive. So we settled for an Uber car.
This photo of Elsa below really sums up this experience. Our driver for this trip was the most memorable of all trips we took with Uber. The word eccentric would suit him well. He was foreign and didn’t speak any English, well the extreme minimum. Instead he used a translator app which we all know never translates correctly. It was a hilarious hour drive to Kennedy Space Center. The Uber driver handed us his business card as he seemed to really like us and dropped us off at the main entrance.
I loved seeing the excitement on Hubby’s face as we collected our tickets, took a photo in front of the NASA globe and headed towards the entrance.
The Kennedy Space Center websites has a really handy guide for how to plan your day at the visitor complex. We decided to head straight to the Bus Tours which are all included in your admission. These bus tours take you for a tour from the main visitor area, out onto the NASA site and wildlife reserve and to the Apollo Saturn V Center.
We had arrived at opening time, like we always do, yet the queue for the bus tours was horrendous. I won’t sugar coat it. The experience as we queued was terrible. The line barely moved and the heat was crazy. We had all begun to get quite grumpy and wondered whether our day out would be any fun for the kids at all.
Eventually, after just under an hour, we made in onto the tour bus where it was thankfully air conditioned. The guide on the bus was really enthusiastic and great fun. We was able to see the Space X hangar, different launch pads that are still in action and various other “behind the scenes” buildings and machinery. It was incredible. The Space Center is also set in a huge wildlife reserve and we even spotted a couple of alligators on our bus tour.
The tour lasts about an hour and ends at the Apollo Saturn V Center. You are requested to leave your pushchairs back at the main Kennedy Space Center area which worried me a little bit as our girls seem to always “lose” their legs when we go on days out. I was very pleased to find that KSC provide free of charge strollers to borrow whilst you are at the Apollo Center. They have single and double ones, we decided to opt for the bigger double and Eva couldn’t resist getting in too.
You start your time at the Apollo Center with a short movie all about space, astronauts and the Apollo Saturn V. You are then moved in to the main visitor center and greeted by a real space shuttle. It’s very overwhelming.
You are inside a hangar as such, surrounded by lots of information about astronauts, space travel and space technology. Hubby was in his element and the girls also found it really interesting as both Freya and Eva have been learning all about space and the solar system. Inside the Apollo Saturn V Center they have a large restaurant, toilet facilities and of course a gift shop.
We spent about an hour wandering around the center learning lots of new things before heading back to the Bus Tour Stop to catch the return bus.
The return bus takes you round further parts of the space center site with video commentary as well as the guide on the bus too. This part of the tour teaches you more about the wildlife too which was really interesting.
After returning back to main visitor complex at Kennedy Space Center, we collected our pushchair and headed for the Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other. This is a huge zone with the actual Atlantis Space Ship inside. It is incredible you can stand next to a space shuttle that has actually been in space and learn all about the legacy of the NASA Space Shuttle program.
The girls really loved this area as there’s lots of interactive bits. You can sit inside a pretend space shuttle, crawl through a space station, use the interactive information boards to learn more and even drop down a slide that allows you to feel the adrenaline that an astronaut would have felt during a shuttle landing.
Hubby, Eva and I also went on a space shuttle simulator which was a really fun experience whilst my Mum explored the downstairs area with the other two. We spent quite a long time in this building then suddenly realised we still had so much more to explore.
There’s a few gift shops at the Kennedy Space Center. My Mum had promised the girls to buy them a little gift so we spent some time in the Atlantis gift shop. Eva picked to have a little Astronaut teddy bear and Elsa chose a brilliant Space Shuttle toy. Freya had chosen to have a t-shirt but they didn’t have her size so we hopped over to the gift shop that’s central in the visitor complex to find her size. In the end she managed to get three NASA t-shirts in a pack. My Mum also bought some freeze dried ice cream for us all to try. That was a really odd experience.
After a quick snack we made our way into the Journey To Mars exhibition. This area has low lighting, some interactive areas and obviously the focus is about the space travel to Mars. It got us all thinking about the future and it was incredible to see the technology that has to go into such a big space travel plan.
There was a few areas that we didn’t get to explore like the Astronaut Training, we also didn’t get to dine with an astronaut. These things were not included within your admission and I’m pretty sure you need to book ahead of your visit.
We did make our way to the outdoor play area twice in our day out. The weather was scorching on the day of our visit, well like most Florida days actually, but for some reason it felt hot! I think because the Space Center is located on an island surrounding by water the humidity was quite high. The girls were literally sweating in the play area because there was no air con, just a few tiny fans that really didn’t do anything.
We then spent some time wandering around the Rocket Garden and grabbing some photos. Nearly all of the rockets in this garden were real ones. The girls loved exploring them.
The day was rapidly coming to an end and we still had two more places we wanted to explore. The Heroes and Legends building was next on our list. Inside here is a real tribute to history and what it means to be a hero. It also houses the U.S Astronaut Hall Of Fame. Just like the other areas at Kennedy, there’s lots of interactive information stations as I like to call them. There’s a 3D movie too.
Just before closing time, we popped into the Nature and Technology exhibition. The girls loved this part as there’s animal models. These are all animals you may spot or bump into on the wildlife reserve. There’s also more information about how NASA has protected and worked alongside the wildlife during the many years of space travel.
Our journey home was an eventful one. Can you remember the experience we had on the way there? Well, when trying to book an Uber the prices were coming up at a ridiculously high amount. The driver we had in the morning had offered to pick us up privately if we needed him to. Everything in my body was telling us not to do it, but Hubby will do anything for a saving so we booked him.
He was just as enthusiastic and loud as before. Using his translator to communicate with us. Honestly, he was so sweet but we was all knackered after a long hot day at Kennedy Space Center. It had been full on with so much to do, more than we ever expected. We just wanted to snooze in the car. I will always remember the journeys to KSC.
We arrived back to Cabana Bay way past bedtime and headed straight for the Bayliner Diner. We hadn’t eaten anything more than snacks during our day out so welcomed some pizzas and spaghetti bolognese for our dinner. The girls went to bed pretty quickly that night. As always I hope you will take the time to watch the video I created of our day out. It shows the space center so much better than I can describe it in words. We had a truly brilliant day!
Also, our next blog post is a really exciting one. We went to Gatorland and fed alligators literally feet away! It was awesome so please come back soon for that.