Animals Bird watching Constellations/Sky

Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral

(Last Updated On: January 8, 2019)

We are huge space junkies here at Utah’s Adventure Family. We love the sky and the stars. Just check out our Constellations tab! So when we traveled to Florida, Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral was on the top of list. We had such an amazing time there. We highly recommend that you take a day off from DisneyWorld and check it out!

There are displays like this all over Kennedy Space Center.

Atlantis

We spent an entire day at Cape Canaveral. The first thing we did was visit the retired Space Shuttle Atlantis. The presentation for the shuttle is really incredible. We were gathered in a small theater and sat and watched a short presentation on the shuttle program. Then, in dramatic fashion, the curtain rose up, and Atlantis was suspended in front of us with its cargo doors wide open.

Seeing the shuttle Atlantis is amazing.

We don’t mind telling you that emotions were close to the surface and there were even a few tears. It’s hard to explain the reason, but as we gazed on this machine that had made 33 missions into space, there was definitely a feeling of awe. We were allowed to walk around and look at the shuttle as well as many other simulations in this area. There is also a launch simulation that is pretty intense. We even crawled through a model of the International Space Station!

We were in awe of this space shuttle.
Our kids loved all the opportunities to pretend to be an astronaut.
You can take the slide down to the lower level instead of the stairs!
There are so many hands-on, interactive places.
We ran out of time to do the Shuttle Launch, but if you want to get a small feeling of what it’s like to ridden a space shuttle, don’t miss this!
It’s scarier than you think crawling through the glass tubes when you’re two stories up.

Lunch with an Astronaut

The second thing we did was have lunch with an astronaut. This was an extra charge, but we had dinner and Mark Lee, a retired astronaut, spoke to us. He presented a slide show and gave us an insiders view of space travel. What surprised us the most is how silly astronauts are. They were constantly playing practical jokes and taking funny pictures.

Mark Lee was a great presenter, and we had so much fun listening to his experiences in space.

Bus Tour

We also took a bus tour of the area. Bus tours are included in your admission. We saw huge crawling launch pads, massive rocket silo storage areas, and several retired rockets all from inside the bus. The Kennedy Space Center is located on a National Wildlife Refuge. We were able to see dozens of alligators, turtles, a variety of birds, and even a dolphin. This was an added bonus to our tour. It was so exciting!

The Bus Tour allows you to get out at a few different spots for pictures and the last stop is at the Apollo/Saturn V Center.

There were alligators everywhere!
Also, lots of different types of birds including a roseate spoonbill.
This huge crawler moved the space shuttle into place.
There are lots of different launching sites to see from the bus.
One of the spots where we were allowed to get out and take photos. This is where they housed the space shuttle.
The future of space travel.
We also saw a dolphin which was really exciting!

Apollo/Saturn V Center

Our final stop was to see the Saturn V (five) rocket. It is the largest rocket ever built, and it hangs above you. It is impossible to get a picture, but you can walk its length and see just how big it is. This building also houses items from the Apollo missions. There is a lunar lander, a moon rock that you can touch, and many other informative displays. This building is reached by taking the bus.

When you first enter this building, they show you the control center used for the Apollo missions with some video footage, too.
The Saturn V is huge, and you can walk right under it!
This is one of the capsules that splashed back down from space.
There is a small moon rock that you are allowed to touch.

Tips

We liked DisneyWorld a lot, but Kennedy Space Center is not to be missed! This is something our boys still talk about, and they want to go back.

  • Plan on spending the entire day at Kennedy Space Center. We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to do (especially the Shuttle Launch Experience).
  • The Bus Tours end about 2.5 hours before the space center closes for the day, so plan accordingly. You will want to take the Bus Tour.
  • The Lunch with an Astronaut was really awesome, but it was pricey, too. There is a meet the astronaut experience included in your tickets, so that might be easier for families. Make sure to check times for this event.
  • Bring a stroller! We took one and our youngest was 5. The grounds are quite large, so you will be glad you have one.
  • We recommend visiting the Atlantis area first. It was the perfect way to kick off our day at Kennedy Space Center. Also, the line for the Shuttle Launch Experience can get long, so it’s good to get there early.