Inspire Me


Out-Of-This-World: Our Experience at Kennedy Space Center

Day 1

After a very comfortable sleep and delightful breakfast at the hotel, we made our way to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) where we explored the Complex freely, taking some epic photographs of sights such as the Rocket Garden which I had heard about beforehand but was amazed to see up close and personal. 

Next up we had a very special opportunity to view and test out the new attraction at KSC Hyperdeck VR, an immersive multi-simulator virtual reality experience, which was only weeks away from opening to visitors in December 2023. It was a first VR experience for me and it really felt out of this world! I didn’t want the experience to stop, it was so much fun!

After lunch in the Orbit Café, instead of taking the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour which is included with General Admission and simply transports guests out to the Saturn V Center, we headed out on the Kennedy Space Center Explore Tour (an Upgrade add on option which is well worth it) and got to see the launch pads and Vehicle Assembly Building (one of the largest buildings in the world by volume) before arriving at the Saturn V Center.

At Saturn V we viewed the Apollo 8 and the Firing Room Theater where launches were brought to life in a really vivid way before turning our attention to view the Saturn V Rocket. The size of this massive rocket was a sight to behold. We then touched an actual Moon Rock before entering The Lunar Theater at Apollo . After we absorbed this spectacle we walked through the Treasures Gallery which houses rare and precious artefacts such as Astronaut Medals, Equipment Prototypes and Training Gear from astronauts bound for the Moon including Alan Shepard’s Moon dust covered spacesuit to the Apollo 14 crew capsule. Every experience at the Saturn V Center was different and our imaginations were fired at every turn. 

Before boarding the bus back to the visitor Complex and walked through Moon Tree Garden. These second-generation trees are direct descendants of seeds that were taken to the Moon. The 12 trees represent the 12 crewed Apollo missions. The garden surrounds a one-of-a-kind bronze statue of Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and it was a very peaceful spot to take a few moments to absorb everything that we had seen. 

 We then spent some time in the World’s Largest Space Shop for some retail therapy before heading back to our hotel for the evening.


Day 2

We made an early start today and spent the morning at the Astronaut Training Experience which is an add on option that can actually be booked as a stand alone visit without booking Park Entry for the day. Of course if you want access to the main Complex in the afternoon then you will need to buy a Visitor Centre admission ticket. There are 5 different elements to the entire experience but if you don’t want to do the full Training Experience, then you have the option to book individual stages. Some of my favourite experiences were the Microgravity Simulation, the Simulations of Landing & Driving on Mars and of course what it is like to Walk on Mars using Virtual Reality!  

Having received our Astronaut Training Completion Certificates, we went directly into ‘Chat With An Astronaut’ where we met Woody Spring, a real life Astronaut!!! It was truly amazing to listen to his stories of Space Travel and the little intricate details we wouldn’t even think of… the first hand insight he gave was remarkable! This is another Add on enhancement and I would highly recommend it. As it is such a popular event, I recommend that you pre book your place before arrival. 

From here we went into Space Shuttle Atlantis which was the one element of the visit I was super excited to see in person having watched Launches & Landings as a kid I just couldn’t wait to actually stand there and see it with my own eyes! The presentation beforehand gave the history of Atlantis and when the moment came to see her it took my breath away! I still can’t believe I saw her!

Pulling myself away from Atlantis we viewed the Hubble Space Telescope Theater and the Forever Remembered: Challenger & Columbia Memorial. This is a moving tribute to those lost in both tragedies and brought home the bravery each Astronaut has in order to take part in these missions to space. It was truly humbling.

Next up came some real excitement as we took our seats in the Shuttle Launch Experience which is a simulation of the space shuttle’s eight-and-a-half-minute ascent into orbit, the G Force was unbelievable and totally exhilarating. I loved every second of it!  

The final stops on our visit today was to see Planet Play, a wonderful indoor interactive area where children can play and learn on the planets and Journey to Mars to learn all about the Red Planet before returning to our hotel for a well earned rest after such a fun filled day.

 Day 3

Our final day at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex saw us start with Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex which explores the future of Space Travel. There is a wide array of sample spacecraft of today as well as rockets such as the Falcon 9. Also at Gateway are 4 new rides to experiences (Cosmic Wonders, Daring Explorers, Red Planet & Uncharted Worlds) each one thrusting you into the far reaches of space. We had time to ride 2 of the 4 and each was unique and fantastic fun! 

From here we went into Heroes and Legends and witnessed the Astronaut Hall of fame before stopping into the IMAX Theater where we saw one of three current films showing: Deep sky. And that was all the time we had on this trip! 

We had packed in so much and still there was even more to see such as the Mars Rover Vehicle Navigator, Astronaut Encounter: Meet a NASA Veteran, Path to the Moon and Moonscape inc. the Lunar Module 9. But as I always say you have to leave something to go back for.

I had always thought of Kennedy Space Centre as a 1 Day visit but having spent 3 full days there and still not seeing everything, I now know better!

While there was a launch on one of the evenings, it was outside of regular Park hours but had the launch been within regular Park hours then we could have viewed it from the Visitors Centre. Outside of there, various packages are available to view launches so make sure to check the Rocket Launch Schedule when planning your visit.

Our return journey home with Virgin Atlantic was just as wonderful as it had been on the trip out and given the high level of service, comfort and food & drink options, I will definitely be flying with them in Premium Economy (I did test out the Economy Cabin on a previous trip and would have no hesitation in rebooking that experience either!)


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