Thank you Megan Guinnup for this fun look at Kennedy Space Center!
Kennedy Space Center is located in Port Canaveral, Florida and is the perfect way to spend a day before or after you cruise. Many people like to come in a day before their cruise so that they can make sure that travel delays don’t prevent them from making it to the ship on time and to get a head start on their vacation if they get an early boarding time (some ships board as early as 10:30 am!).
On an agency training trip to Port Canaveral/Cocoa Beach Area, we were able to spend a day at Kennedy Space Center. There are so many interactive exhibits and opportunities to learn about space exploration.
We started off with a bus tour out to the launch sites and buildings where they assemble to rockets for launch. At one time, the vehicle assembly building at the Kennedy Space Center was considered the largest enclosed structure in the U.S! As part of the bus tour, we visited the Apollo/Saturn V Center where the full Apollo shuttle is located on display (spoiler alert: it was never sent to space). It is absolutely amazing to stand underneath such a massive structure. At this center, there are exhibits about the first landing on the moon, the invention of the space pen (and other inventions that have come out of the space program like memory foam, cochlear implants, and prosthetic limbs). Kids and kids at heart will also enjoy touching an actual moon rock!
One of the other impressive things to visit at the Kennedy Space Center is the permanent home of the actual space shuttle Atlantis. In the same building you can strap yourself in for liftoff at the Shuttle Launch Experience®. There is also a model play station for kids designed after the International Space Station and a two story tall Rocket slide that kids can play on to entertain themselves while the big kids explore the exhibit.
One of the coolest things we experienced, however, was the add-on experience Lunch with an Astronaut. There was a catered buffet lunch in a conference room and while we were enjoying the meal heard from a real life Astronaut, Steve Smith, who was fortunate enough to experience four space flights covering 16 million miles and seven space walks totaling 49 hours and 25 minutes. He told his story about applying to the space program, what it was like to prepare for a mission and to be in space. Then we got to ask him whatever questions we wanted for about 20 minutes. It was fascinating and I highly recommend it as an add-on experience if you are spending a full day at Kennedy Space Center.
It really was a great way to spend the day learning and appreciating the history of the U.S Space Program. Make sure to ask your Marvelous Mouse Travels agent about adding this experience onto your pre or post cruise plans or even onto a Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando vacation as a break day from the parks.